The Saga of Sleep Apnea

There comes a time in your life when you want to sleep and you just can’t.  Warm milk (I know, how vomitable),  sleeping pills,  natural herbs and supplements.  All these things just can’t help you get to sleep.

In my earlier blog I touched upon having Sleep Apnea and how it was affecting my health and my family but most importantly my sanity.

After some initial resistance on my part I conceded to my Wife to have the Sleep Study done.  I was always tired,  fatigued and irritable.  My drinking was way out of control and when I imbibed too much it would sound like a 7.0 on the Richter Scale in my Bedroom.  Then when I would have an Apnea my Wife would really wake up…from the silence.  I would stop breathing.  Sometimes for a few seconds then others for about 45 seconds.  Then BANG!  I would start to breathe again then start the process all over again.  Fun.

The study was done back in the Fall of 2003 here in Rochester, NY.  After my PCP (fancy abrev. for Primary Care Physician) referred me to a Sleep Specialist then the ball really got rolling.

The study was done in 2 parts and the first night was not fun at all.  But it was interesting and at times very calming but the clinical and sterile surroundings of the faux hotel style room was a bit too much to get used to.  I did bring comics and watched some PBS.  I think Celtic women was on.  And something about the World Trade Centers.  Hell, I even brought my Coldplay CD.

After an initial check in and a boring tour of the very Micheal Crichton- like facility and Lab they led me to the room and introduced me to the Polysomnographer.  I met as well with the Center’s Respiratory Therapist.  He was a very lanky, bushy haired and hairy armed individual with wiry specs in scrubs.  Just what an RT who is camping overnight with you in the next room should look like.  He was very polite, professional and informative.  He explained what the process would entail and how they would hook up the leads, perform an Oximetry and plug me up to have my Apneas, O2 and sleeping patterns monitored.  Plus keep tabs on how many Aps an hour and how long they would last. As well as record any REM patterns.  After the Tech finished hooking leads, cables and wires to me (which felt like it took an hour) I was all set to get some sleep and THEY would be watching.

I looked like a horrific science project gone wrong straight out of Mary Shelley’s tome.  It was not pretty and I was expected to sleep with all these extensions glued to my head, fingers, chest, legs and arms.  All they needed was 5 good hours of REM sleep they said.  Shit.  How was I to get to sleep even with Celtic Women on PBS looking back down at me from the stage and laughing their asses off?

What followed next that night at the Sleep Disorder Center would change my life and my sleeping habits forever…


  1. Hi Victor I read the whole blog. Very Interesting & thank you for sharing. The sleep apnea symptoms are hard to deal with huh? Geez! I know I have it. I have been controlling it for years but It’s still there. I did have a sleep study but they did not find anything. I cannot understand this. I will have to go back and make an appointment for another study and It will have to be during the day when I sleep. It’s been bad lately my sleep. The sleeping difficulty experiences are very similar to mine. Talk to you soon.

  2. You might be having very mild (or Central) apneas and that is why they could not find anything. Do you or can you get a copy of your last sleep study? Your PCP should have a copy then get another referral and get another study done. Ask your Wife, too, if you are still snoring very loud and if you snort or gasp for breath while you sleep. That would indicate an apnea episode. Thanks for commenting!


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