Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Apnea


I did a split-night sleep study last night and it was dreadful. In a split-night, they stop you in the middle of the night if you have sleep apnea and fit you with a C-PAP machine for the balance of the night. They didn't do that for me, so I must not have any apnea. I will have a debrief of the study in a couple of weeks.

The attendant was very pleasant and cheerful. And clueless. The room was a little stuffy, and she cranked the mutha down to about 40 degrees. It was already about 30 outside, and this clinic is in an office park on Highway US 50 in Falls Church, Virginia, with tons of sirens going by all night.

I took my laptop so that I could (a) listen to BBC World Service, which always puts me to sleep; and (b) Send an e-mail if it was really bad. I should have sent the e-mail.

They attached a hundred wires to my head, my chest, my legs, and surely other parts. They stuck a cannula in my nose but didn't turn on any oxygen. They wanted to see how long it took me to de-saturate, and when I did, they'd turn it on.

I turned out the lights before eleven.

At one-thirty, I woke up freezing under the covers. Cold dry oxygen was shooting up my nose. The Viagra and the inhaled treatment I do both cause my nose to be stuffy and runny, and the cold dry O2 had solidified my nose into a brick. I turned on the light summoning the attendant. She came, and I told her I needed some nasal saline. They didn't have any. She opened the door to go look for something and I saw the concentrator, just like mine, but with no bubble humidifier on it! The ambient dew point was about 15 degrees, which means there was nearly no humidity in the oxygen! She came back with some sort of "nasal creme" that you were supposed to put on the inside of your nose. I did so, and blew my nose, and immediately had a nosebleed. I asked her if she had a bubbler for the concentrator, and she said no. I asked if they had a vaporizer, and she said no. I asked her to turn up the temperature as she rearranged my covers and she said "Why, you're sweating! What do you want more heat for?"




I'm being tortured. Just waterboard me.

I laid down, completely under the covers so they couldn't see me at all, and built a sort of oxygen tent under there, with the oxygen spewing out of the hose under the covers, instead of up my nose. I'm sure it was fine.

I fell into sort of a creepy, frightening half-sleep, sort of panicky, but not quite.

About 3:30 I woke up again. I rebooted my computer and turned on BBC again, and it put me soundly asleep for a couple more hours. She came in and unhooked all the wires and I got up and dressed and left.

I got home and fell into bed. I went to sleep until about noon.

I'm still feeling lousy, but I'm at least feeling lousy in my own room. With my own dirt around me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Colder'n a sumbich

Pink shoes today. Black socks, pink sweater, black suit.

About 20 degrees when I woke this morning. Cold.

This weekend is the last one before everybody splits town for Christmas, and it was chockablock with parties.

Friday night was the Aero Club of Washington's presentation of the Wright Brothers Trophy, this year to The Last Man To Walk On The Moon, Gene Cernan. Nice dinner, nice program, got to wear sparkly long clothes which go magnificently with trailing oxygen concentrator. Sorry. But mine was the only nose hosed in the whole place. I thought about making a skirt for it, but then, no.

Saturday, midday come-and-go, nighttime office party at the boss's house. I hate the one at he boss's house, mostly because the annual "awards" are given, and usually to the undeserving. For example, this year the top prize went to someone who has been with the company less than three months, and is leaving to be re-activated with the branch of service from which they were retired, to a promotion. It was a suck-up move because this person can bring more business to the company, which is a good thing, certainly, but among other things, it means that a fellow who has gotten nothing but rave reviews from his customers for the last eight years, and is doing so in his third language (after his birth language and the language of the country of his first refuge) still has nothing.

We had two other invitations for Sunday, but blew them off, due to fatigue and high winds. Truly, the winds were gusting toward 50 mph, and it was in the 30s, and we were just too whipped to do it.

I have a sleep study on Tuesday to make sure that I don't have sleep apnea. More bondo to the head. I don't think I have sleep apnea, but they keep telling me that I must. So maybe I'll go and hold my breath to make them happy.

Next weekend is the trip to the parental unit's home. I hope it is fun. It has potential. It also has potential not to be. I'm staying in a hotel. I'm doing my part.