Sleep Study Part Deux!

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleeping like a logsleep

I dare you to name that tune without looking it up! And which band sang that song a long time ago.

Last time on “No Laughing Matter Living with Depression”, I talked about getting a sleep study done because I’ve been experiencing sleeping problems more prevalent in the past few months. A sleep study was scheduled for Monday, August 13th, when the insurance company denied the approval of a sleep study. Now, I’m going back to my primary doctor to get a home sleep study.

We now return you to your broadcast already in progress: Sleep Study, Part Deux!So, I went back to my primary doctor to see what can be done now since my insurance denied the approval for a sleep study. This is where things get even more funnier: My primary doctor ordered a home sleep study and the sleep center has yet to call me and pick up the equipment in order to do the sleep study. So I made the trip to my doctor’s office for nothing and wasted a 1/4 of tank of gas in my car, just to get the runaround. Now I have to wait patiently for the sleep center to call me. Trust me, I hate the runaround like everyone else. Thankfully, my doctor refunded my office visit because of the hassle that I’m enduring for coming for their office for no reason.

Thankfully after the doctor’s visit was on Monday, the Sleep Center called the very next day and scheduled my home study to start on Wednesday night thru Thursday morning. So I arrived at the Sleep Center at around 8:25am (25 minutes late because I got lost and didn’t read the directions correctly. See why this is important to get a sleep study and why it’s important to sleep! Your body can’t function properly without sleep!) and picked up the equipment and got a detailed list of instructions. Remind you that I’m not a doctor and I can easily screw up just about anything. I kid you not!

The day before my sleep study was scheduled I got a letter in the mail explaining why my sleep study was denied. And as I read the reasons why, I suffered the worst panic attack possible. It was my own fault for not reading it closely and I skimmed it! I can be such a dumbass sometimes.  I forgot to read the part that says “IF” you have one of the following things, you are automatically denied approval. They include your body mass index is greater than 45 (Me! I’m fat!), you have a severe lung disease (Not me!), a disease in your nervous system (Nope! Not me!), a heart problem (No, but I wouldn’t rule it out when you’re overweight!), you have other severe illnesses and physical problems that prevent you from doing the study at home (Nope! Not me!). Not only do I have get my sleep under control, I need to get my ass (Excuse my language!) in gear and lose weight by dieting and exercising. But first things first.

On Wednesday morning, I got up at 7:30am and started my drive towards the hospital. FYI, I take the GPS with me everywhere I go because I can get lost easily (I got lost in downtown Houston when I did jury duty in March and didn’t realized that it was near Minute Maid Park), but I can always find my way. I was scheduled to be there by 8:00am, and well…it was more like 8:25 to 8:30am. Oops! If this were my actual appointment for the sleep study in the hospital and if you’re late at all, then you have to reschedule. Remember, you’re not the only one getting a sleep study in Houston!  When I sat there and thought about it, my therapist’s office is the intersection before the Sleep Center. So if you pass that intersection, the sleep center is on your right hand side in the hospital. DUH. Again, we all have those “I’m a dum dum” or “blonde moments” as I call them. So I parked my car in the lot and went straight into the hospital. I hopped on the elevator and headed up to the 3rd floor and made a right turn towards the right suite number. When I opened the door, it was like walking into someone’s bedroom. NO LIE! I saw a bathroom on the left hand side on your way in and then I was greeted by the sleep technicians. This room was no more than a size of a regular master bedroom. There’s a bathroom, a very tiny office space and then there was a huge king sized bed that looked incredibly comfy. I told the technicians there that if I was approved then I could easily fall asleep there at the hospital. (Remind you that hotel and hospital beds are like sleeping on rocks and are nothing like your comfy bed at home! But I sat on this bed and almost fell asleep. Nice and soft. Not hard and lumpy). In my head, I was expecting the worst. Electrodes all over your body, other patients in their rooms getting their tests done, so much noise and distraction; but nope. It was like going over to a friends’ house for a sleepover.

Basically upon arrival, you speak with the technicians about any and all concerns and questions you have regarding your sleep study. One of my concerns was why the insurance denied me. The nice lady said that happens to a lot of people and insurance companies typically do this because it’s not covered under the plan. (GRRRR! I hate insurance companies sometimes and we will not go down that road of anger and frustration!) She said that it happens and not to worry. The $200 for the home study is what they will bill to my insurance company because I shouldn’t have to pay anything. Another concern of mine was how to conduct this myself. Remember, I got lost in finding the damn place because I’m sleep deprived. So the other (very nice) technician walked me through the process. When you do a sleep study, you go about your day like normal and limit or stop your caffeine intake by 2pm and try not to take any naps at all. And be careful to not eat after 7pm. So, I have to keep myself and my mind busy all day even though I’m on vacation. Oh what to do????? Reading will put me to sleep. Shopping will make me bored. A movie will keep me up. Blasting classic rock music will make me hyper. But I’ll find something to do.

FYI, a home sleep study equipment looks like this and comes in a little briefcase that’s the size of a lunchbox: (In my head, I was expecting the equipment to be a giant briefcase full of crap including electrodes aside from the stuff that I have!)


Pretty straightforward and simple, right!? Remind you, I can screw just about anything and thank God, there’s detailed instructions that come with it. Inside the kit: there’s a the actual sleep device that records your sleep (a sleep recorder?), nose cannulas, chest belt and a pulse oximeter (God, I hope that’s not noisy! I don’t want to hear my pulse all night and may have to get out my earplugs). You have to attach everything together and place tape on the nose cannulas and the pulse oximeter so they don’t fall off while you’re snoozing. When you get up in the morning, you turn off the machine and throw away the nose cannulas and bring the equipment back. Then the doctor will review the results on Tuesdays or Thursdays and will contact you on its findings. So now, I’m really anxious to see what the diagnosis is and what major life changes I will be making from now on. FYI, results will be next Tuesday or Thursday, so stay tuned for Sleep Study Part Tres!

I was really scared that I was going to look like this guy:


NO! Thank you! (I’m a tosser and turner and I would probably strangle myself in my sleep because I move).  You may as well strangle yourself with all of those wires and cords. My uncle did a sleep study like this and he slept for no more than an hour in the hospital. He recommends that you do it at home because it’s more comfortable and less invasive. So I’ll end up looking like this guy below:


This isn’t that bad, right? You’re sleeping in your own bed and so what if there’s a little machine around your chest. I’d rather take that then the guy in the picture above with all the electrodes. Typically, sleep technicians will tell you to sleep on your back and try not to toss or turn. (I make NO guarantees!) You don’t want unplug anything and then have to start all over again. (There is tape that comes in the kit to tape everything down.) So I’ll have to restrain myself and train my brain to not move in my sleep. Easier said than done! But what’s more heartbreaking of all, is that my Chihuahuas will have to sleep in their dog beds for the entire night. (Yes! Los siento, girls!) They usually sleep with me, but not tonight. Imagine the look on their faces when I tell them they have to sleep in their own beds and not in the “big” bed. Very angry Chihuahuas! It’s only for one night!

So, I filled out my bedtime questionnaire and I will not lie during the part where it says:
“Did you take a nap today?”. Yes! It will also asked how much caffeine you consumed today. No coffee, just one diet soda. I actually drank that whole can. I usually stop after a few sips. But mostly, drank water and had my three meals and no more. But it was a short interrupted nap because of a very loud thunderstorm. That woke me up as well as the dogs and motivated me to not go back to sleep. I had a dream that I took an afternoon nap and then didn’t wake up for seven hours. And then couldn’t start the sleep study. Call it my “anxious mind” that would concoct such an irrational dream, but it woke me up really fast after dozing off for 90 minutes.

My goal is to go to sleep at 10pm and stop the test at around 6am. So all day I behaved like a good child and said NO to caffeine, NO to munching after 7pm, and NO to napping. Ok, I tried taking a nap around 1pm and I did. But only for a short 90 minutes. I ate healthy and took my medications. I can’t wait until this over. Hopefully in T-minus 4 1/2 hours, I will be off to dreamland and keeping my fingers crossed when the results come in. I will set my alarm for 6am and I will remember to bring the equipment back tomorrow morning at 8am (As I promised the sleep technicians because they have other patients that are doing this study, too!). I will not get lost this time and not forget that it’s the next intersection after my therapist’s office!

For the official results stay tuned next week Tuesday or Thursday……….for Sleep Study Part Tres!





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