Of Sleep Studies, Rolling Mauls and Breathing Walls 1

Hi everyone. Yep, I missed a week again, I know. But it’s just one rolling maul at the moment here on Planet Izzy. So, let’s grab a cuppa and catch up, shall we? Here is my last couple of weeks, handily illustrated by memes because I’m sure this will all be funny in 10 years. OK maybe not, but a little smiling can’t hurt!


This past week I had a sleep study to try and figure out what curse my body has decided to inflict on me this time. I knew it was going to be a pretty major ordeal – it’s a two bus journey just to get to the hospital for starters. Upon arrival, I thawed myself out with a nice hazelnut latte and gradually regained the feeling in my feet. I remember looking at the clock in the hospital coffee shop and thinking that in 15 hours I would be on my way home. Hang in there, I told myself. So. Off I go to the sleep lab for the overnight sleep study. I was feeling pretty OK. Wound up, but not too bad. The very nice lady who was going to wire me up then casually mentioned that I was having a PSG and an MSLT. The cogs whirred. OK, I knew what a PSG was. That’s the overnight one. I asked her what an MSLT was. She told me that it was another test that had been ordered. Instead of leaving at 7am, as I had been told initially, I could be there as late as 5:30pm.


Why they hadn’t told me that part was beyond me. I mean, I was geared up for leaving at 7, dodging the rush hour and being home in time for brunch. My protests that I wasn’t told about that part and didn’t particularly want to do it were futile. I was having it. Like it or not. Cue the anxiety. I was wired up.

This will be all the rage on the catwalks next year!

This will be all the rage on the catwalks next year!

I tried to remember to breathe. This was not going at all to plan. I was heavily freaking out and I couldn’t really do anything but sit there and take it. I suppose I could have pulled the wires off in the morning and then discharged myself. But I knew better than to do that, as tempting as it might be. I sat in the canteen area, where they had a TV and worked on a colouring page in my bullet journal.


The lights in the room were quite old flouresants, so pretty soon I looked up at the TV and could only see half of it. Migraine. Yay!


Off I went and had a few rogue wires stuck back on. Then it was sleep time. There were two things going on – the anxiety wanted me to stay awake in this strange place. The migraine ordered me to sleep. Fortunately, the migraine won and I got a reasonable amount of sleep before being woken up at 6:45am. (I had forgotten that time in the morning existed!). Then, the real fun began.


I was told that I would have to take a series of naps, every two hours, starting at 9am, the last one being at 3pm or 5pm depending on whether they had got enough information. I figured this would be pretty easy. Oddly, though, it’s surprisingly difficult to nap on demand! By the end of the third nap, I was having some pretty strange side effects. My hands felt funny, I felt as if I wasn’t quite in my body properly. Then the walls started breathing. But, it looked like once the test had begun, it couldn’t be stopped, so I had to endure another run. By this point, I was in a state where I was neither fully asleep or full awake and felt like I was tripping balls, to use the vernacular. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do a fifth run, which is perhaps as well because I think I would have been howling the walls down if they hadn’t stopped. I’m not sure if that is a normal reaction to the MSLT. I doubt it.


Finally, I was released. My husband came to meet me after I got off the first bus home and plied me with McDonalds. He also brought me a hat, to cover the massive lumps of adhesive I had stuck in my hair. Having some food helped me get back into my body, but the after effects of breathing walls took a while to subside. I’m still recovering from that dose of medical fun 4 days later. I think it’ll be a while before I feel reasonably OK again. This, combined with having a run-in with an idiot locum psychiatrist last week has knocked me pretty much flat. I hope they got enough data out of me because for the sake of my mental health I won’t be doing the MSLT again. I have enough problems with experiencing dream-like hallucinations if I doze off (caused by being exhausted, not by my Bipolar). I don’t need to see the walls breathe, ta very much.


So. What have I been doing? Well, not much. I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo and I had to miss a total of four days because of the sleep study and its after effects. I finally managed to write again yesterday. Fortunately, I was way ahead of where I needed to be, so even with missing so much time I’m still on track. Other than that, I’ve been pretty much sitting still and playing some EVE Online.

Eve Online

I’ve found that if I turn my head too quickly, the room takes a while to catch up and right at the end of the day, when I’m trying to sleep, the walls sometimes breathe or sway gently for a few minutes. I know that it’s just based on being completely exhausted, so I’m not worried from a mental health standpoint, but it is a bit weird! Fortunately, my mental state has survived this onslaught well and I’m feeling OK from that point of view. It is disappointing though, because I was feeling a little bit better (my energy levels on a scale of 1 – 10 went from 1 to 1.5) but now I’m back where I was. Given that I’m still suffering so much, I think I’ll be off work for a little while yet. Oh, and I have an ear infection.


But, you know what? I’ve got this. I’m going to drag myself through and try to keep going. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But I just need to keep plodding slowly on. I’ll get there in the end. Wherever there is!

Note: Obviously the memes in this post were not created by me and copyright remains with the original creators.

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