[Note: This is the final installment, part 4 of 4]
I got home and told my wife about the Sleep Doctor appointment.
“Doctors orders, Beloved. I’m supposed to eat and drink like Henry the VIII.”
“And how is that different than any other night?” she asked.
“Ha. Ha. Seriously, I need to fail this test to go further in the sleep study.”
“Hey, if your failing miserably means the possible end of your snoring, I’m all in. Can I pour you another glass, your Majesty?”
Ah, permission! Sweet permission to party like it’s 1999. I waive an imaginary drumstick in the air to indicate my approval.
As you might imagine, “Mick, Party of One,” was a fun night. I tried to coax my wife into joining me, but she was far too wise for that on a school night. Bless her heart, she kept filling my glass of wine and I vaguely recall a shot of something at some point.
Looking back on it now, I realize was slightly more buzzed than I had been in some time. Which would have been fine if I hadn’t forgotten I still needed to strap on and hook up this sophisticated monitoring device.
[Note: The above is not me or the monitoring device I wore]
My wife was already deep into dreamland when the very celebratory Henry the VIII crept into the bedroom as quietly as a tranquilized Ox. Once there, I was confronted immediately by the complexity of the device I was supposed to wear with diminished capacity now eager to assist me. In the office, I had paid as much attention to how to put it on as I do when flight attendants demo the seat belt. I was regretting that pattern now.
There were tiny tubes that were supposed to go up my nose and headgear to keep it all in place. Attached to that, was a belt and a battery pack that was intended to be worn across my belly, but how to turn it on?
[Note: This is still not me or the monitoring device I wore.]
Initially, I’m sure I attempted to be quiet, but after a frustrating 10 minutes I’m reasonably certain I forgot that plan. Details are hazy, but I believe I must have fallen over and awakened my wife who was now standing above me.
“You didn’t really think this out, did you?” she said looking down on me like the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen in my life.
“No. I. did. not.” I said sticking to monosyllabic, easy to pronounce utterances.
“Did you read the instructions?”
“No. I. did. not.” I said again, happy the phrase I’d just mastered would work again.
“What would you do without me?”
“I. would. be. a. sad. snoring. lonely. man,” I said unaware of the rhetorical nature of her query. “Did I forget to mention how beautiful you look this fine evening, m’Lady?”
So my brilliant wife finds the instructions, actually reads them, hooks up a couple of missing wires, presses a button and a light comes on indicating it’s WORKING! I was more in love with her at that time than any other inebriated moment I could recall. I told her this many times. And then I told her again how much I loved her because I was sure it wasn’t really sinking in. And then I said so once more because maybe she thought it was the drink talking? I assured her I would love her this much even in the morning. She finally told me, in no uncertain terms, that she was fully apprised of my love in this moment, and that I did not need to tell her anymore this evening. I recall feeling desperately wounded at the time, but forgot that the moment my head hit the pillow.
The next morning, I was definitely worse for wear. Ouch. After an ocean of coffee, I finally began to function at about 37% capacity. I managed to drive to the sleep center and turned in my test gear for them to analyze.
Late in the afternoon, the call came in from the sleep nurse.
“Mick, the results are in and you have severe sleep apnea. You’re waking every 54 seconds.”
“That’s GREAT! I FAILED!!!” I said. “I mean, oh, that’s terrible. Hmm,… what exactly am I supposed to say at this juncture?”
“Just tell me you can pick up your CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) machine at 11am on Wednesday,” she said.
I’ve been wearing it for about a week and my son still calls me Bane and insists on putting on the CPAP mask and pretending to be a super villain. My wife stopped calling me Darth Vader and generally weeps in the morning when I ask her how she slept. Apparently, I no longer snore. I’m not completely comfortable using it, but it’s more comfortable than being punched and cursed at all night long.
And definitely better than sleeping on the couch.
[Note, the below is not me or the device I wore. This is Bane, from the last Batman movie.]