Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Knitting up the raveled sleave of care


So last night my way of celebrating St Patrick's Day was to take myself over to a sleep lab and allow myself to be hooked up with all kinds of wires so that I resembled William Hurt in Altered States and then I was asked to relax (!) and go to sleep, and I finally did, and in the middle of a dream involving way too many hamburgers and a train station in Switzerland, the sleep tech turned on the lights (oh, how rude!) and brought me a mask and said I should put it on because I stopped breathing about 80 times per hour.

This mask is a series of elastic straps that go around the head and a vinyl nose-cover that extends into your nostrils, or it should do so if you don't have narrow nostrils like I do, and the mask attaches to a tube which blows a constant stream of air down your throat. So I tried it for 10 seconds or less and felt like I would suffocate and I knew that I would never, ever be able to make this a part of my nightly routine. Who can blame me? But apparently it may be the only thing that works for my relatively severe problem, and I don't like my chances for heart disease, stroke, and hypertension if I don't do something. I'm biding my time and waiting for someone to tell me it isn't true.