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Sleep at clinic becomes pipe dream
Sleep at clinic becomes pipe dream


I always knew I was destined for a night in a basement bedroom of some medical clinic. I just figured it would be a more-restful visit.

I recently spent some fitful hours at a local sleep clinic to be tested for possible sleep apnea. The visit was done at my request, in large part for the benefit of my wife, because I'm told that I'm a loud snorer.

But that's only part of it. Amy tells me I have the "jimmy leg," and that sometimes I snort and stop breathing.

I figured I snored loudly because my dad did. His snoring was so loud that you could hear it from the street outside of our house, which was a great way to know when it was safe to sneak into the house after a night of drinking adult beverages when I was a teenager.

The leg kicks and the stopped breathing concerned me more, so I scheduled the appointment.

Before my visit, I talked to a lot of people I know who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. They mostly talked about their continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines, and how wearing them at night makes them feel more rested and energetic.

They skipped the part about how hard it is to sleep at the clinic.

The first hint of trouble came when the technician wired me up. After a half-hour of having probes glued all over my head and on other parts of my body, he told me that if one of the probes fell off, he would have to come into the room, wake me up and put it back on.

Then he told me that if the monitoring determined that I had significant apnea, he might have to wake me up and have me use a CPAP machine.

Our conversation ended when the technician said that I would be awakened by 5:15 a.m., which was less than seven hours away.

I tried to sleep. But I kept thinking about being awakened. So I jumped at every noise, thinking the technician was coming in to fix a probe or to slap a breathing mask on me.

I tried to get comfortable, but I was afraid of knocking a probe loose if I moved too much.

Things didn't get much better after I awoke. After getting 15 minutes to wash the probe goo out of my hair and get dressed, I was left with a decision about what to do before my workday started in two and a half hours.

It didn't make sense to go home because the family was still sleeping and I would only have about a half-hour to spend there before I would have to leave for work. And I didn't want to go to work that early.

I ended up going to a nearby McDonald's, where I killed an hour reading the paper and sipping coffee, surrounded by a half-dozen old guys who did the same.

I still got to work early, but I did OK. Until about 1 p.m., when the lack of sleep caught up to me and I spent the rest of the afternoon in a daze.

I haven't gotten the results of my sleep study test yet. But if the next step involves a return visit to the sleep clinic, I'm bringing my wife with me.

If she thinks I'm hard to sleep with, wait until she gets a load of that place.

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(03-12-2012, 03:06 PM)ApneaNews Wrote: Sleep at clinic becomes pipe dream


I always knew I was destined for a night in a basement bedroom of some medical clinic. I just figured it would be a more-restful visit.

Hehe, I think we can all relate. :-) It's terrible, isn't it? 2 of the worst nights sleep I've had in my life, and those are what they use to diagnose how I sleep. :-p My second one, the titration study, was the worst, though, for some reason I just could *not* get to sleep. They told me in the morning - about 2 hours early - to go home, they got about 2 hours data, and obviously I'm not sleeping...

You were lucky - I didn't get a sleep clinic, I had to go to the sleep lab at the hospital. And I'm *at least* phobic about those places... I get twitchy just thinking about going to visit someone...

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Just goes to show you how people are different.

The titration part of my Sleep Study in a local hospital over 13 years ago was the 2nd best sleep night in my life.

The 1st best was the 1st night at home with my 1st CPAP machine.
Using the ResMed Mirage SoftGel Nasal Mask with a chinstrap

I do not use either the Ramp nor the EPR Comfort features

Have been on CPAP since December 1998

This is my 3rd machine

I use the ResMed ResScan Software (Version 3.16)
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My first night at the sleep lab (in the hospital) was also terrible. After getting the 26 or 32 sensors and then being told to sleep normally but not on my stomach, I thought "Yeah, right!" It was the worse night of sleep I had. Fortunately it was a Friday night and I didn't have to work on Saturday. I went home and slept for 6 hour straight. I kept finding that goo in my hair for days afterwards. I thought I got it all out but obviously didn't. For my tritation test, I made sure I took the next day off so that I could sleep. It wasn't that bad. I actually slept for a few hour.

You are right that the first night of the sleep study is definitely awful. Hopefully your 2nd night will be better.
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My problem with the sleep studies (the ones in 1995, 1996 and the newer one in 2008) was that they wanted me at the center to go to sleep no later than 10 pm. I told them that wouldn't work for me since I was seldom in bed before 1 am. My sleep docs took care of this by giving me a tiny red pill that knocked me out within a half an hour and gave me several hours of uninterrupted sleep, without any after effects. Probably not the recommended procedure, but it worked for me and the centers.

Since I retired, I now go to bed some time between 1:30 and 2:30 in the morning! :grin:
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At my last Sleep Study in December I feel asleep one minute after my head hit the pillow. I'm not certain but I don't think that the two glasses of wine I drank with dinner that night had anything to do with it. Dielaughing Dielaughing
This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and 
grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way 
are to be considered flaws or defects.
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When I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea back in 1996 or 1997 I was given a choice of doing a sleep study in a lab or participate in a new at-home sleep test equipment trial Kaiser was conducting. I had opted for the at-home equipment trial because it would be in my bed at home and not some strange place. On the late afternoon before the sleep test I went to Kaiser and the doctor taped the sensors on my face, head, around my eye, chest ... with a wiring harness that I would connect to the machine when I went to bed. There was also a finger tip O2 sensor and another one under my nose to measure my breathing. Too bad it wasn't Halloween because I could have won a prize with my costume. I drove home with those sensors attached and my wife warned my kids so they won't be scared when they saw me.

When I went to sleep I connected the wire harness, attached the finger clamp and looped the sensor under my nose. All I had to do was to push the 'ON'. button. It felt a bit strange at first, but I went to sleep as normal. In the morning I disconnected the harness and removed all of the sensors that were attached. I didn't even have to turn the machine 'OFF. I found a couple of sensors on my back that I didn't know they were there. I dropped off the machine back at Kaiser the next morning. They were very cleared that I had to drop off the machine in the morning before I went to work.

After a couple of days the sleep trial doctor sat down with me and showed me the data that was collected during my sleep. The charts and graphs definitely show the drop in my Oxygen level and very clearly when I stopped breathing and then gasping for air, all without me waking up. I HAVE Sleep Apnea without any doubt.

After I was set up on a CPAP machine, I think it was 2 or 3 months afterwards when I was use to sleeping with it, I did another test with the in-home machine trial. The same set up as before going to Kaiser to get hooked up, then return the machine in the morning. A couple of days later looking at both sets of data clearly showed the CPAP machine was working for me. I have been faithfully sleeping with my CPAP machine since then. I'm glad I helped some in testing the in-home sleep test machine trial back then.

The only thing I regret that I was not able to get copies of my two sleep test data. It was something about the medical trial study and they can't release the data. I didn't bother to follow up when the trial was over and may be get copies of my data. I already saw the two sets comparisons.
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Falling asleep was never the problem as by the time I laid down to sleep I was exhausted, running on fumes and basically a danger to myself and everyone around me especially if I was driving. I don't remember the tech coming in during the night and putting a mask on me because my saturation fell into the low 70's. The tech had a hard time waking me up the next morning because once I was on the mask my saturation stayed in the high 90's, no snoring no constant moving, I was actually sleeping for the first time since god knows when. When my doctor showed me the video footage of before and after the mask it was scary as hell before and peaceful after the mask was put on me. My sons sleep study was practically a mirror image of mine.
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My Pulmonologist has a Sleep Lab and that's where my study was preformed. It was as nice or nicer than a lot of four stars that I've stayed in. He had each room appointed with a kitchenette, full bath, nice large flat screen TV, a recliner, white noise generator and a Sleep Number queen bed. He had you arrive about 2 hours ahead so you could get settled in to your environment and relax. Aside from being wired better than a new car, the study wasn't bad at all. I guess I lucked out based on other stories that I've heard.
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If you think it is going to be a bad situation it will be. Go in with a positive attitude and it will be.
For free Medicare assistance for your state check out this page. http://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/dire...onal/SHIP/
or here http://www.medicareinteractive.org/
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