Monday, June 24, 2013

Eyes Not Shut

What kind of sick fuck invented the Sleep Study? “Hey, how ‘bout I cement a buncha shit to your face and then watch you not sleep for nine hours?” Sign me the fuck up, assbag!

I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I should explain why I ever agreed to participate in such a pointless pigfuck. I think the answer is that, once again, I listened to a doctor. I’ve gotta remember to stop doing that.

So, I’ve been having this issue with asthma that just kinda came out of nowhere about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been to a succession of doctors who get more and more specialized and less and less able to explain what the shit is going on. 

I started my quest by visiting an allergist. Allergists are really good at telling you that you’re allergic to everything, giving you weekly injections and handing out an assload of nose sprays and inhalers. That’s basically all they know how to do. They couldn’t really explain what was going on with me (surprise), so they sent me to a pulmonologist.

I visited the pulmonologist. Pulmonologists are really good at explaining how allergists don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, ordering a bunch of breathing tests and handing out a different assload of inhalers. They couldn’t explain what was going on with me (shocking) but they thought I should maybe go to a gastroenterologist to talk about reflux.

I visited the gastroenterologist. Now, gastroenterologists, much like their area of focus, are assholes. They’re really good at bad-mouthing allergists and pulmonologists and handing out Prilosec. That’s literally all they do. The “doctor” actually said, “Well, there’s really nothing I can do, other than tell you to take two pills a day instead of the one you’re already taking.” How many years of med school did it take for you to learn that brilliant, nuanced treatment, ya worthless turdcake? 

Finally, I was sent to a different pulmonologist in that mecca of diagnostic medicine… Ann Arbor. Now, that’s akin to venturing from Mayberry to Raleigh. Actually, more like going from Hooterville to Pixley. Needless to say, my expectations were in the shitter. The crooked, outdoor shitter built by Ralph and Alf Monroe.

The new pulmonologist was a nice guy, mind you. I’ll give them that, all the doctors I’ve seen are… nice (except for the gastroenterologist. He’s just a douchespigot.). This new guy put me on a new inhaler… check. He had me do a breathing test… check. He prescribed me a different nose spray… check. And he told me to go get a sleep study. DING-DING-DING! (See second paragraph.) I guess I agreed to do it because… well, because it was something different. I had already submitted to every other moronic fucking diagnostic test invented. Why not toss a sleep study log onto the fire?

So, on a Thursday night, I drove out to the sleep study building that’s situated in the middle of some random farm on the outskirts of Ann Arbor. Why is it on a farm? I guess a bullshit science like “sleep studying” needs a steady stream of fresh bullshit to keep it running at maximum bullshit level. Anywhich, they buzzed me in and I filled out an assload of paperwork absolving them of any liability on the highly likely chance they accidentally killed me in my sleep. Then they took me to my room. Now, the brochure they sent me said I’d be spending the night in a “special hotel room.” In reality, it looked a lot like the room I’ll probably find myself in when I’m just about to die. Bed, tray, TV on the wall, nurse button, safety bars, monitors and a big ol’ box of latex gloves.

The minute I walked into that room, I knew I wasn’t going to sleep a fucking wink.

A man nurse and a lady nurse made me sit in a chair and then they proceeded to tape, stick and hot glue gun a shitload of wires to my head, face, chest and legs. I lost count but I’m guessing there were, say, 9712 wires adhered to my person. Oh, and the lady nurse was new, so the man nurse had to keep explaining to her that what she was doing was really wrong, all while unsticking and resticking the wires, adding an extra hour or so to the joyous proceedings.

When they were done, they asked if I had to go to the bathroom and, realizing that that might be my last chance to drain it before they plugged me into the wall, I said that, indeed, I did. So they wrapped all the wires around my neck like some sort of robot ascot and I shuffled into the bathroom like… well, like an ascot-wearing robot. I managed to whiz a bit but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up at 3:00 in the AM like I am wont to do, so I winky-tinked some more. And then I sat there and thought about waterfalls, rain on a tin roof and garden hoses until I peed some more. I peed until air came out, basically. Then I shuffled back into my death closet.

By this time, the man nurse had left, so the newbie lady nurse plugged me in (not a euphemism, unfortunately). She told me that I could watch TV for a while and that it would shut off automatically in about a half an hour. Then the lights would go off and I would drift off to a robotic slumberland. Then she said, “Oh, and if you need anything, just talk because we’ll be listening all night and that camera on the ceiling will by videoing you. Sleep tight!”

That cinched it – I definitely would not be sleeping one wink’s worth of sleep that night.

And I didn’t. Okay, maybe I got a couple of hours of winks but that’s it. It was literally me just lying there, sighing heavily, trying to will myself to sleep, which is about as effective as trying to will myself to grow thicker eyebrows. And if you’ve seen my eyebrows lately… well, lemme know because I sure as shit haven’t seen them. Fuck you, Peter Gallagher.

And that’s pretty much the saga. There’s really no revelatory ending to this pathetic tale. I struggled through my two hours of sleep and then the lights came on at 6:00 AM and they told me to get the fuck out. I haven’t heard anything since. I can’t imagine what the pulmonologist is going to make of the results. He’ll probably say something like, “Well, I still don’t know where your asthma is coming from but we now know that you have trouble falling asleep when people glue shit to your face and force you to sleep in artificial death-rooms.” 

If he recommends that I go see a sleep doctor, I’m gonna cut the fucker.