Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the only thing you absolutely have to do during a sleep study...

...is sleep. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. I mean after all, you're there because you have a sleeping disorder, right?

I had a totally incorrect vision in my head of the clinic. It's actually in an apartment building uptown near central park west. The very spacious apartment, on the ground floor, was turned into clinical counseling offices by three clinicians. I think my doc is the husband of one of the clinicians. Anyway, he's the fourth doc in the group that share the rent and space.

The others work during the day, and he does sleep studies at night. Two of the clinician's offices have twin-sized murphy beds in them that are pulled down at night for the studies. Then everything is cleaned up in the morning before the other docs and their patients arrive. It puts us sleep study patients in rush mode in the morning to try to clean gunk out of our hair and get out early.

The verdict of last night's study: seriously disrupted sleep, but not caused by apnea. This will sound funny, but I had hoped the answer was apnea. Not because I want to have apnea, but because I wanted it to be easily diagnosed and treated, so that I could get better.

Instead, I now get to have more tests and be referred to more docs. So, soon it will be off to a neurologist for that EKG at the very least, perhaps an MRI as well. And off to an ENT specialist about my sinuses.

In addition, the current doc is strongly considering another sleep study, this one for narcolepsy. Now he doesn't think I have narcolepsy -- in fact, the only symptom I have is the disrupted sleep -- but he wants to rule that out before sending me to a neurologist. The narcolepsy study includes an overnight study, and a full day following the overnight during which you take 5 separate naps, which are monitored just like the overnight sleep.

What we do know after last night is that when I do sleep, I don't even sleep for a full hour (why I'm awakened is the $64 thousand dollar question). So even three or four sleep periods during a 7 hour night net me a mere 2 or 3 hours of sleep tops.

And, as my doc pointed out, sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture for a reason.

The only good thing that came out of this study is that my lack of ability to sleep is now documented. Well, that...and now we know my sleep deprivation isn't caused by blocked breathing.

3 comments:

fellahere said...

Waving hello. I'm reading just not commenting too much lately.

Great good luck to you with the tests. I think they know what they are doing.

Infinitesimal said...

As someone with PTSD, I am all for tranquilizers at night.

otherwise, i do the very same thing, I wake up every hour or so, look at the clock, sometimes it is creepily on the EXACT minute as the hour before!

I am really glad to hear you are getting some good care, and some answers are coming.

You seem to be the type of person who justcarries on until the situation becomes critical (a strong woman)
I bet you have a high threshold for pain too, just like me.

Please keep us posted.

Another thing to consider, is waking up every hour because you were in a strange environment. I cannot sleep at all outside of my own bed.

Well, anyway, just came to say hello, and shoot you out a pithy comment.

how's the RR and teacher conflict thing going? Is she doing OK now?

Spring said...

Hey fella! Hello back.

infini, I had always avoided sleeping aids because I thought I had apnea. I was afraid that if I were on a tranquilizer, my body wouldn't rouse itself if the breathing were blocked. Since I don't have apnea, we'll see.

Yep, I tend to just deal with things until they get really bad. That's partly because of the past, and problems getting medical care. You just learn to deal and go on.

A part of the problem that night was the new environment, but it was a reflection of the type of sleep I typically have. I don't wake up every hour. What happened that night was that I fell asleep three different times, but didn't sleep for a full hour any of the times. The rest of the time I was awake, trying to get to sleep.

RR and teacher thing going much better.