Hot on the heels of my last encounter with the sleep lab, I had my follow up appointment last night where they gave me a trial of CPAP. I have to admit, I was a little more apprehensive about this trip to the sleep lab than I was for my last one. I think the reason for this was because I had become very resistant to the idea that I was going to need any kind of CPAP. I wasn’t sure what it would entail. I admit that I had this image of being hooked up to a large machine a la the WOPR in WarGames and strapped in bed a la Christopher Crawford in Mommie Dearest. Even talking to a couple friends of mine who are roughly my age and use CPAP nightly didn’t make me feel a whole lot better about it. Between this and my less-than-ideal lipid profile, I feel like my body’s falling apart and I haven’t even hit 40. And, naturally, my response to that is to be bucky and mad at it because that seems to be my M.O. these days.
I needn’t have feared. A lot of it was the same as before. I still ended up being Dan-cutus of Borg. The same wires and electrodes were hooked up to me, just like the last time. The biggest difference this time was that the tech took some time to show me a bunch of different CPAP masks prior to me shuffling off the dreamland. Contrary to what I was expecting, none of them covered both the mouth and the nose. I was expecting nothing short of a Darth Vader helmet and what actually ended up getting was something very small that covered just my nose. There were 4 different ones that I was shown, and with the exception of one that went INTO my nose (no thanks!), they were all pretty much the same. The one I chose ended up being the one that the rep had been in just the other day hawking, which also means it’s probably the most expensive. I guess I’m just high maintenance. It’s also called the True Blue Nasal CPAP mask. I find it fitting that I chose a CPAP mask that shares a name with a classic Madonna album.
Anyway, here’s what it kind of looks like on someone.
You know that’s not me because that guy has about 100x less gray hair than I do. But not too bad, right? Honestly, at first, it felt a little bit more like this, only minus the whole alien embryo being implanted into my chest (although you never know.)
I was surprised by the fact that it didn’t really take all that long to get used to it. I think the hardest part for me was convincing myself that yes, I really could turn over on to my side and it would not fall off my face. Because it was my first time trying CPAP, they also put the ultra-sexy chin strap on me that reminded me a bit of what people in cartoons wear when they have a toothache. It felt so confining at first, I was convinced I would never fall asleep, not no way, not no how. But the next thing I knew, I was sleeping.
It’s so disorienting in those rooms when you do wake up because there are no clocks. So I was doubly shocked when the tech came in at 6:15 AM and said it was time to get up. I swear I had just fallen asleep. Apart from a couple times that I woke up when the mask started leaking and I had a mild urge to pee (but not enough to call the tech in to get unhooked from the wall), the night seemed to be about 2 minutes long. I woke up awake but not alert, but once I shook off the morning tired, I’m really starting to think that I haven’t slept that well in I can’t even remember how long.
I’m a little bit tired this morning, but nothing like my normal level of fatigue. Most of that, I think, comes from not sleeping in my own bed and sleeping with the Borg assimilation wires attached. But I don’t feel tempted to go back to bed and sleep for 6 hours which is what I did after the last sleep study.
So I guess the next step is I go back to my doctor, get a prescription for a machine and mask and see what happens. So far, insurance has been a huge blessing because they paid every red cent of the last sleep study, and at $3800, even 10% or 20% of that would have been a lot. I’m not sure how they’ll pay on the machine, but we’ll see.
With this, I’ve completed my transformation into the sexiest man alive! Truthfully, the whole thing makes me feel like I’m 90, but if it helps me sleep and helps me feel better, who gives a shit?
All I know is this is the song I’ll be singing as I walk around today, more rested than I have been in a damn long time.
(nice live performance there, GA)