Last night, in the latest effort to find out the cause of my breathing problems, I had a sleep study at the Superior Sleep Centre.
A sleep study is designed to help physicians diagnose conditions such as:
- Sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea
- Sleep-related seizure disorders
- Sleep-related movement disorders, such as periodic limb movement disorder
- Sleep disorders that cause extreme daytime tiredness, such as narcolepsy
In my case, we’re obviously more concerned with looking for a breathing-related sleep disorder which can range from chronic or habitual snoring to upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) to frank obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or, in some cases, obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS).
However, as a life-long insomniac who suffers from night terrors from C-PTSD the thought of a sleep study was rather funny. Added to which, since I’ve had my current breathing issues I haven’t been able to sleep anywhere but in a recliner, as I start coughing as soon as I try lying down.
Anyway, last night was the night. Kai and I packed up and headed to the centre for 8pm. We were one of the first to arrive so were soon shown to our room and asked to complete a number of forms and questionnaires before changing into PJs (shorts and a T-shirt in my case as I can’t stand anything around my legs in my sleep).
Then they hooked me up. 45 minutes later I looked even more like an alien than I did before. As you can see from the educational image below, it’s a lot of leads and wires. After a few reminders, Kai was phenomenal about leaving them alone. Though he delighted in being allowed to help take them off this morning!
We then rested and read for an hour or so while the technician wired up other patients, then we did a potty break and she connected this lot up to the monitoring equipment.
We ran through some exercises to check everything was working properly and settled down for the night.
With the help of some extra pillows, I was able to get in a reasonably comfortable position. Kai had no such issues. He just curled up around my arm and relaxed.
Now, unfortunately, they had placed me in the room next to the shared washroom so Kai did take a while to fully settle and stop alerting to somebody being at the door but he didn’t take long.
My sleep was probably actually a little better in the centre than at home in that while it took me hours to get to sleep, once I got to sleep I think I woke up less and I certainly slept a little later than usual. However, we were still the first ones up and released this morning.
It will take about 6-8 weeks for all the results to be scored and the information provided back to my specialist and family doctor. Hopefully, there will be an answer to my breathing difficulties.
Kai and I got home just before 6am this morning when Molly was delighted to see us. Everybody went potty and had breakfast and we all went back to bed! Well (to the reclining couch) where ironically I actually managed to sleep for another hour to so!
Now if only I could sleep, and wake up feeling rested, things would be really improving!