Last night I participated in a sleep study set up by my doctor. I had heard complaints from friends about my snoring so I mentioned it during my last check-up. Within one week I made an appointment to spend the night in a facility off of I-35 and W. Mockingbird here in Dallas. I was a little nervous to be honest. Holly Tamale and I spent the evening walking around Fair Park (it was absolutely gorgeous weather, too good to stay inside) and made veggie tacos. But the whole time my mind was pre-occupied, not only with the sleep study, but the eviction notice posted on my door the previous day! More on that later.
I arrived at the lab around 9 pm. The Mockingbird Towers sit right off the highway, a rather non-descript set of buildings that most people in Dallas have passed countless times without giving much thought. The cleaning crew let me in and I made my way to the security desk to inquire where suite 200 W was. I was greeted by my tech, Jessica, a very sweet young woman. I asked what was expected of me and she told me to relax while she attended another participant. It took about an hour before she saw me again. By this time I had changed into my pajamas, filled out the forms and watched a frightening video of a fat man attending a sleep study before being told by his doctor that he would have to wear a breathing mask to bed FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Dear God, no. The small room I was occupying resembled a low rent Hilton, although there was no sink or bathroom in the room. The bed was a firm mattress and the room temperature was set to freezing. Brrrr.
Jessica informed me that she was going to attach the various wires to my head, torso and legs with a putty-like adhesive. The goop was smeared into the back of my head. She told me hot water would remove it. After hooking me up, I immediately had to go to the rest room. That involved her unhooking me and me shuffling through the hallway trailing a mess of wires. “Don’t get it wet,” is all she said.
I read a bit before turning off the lights. I could clearly hear people in the next room talking. I laid in bed starring up at the blinking lights in the ceiling. There was a video camera above the bed, monitoring my every move. Horrifying. I think I got about two hours of sleep the whole night. I repeated woke up, the thin wires grafted onto my skin, pulling and tugging. On my back, on each side…nothing. I could not get comfortable. I had to go to the restroom one other time and pushed the call button to get Jessica to come in and unhook me.
I woke up around 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Jessica came in one final time about 15 minutes later and told me I was free to go. After pulling all the wires off me (ouch), I filled out a questionnaire, put on my pants and walked out the building into the still dark morning. Driving home, I thought to myself, “I still have time to make it back and squeeze in a couple hours of sleep.”