Due to concerns from a loving husband and a caring friend, this is where I found myself last night - the Sleep Treatment Center at Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines.
I checked in at 8 p.m., overnight bag stuffed with pjs, slippers, tons of catch up reading material and a sense of adventure, paving the way for others....
These are the lovely accomodations, far from the Ritz, but not uncomfortable.
Les, my efficient technician proceeded to give me the details, hook me up from head to ankle, leave the room, give me directions over a mike from some unknown space, remind me to sleep on my back as best as I could (never easy for me!), and wish me good night.
By this time, it was 9:30, far past my bedtime, but I was reluctant to turn out the light. I worked a crossword puzzle, partially, then browsed a few catalogs. I was pretty sure I wouldn't fall asleep in my usual seconds, but I decided to get on with the night so plunged myself into darkness.
Here I am with all my wires and belts.
It seemed a long time before I fell asleep, many Hail Marys said.
During his initial explanation, Les had informed me that he might wake me up in the middle of the night to try a CPAP on me. I wasn't really sure what that was,
but I wasn't happy with the thought that if he didn't try the CPAP on me, I'd probably have to come back another night. By this time it didn't seem nearly so fun and I was questioning my sanity for putting myself through this.
Sure enough, 1 a.m. Les is right there with the lovely CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine - the dreaded mask!). Once again he suggested that he'd get the best readings if I slept on my back - rats!
It took a bit of practice breaths, but I did get the hang of it before too long. I actually did go back to sleep till my favorite hour of 4:20. All you people who make fun of me - if you ever do one of these you'd be wishing you had my gift. I called out to Les - "Can I get out of here now?" Happily he said yes.
Here I am just before he started ever so gently ripping tape off my face, legs, hair.
Shortly thereafter I was on my way home with great appreciation for my lovely own bed with the two happy to see me bodies reclining there.
So why did I do it????
When I retired one thing I resolved to myself was to get my body back in better shape. It's been an uphill battle, made far more difficult by my deep love of food and wine. However there are a few things to do that are easier than others - get a regular check-up, mammogram, eye exam. If following through on a sleep study will reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, I'm willing to do it - I'll even wear a mask every night if required. I have so many loved ones who are dealing with major illnesses. Being majorly ill is a full time job with NO perks and NO fun. Retirement has made me realize how much fun there is to be had in every day and I'd like to continue having fun for a while.
I realize I've included no real info on what sleep apnea is, but I will when I find out if I actually have it. Stay tuned for results on Tuesday.