Stock sleep

Looks like sleep apnea is the new rage in my family, so I took one of my kiddos for a “sleep study” to determine if he/she (trying to ensure partial anonymity, which is not simple when your mom is a writer) was indeed suffering from this disorder.

A few words of introduction:

First, at this point I don’t need any fancy sleep studies because I have a “Mother’s Degree” and can diagnose sleep apnea a mile away after five minutes. For free. For your convenience, I am also available, at no extra charge, to diagnose ADHD, ODD and generalized spoiled kid syndrome, all in under five minutes. (People with actual degrees in these areas - I’m joking.)

Two, the term “sleep study” is a total misnomer because neither me nor my child got much sleep that night. So apparently, the kid snores even half awake, which just goes to show you what we’ve been dealing with, and also reminded me nostalgically of my childhood fascination with Darth Vader. I was so exhausted after the sleep study that I actually slept the whole next morning. My kid, by contrast, was not. I guess he/she is used to exhaustion, poor guy/girl. Let’s also just say it’s been a long time since I’ve slept on a roll-away cot and I hereby commit to newfound compassion for the next family member who gets relegated to one of these lumpy sorry excuses for a bed on our next family vacation.

The kid got wired up to at least twenty sensors: head, neck, legs. Plus one stretchy elastic thing strapped across the chest and another across the stomach. And a microphone to record the snoring. Plus an oxygen thing in the nose. Plus a pulse oximeter on the finger. Oh, and then, in the middle of the night, the technologist woke The Kid – actually, woke me to wake the kid –

so she could take out the soft unobtrusive nasal cannula and put on a CPAP, which is basically like a clear gas mask. So how could anyone sleep with all that gear?

I do have to say that the feeling of sleeping in that room, with everything being filmed, and every brain wave of the kid being recorded, freaked me out a little bit. Talk about big brother watching, even with full disclosure and permission and reams of paperwork. It made me start wondering: what do I do in the middle of the night? Do I kick my leg around or snore or who-knows-what? Really, sometimes there are things you’d rather not know.

But the kid was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea and now needs tonsils and adenoids removed, stat. And the hope is that without all that junk in his/her throat, he/she will be able to sleep unobstructedly. And then the unicorns and rainbows will come out and it will solve world hunger and also get his/her homework done, plus ensure perfect bedtime compliance every night.

At least, one can dream.


Connect with Ruchi Koval on Facebook at ruchi.koval and on Instagram @ruchi.koval.

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