My Night at the Hospital

Must... destroy... mankind...
Must... destroy... mankind...

Last night I headed to the Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, where I spent the night in a sleep lab to be tested for sleep apnea.  That somewhat explains the absurdly horrible picture of me at right.

The process was pretty interesting.  I had basically my own little hotel room.  I hung around for a while before the doctor came in and got me all wired up.  The wiring took about an hour.  This involved hooking all sorts of little electrodes to my head to measure brain wave activity.  Since my skin is oily and the electrodes wouldn’t stick, they had to use a very powerful glue to keep them attached to me.  Some of them were in my hair, others in my facial hair.  I had also cords running around my chest and waist, down my shorts, and tubes in my nose.

Around 10:30, I was told to try going to sleep.  This is a good hour before my usual bed time, so I was wide awake for at least a half hour before dozing off.  All the while, my every motion was being monitored in the control room.  I slept fine until I was woken up at 2:30 or so, and the doctor suggested we try out the CPAP machine to see how I’d respond.  It basically is an oxygen mask that goes over your nose.  It took a while to get used to, but I was soon fast asleep, and when I was woken up at 6, I actually felt somewhat refreshed.  The doctor unhooked all the wires and sent me to the shower.  I couldn’t get all the glue out of my hair.

In two weeks I have to go back and find out if I have apnea.  If so, the recommended action is to use a CPAP machine while sleeping.  I’m sure I will explore some other options before resorting to wearing an oxygen mask to bed every night for the next 60 years.  Some opt to have surgery, while others have had dentists make special mouthpieces.

One comment

  1. Wow…pretty serious stuff there Old Man Glanzer. A CPAP in your 20’s?! I hope there is some sort of procedure you can have done to fix it if you do indeed have sleep apnea. At least you were able to sleep during the test…I don’t know if I could have relaxed enough to do it.

    P.S. How’s the babysitting going?

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