Sleep On Demand...

Wish I could order that on Apple TV.

Sleeping is the part of the night time that I impersonate a bulldozer filled with revving gas powered buzz saws cowering under an endless parade of fully charged monster trucks in a stadium filled with screaming, drunk truckers.

At least that's what the husband tells me.

OK I admit I've awakened abruptly to the sound of snoring before I just figured it was HIM. In spite of his denial I am convinced that I've heard him cracking knuckles in his throat. A few weeks ago he decided to mention that when I sleep the buzz saws start up in low gear then progressively increase to monster truck stadium scream until....

I suddenly stop.

For what seems like minutes there is no sound, nothing, just edge-of-the-cliff-like-Wile.-E. Coyote-suspended-in-mid-air-before-he-drops quiet. Until...


Like the one you take after holding your breath underwater too long. 
My jaw dropped when he told me. After the very bad heart day you'd think this might be a thing. Like something I'd need to know. Like right away or at the very least a YEAR BEFORE MY HEART STOPPED. But at least he mentioned it.

Within the week I had talked to my cardiac consultant, my doctor and the lady whose job it was to process my request at the clinic and was walking into a downtown office tower to spend my Sunday night in a 'sleep' clinic. Ironical operative word of note: 'sleep'. You don't get to actually sleep, you 'sleep'.

After signing my life away (again, what is it with the medical profession? We die, we get it), I was put in a examining room with a double bed. After I got into my PJs they started by smearing a cold, wet tooth paste-like goo in strategic spots on my face, head, body, then stuck electrodes into the setting toothpaste/concrete . They shoved stuff in my nose, wrapped TWO belts tightly around my body and turned on the florescent night light and left me to 'sleep'. 


There was a camera lens pointed at the bed, the room was wired for sound so they could count snores and please-God-let-that-be-the-absolute-worst-thing-they-hear. It was mortifyingly uncomfortable and strange to have wires attached EVERYWHERE. I started to become hyper-concious of everything! I was grinding my teeth to the rhythm of that insipid Gotye song and began to wonder if they could make out what the tune was. Could they read my mind? Did they sense I was aware of not sleeping and worrying about not sleeping? Did they watch me trying to flip flop trying to find a comfortable position to actually do that sleep thing in? Was this normal for them, they, the unknown observers? Who would sign up to listen to farty, congested, snorers all night? What if I have to pee? How do I unhook.

"I can hear you so if you need anything just ask" said the heavily Asian-accented female HAL.

"OMG SHE HEARD ME!" I thought, possibly out loud. How do you make your inside voice be more inside? I was wrapped in a conundrum of an enigma. Is that even a sentence? Man, I was tired.

After maybe ten minutes of sleep I had to go the the bathroom.

I thought I was speaking out loud, "Hello, I have to go to the bathroom."

A few minutes later, "Hello? I need to get up".

Again, many minutes later the feminine/Asian HAL voice came over a speaker.

"You need to get up? I come in."

Out comes the nose thing the wires are tucked into he belts and off I waddle through the medical office to take care of business. By the time I get back get hooked up again I'm wide awake. Soon I was grinding my teeth to a U2 song and worrying about trying to relax to maybe perhaps ease into sl...NOPE. Not going to happen. I have to go through the thought rolodex looking for something to worry about.

Ten minutes later the technician is unhooking me. Pulling probes out of the sticky, stringy toothpaste/cement. It's 5:30AM and I'm being turned out. I tried to scrape off the goo on my face only to realize my hair resembled Mary's gelled hair from 'Something About Mary'. Looking and feeling ridiculous I bolted for the subway and hurried home. SevenAM I'm ringing the doorbell, waking the husband up to let me in. It's a good thing he can fall right back to sleep but I only have time to shower change and go to work. Running out the door I feel like I haven't slept all night and it's the beginning of the week. It was all I could do to NOT fall asleep at my desk; I'd hate to subject my lovely co-workers to my nocturnal noises. I save that for the husband.
Apr 14, 2012


I’m a work in progress — a wife and mom and a member of the TV industry.



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