Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Hazy World Between Sleep And Reality

Last summer I spent an uncomfortable night hooked up to a bunch of machines at the Northwest Hospital sleep clinic. The next morning, after the wires and goo were all removed, it was confirmed; as my doctor and my girlfriend who was ready to eviscerate me because of my snoring had suspected, I have sleep apnea. A week later, I received my fancy new CPAP, just as I had always dreamed of as a child.

CPAP stands for continuous positive air pressure-catchy, I know. What happens is you put on a little mask type thing and air is forced down your windpipes to keep them open, ensuring that you are in fact breathing in your sleep, which I hear is important. Despite being awkward at first, the CPAP has been life changing.

For starters, I actually sleep well, something that I never knew was possible before. It is amazing how much more productive you can be when you don’t wake up every morning feeling hung-over from lack of oxygen and have to skulk through the day like a sleep deprived zombie.

Aside from the obvious health and psychological benefits, another interesting thing has come with treating my sleep apnea. I get up earlier than the GF, which means that I generally go to bed before her. I try to read for a while, but that usually puts me to sleep pretty fast. When Terrell comes to bed, I am usually in the early, light stage of sleep and when I hear her I half wake up and start talking about really strange things.

For example, one night I was laying there laughing. She asked me what was so funny and I replied "it is stupid." Upon further investigation, I admitted that I was laughing about a game where you roller skate around and try to catch chickens! That actually sound pretty fun, but I have no idea where it came from. It has happened several other times. During the Olympics I came up with: "Mr Farnsworth is in the bobsled competition." Mr Farnsworth was my cranky junior high principal and I highly doubt that he was an elite winter athlete of any kind.

The weirdest part is that I remember waking up and talking to her and in my delirious state I feel that what I am saying is totally reasonable and that she is crazy for not understanding. However, I am always totally surprised the next day when she tells me what I was saying. The mind is truly a strange and complicated thing. I hope that I never talk about anything really embarrassing, like the small tail that I had removed when I was a pup...I mean baby.

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