holly

sleep study revisited, in which our heroine learns she is not (completely) crazy

Yes, I know I said I would never go back there. But I kind of decided I'd like to, you know...live. There was an entire thought process behind that deciding to live thing, and I may share it at some point, but not widely and not now. This entry is for public consumption. That one won't be.

Since I can't remember what I've said so far on the topic, I went back to the lung doc who said I stop breathing >70 some times an hour while I'm sleeping, and if I want to stay alive, I need to have a cpap. But he was not mean or scary about it like I was afraid he would be. In fact, he was incredibly understanding about (forgive me if this sounds ridiculously melodramatic) the trauma I had experienced at the sleep center, and both he and they bent over backwards to accommodate. They scheduled me for something called "desensitization." They promised I could come when I wanted and leave when I wanted and the idiot tech (her name was Britney, as it turns out; I had forgot it) would not come near me.

So I went yesterday to be "desenisitized."

The person who worked with me is named Cheri, pronounced Shuh-REE. I told her before we did anything else I wanted to tell her what happened before. She leaned back and tucked away her clipboard and seemed to be genuinely present, and I told her about that feeling you get when you're a kid in the back seat of a car and your parents put the windows down and you can't breathe.

Cheri said, "That's amazing that you say that, because that's the exact example I use when I'm explaining what happened to patients."

It's a thing.

As she explained it, there's a nerve (actually two) called the phrenic nerve. It times your diaphragm; when it misfires it causes hiccups. And, if it senses too much air pressure, it shuts your airway so your lungs don't explode.

Cheri said, "She really had it cranked, and it overstimulated your phrenic nerve."

I said, "So I really couldn't breathe."

Cheri said, "You really couldn't breathe."

I really couldn't breathe.

I'm not some hysterical drama queen having a panic attack and blaming a hapless tech.

Cheri did all the things that should have been done in the first place, if Britney had not been late. She showed me different masks and let me pick. I chose the one Britney had used anyway, because I am a mouth breather. Also the nose-only ones made me thing I would have to change my name to Horton. Seriously. And then we did a test run. I had trouble with it right at first, but only for about twenty seconds. She adjusted the pressure up a couple of times. I could still breathe.

Some other things were discussed, but nothing that strikes me as important right this moment. Then came a point where Cheri said, "I'd like to call Dr [Lung Doc] and tell him you did fine on your desensitation and have him send up an order for a cpap titration appointment."

I said. "Ok. But I'd really like to have, well. Some other tech. Because, well. Trust issues."

"Oh, she no longer works here."

So, cutting to the jist, I have an appointment.

I really couldn't breathe. Everyone believed me. She no longer works there. (Don't know why. Don't need to know why. Do wonder why, though.)

Phrenic nerve. It's a thing! A real thing. I really couldn't breathe. I am not crazy--at least not about this.

I bet in all of history no one has ever been so happy--or even happy!--to find out they couldn't breathe.
  • Location: The Keep
  • Mood: weird
  • Noise: dogs drinking water
Tags: ,
So happy you were finally treated the way you should have been all along - knowledgeably, and with respect.