I’m telling you what, after a night on the mask, I feel so energetic I’m actually THINKING ABOUT DOING HOUSEWORK!

Okay, so I went to the sleep clinic again last night to try out masks and pressures to treat my sleep apnea.

As I pulled in shortly before 8:00 pm, the parking lot was dark, but I wasn’t apprehensive this time. I’m a rapid nester: Since I’d been here once before, I felt comfortable coming back.

Well, maybe. That long deserted hall is not very jolly. Still, what could I expect–hula boys? It’s a sleep clinic, not a dream clinic.

I took a picture of the monitors–one for me and one for the other patient.

The tech last time was nice, but the one this time was REALLY nice! She didn’t make coffee until the patients were asleep, and she offered us some when we got up. She also offered snacks. Just packaged peanut butter or cheese crackers, but she offered.

She also said I could stay up and watch television. Nothing was on I wanted to see, and I was so sleepy after a day without caffeine that I couldn’t have stayed awake past 10, but she didn’t tell me I had to go to bed whether I wanted to or not. Boy, that other tech was a mean mommie!

So she wired me up like last time, and then she brought in the mask I’d said was the least intolerable last time. I asked her to take a picture for the blog. She said, “Smile!” and I did my best, but it’s hard to smile with a piece of foam squishing down against your upper lip. When she saw my monkey drawers, she said, “Oh, monkeys! The other lady has frogs, so it’s a great night!” You gotta love a tech with that attitude. I bonded. I really did.

It was part of her job to mess around with the pressure level, to see how I responded to them so the doctor can prescribe the setting for my machine. So I would go to sleep breathing one way and wake up breathing another way. I kept waking up with my mouth “cotton-dry”, as Charlie says. She said that’s because one’s jaw goes slack during REM sleep, and the air that was pushing into my nose was pushing back out through my open mouth. She offered to put a chin strap on me, but that was at least one strap too many. It was stepping over the line from “funny-looking” and heading deep into “scaring the cats” territory. So she tried me on the “full-face mask”. It isn’t really full-face, it’s nose-and-mouth, and I really liked it. I didn’t get a picture in it, but I’ll have Charlie take a picture when I get my own. I think I’ll put a Hello Kitty sticker on it, maybe.

Anyway, I woke up with a bit of a caffeine-withdrawal headache, but the tech made me some coffee and gave me some peanut butter crackers.

Now here’s what they don’t tell you, children. I had read about it in the material they put beside your bed, so I was prepared. Now you’ll be prepared, too.

The machine blows what? — Air.
The larynx is next to what? — The esophagus.
The esophagus is part of what? — The digestive system.
So air that leaks into the esophagus makes you do what? — The answer starts with “f”, and it isn’t nearly as much fun as the “f” word you first thought of.

And so, as I stepped into the dawn, I thought that, considering that side effect–if “side” is the direction I want to reference–and considering my energy level, I could totally be a super-hero today! Look! Just above the tree-line! Is it–YES! It’s The Apneac!!

Zoom! Zoom!

MA
writing prompt: Give a character an unusually great night’s sleep.

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