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A Sleep-Study; It’s a ‘Weird’ Feeling – Feeling ‘Wired’

April 23, 2010 13 comments

Some words should simply never be placed next to each other.  Two words that I’ll try not to use together are ‘sleep’ and ‘study’.  All in all, undergoing a sleep study wasn’t a horrible experience, per se.  Brutal seems a better adjective.  For one already having issues getting sufficient sleep at night, the idea of glueing ~25 sensors to my head, face, neck, chest, finger and legs with all of the wires from each sensor attached to a “break-out’ box on the headboard of the bed is, well, unnerving.  I mustn’t forget the elastic bands around my chest and stomach and oxygen tube thing that gets placed in your nostrils.  That feels good – NOT! Thankfully a “silver bullet” to monitor core body temperature isn’t required.  Ask a Marine – they’ll know of what I speak.  Suffice it to say, though, it isn’t oral!

Even though the sleep study was done at a medical clinic, the room itself was comfortable enough having the appearance and typical furnishings of a Holiday Inn.  The bed wasn’t uncomfortable.  However, the plastic liner under the sheet felt weird.  I found no Gideon Bible.  However, in its typical place within a nightstand drawer next to the bed was a plastic hospital bed urinal.  I panicked at the thought of being strapped into bed all night unable to move lest “the patient” [me!] twist and turn and break one of those electrodes while trying to use this “special containment vessel”.  Fear gripped me and I had visions of the sleepologist turning out the light and then say with a quiet demur while shutting the door,  “You spill, you die!”

But my fears were quickly allayed when, after I was all wired up, the sleepologist explained how it would be possible, if necessary, for me to get up in the night and use the bathroom.  That was a relief!  Yes, pun intended!

To my dismay, the technician wanted me to sleep on my back.  That was really awkward as I primarily sleep on my side or stomach.  I was able to relax and do a little reading and even watched the end of a baseball game on TV.  Eventually I felt tired enough and thought I was ready to sleep.  If I ever wondered how they were going to “put me to sleep”, now was the time.  I half expected that I would be given some kind of quick acting, short lasting sedative.  Nope.  After you’re in bed and the myriad of wires are attached to the breakout box, the sleepologist turns out the lights.  Then, from the control room via a speaker phone, the sleepologist goes through a series of checks for all the sensors to ensure that everything is working.  After I had moved my eyes in different directions, clenched my teeth, breathed in a couple of times, held my breath, wriggled my legs – she as much said everything looked good and with a pleasant, “good night” – I was on my own.

I had previously been told that there is an infrared camera and microphone to correlate audible snoring sounds and body movements with electrical signals in the brain to better diagnose sleeping anomalies.  It made me want to ask the sleepologist if she’d heard or observed any funny things with her patients?  But I thought it best to keep my dignity to myself in part because I realized that something might happen to me and I might become one of those “stories”.

I opted to keep my watch during the night.  I wanted to know where I was within the “process” – how much longer is this going to last?  In hindsight, this might have been a mistake.  I don’t know.  Still, being wired up and in an unusual position, it was difficult falling asleep.  But I guess I did.  Or, so I was later told.  In fact, the sleepologist told me that my best sleep came after I had initially fallen asleep.  I had remained asleep for perhaps an hour and a half before I woke up.  Thereafter, the sleepologist told me that my sleeping was very erratic and I don’t really know how much sleep I actually got.  Maybe three hours total?  Maybe four?

I woke up for the last time a little before 5am and laid there trying to get some additional sleep.  I felt terrible – almost as though I had a cold; a little stiff and sore and a headache too boot.  At 6am I “rang the bell” and informed the sleepologist that I was done and wanted up.  She agreed and knew I had been just laying there awake for a little over an hour.  Hopefully I hadn’t done anything worthy of a story for her colleagues.  Anyway, she needed to verify that all the electrodes were still functioning so we repeated the pre-sleep tests.  After all the electrodes had been removed, I took a shower, dressed and then filled out a questionnaire regarding patient satisfaction.  The technician had previously informed me that any results would have to be discussed with the doctor in a subsequent follow-up visit.  So, that’s the next step – see what the doctor orders.

I’m certainly not anxious to be diagnosed with a malady that will be alleviated with a CPAP machine.  Then again, I’m tired (literally!) of always seeming to lack energy and dragging myself from one activity to the next whether at work or meeting with friends.  But, we’ll see where this leads.  The symptoms are what they are and the condition is what it is and if using a CPAP will bring relief then we’ll figure out how to do it.

UPDATE:

The doctor’s evaluation of my sleep study is that my sleep is interrupted by something called mild obstruction sleep apnea.  For most people, full and partial airway closures, snoring, and something called “near misses” are more prevalent when sleeping on one’s back than when sleeping on one’s side.  And, such is the case for me.  To that end, a CPAP or even some kind of a dental mouth guard called a mandibular repositioning appliance would help with the breathing and snoring.  However, whether I’m on my back or on my side, there are numerous one-to-three second periods, or as the doctor called them – arousals – that also keep me from getting normal deep sleep and which would not be helped by a CPAP or dental appliance.  These arousals are often related to things like pain, stress, and temperature and it’s not clear (at least to me) that any of these are reasons why I’m waking up.  So, at this point, I’m not sure what to do next.

FWIW – My 2014 Top Five Blog Posts

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment

images-1Got my year-end WordPress stats indicating which posts received the most visits during 2014 (listed by popularity):

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you

Two-Point Calvinism – Is That an Acceptable Alternative?

If God Can Be Surprised by His Creation, Can Calvinists Really Claim Unconditional Election?

A Sleep-Study; It’s a ‘Weird’ Feeling – Feeling ‘Wired’

Is John 3:16 The Most Misunderstood Verse in the Bible?

Interesting, over the last 4 years, these particular posts have attracted the most traffic in 2014. However, none of the ‘top-5’ were written in 2014. Still, I’m humbled to think that people are interested in anything I’ve espoused. On the other hand, it makes me wonder if there are other soul-seekers also experiencing discordance within their own Christian faith? Anyway, for those who seem to stop by periodically, perhaps this list will help direct you to what others on this blog appear most interested in. 

In any event – Best Regards and Happy New Year – especially to my good blogging buddy Tim Elder.

Would Esther Have Been Considered a Calvinist?

April 22, 2012 5 comments

Recently I pondered whether delving into the Old Testament Torah would help bring about some understanding to Calvinistic/sovereign grace issues within my own faith. Unbeknownst to me, my bride has been studying the book Esther in a women’s Bible study. She’s well aware of my consternation regarding Reformed theology in general and unconditional election in particular. She believes a sovereign God can, and does, direct the events in the lives of believers – and for that matter, non-believers as well. With her permission, I have copied her summary of the book of Esther and how this book has helped to bring about a new sense of purpose and understanding within her own life. 

Can everything that happens in the book of Esther be explained by naturally-occurring events?

    • The king can’t sleep one night and asks the archives of his kingdom to be read to him – which happened to be of the time Mordecai reported a coup against the king and was never rewarded for it.
    • The king is invited to a dinner by Esther.
    • Esther rose to be queen based on her beauty and personality. 
    • The king sees someone in the courtyard which happens to be Haman.  
    • A prideful Haman gives the king a grandiose idea of how to honor someone – the honor Haman actually wishes to have bestowed upon himself. 
    • Haman just happens to be “falling on the queen’s couch” when the king reenters the room. 
    • The king makes a decisive decision to have Haman executed. 
    • A newly built gallows had just been built by Haman which had been intended to hang Mordecai. 

Is it all just happenstance? It seems impossible that all of those events, taken together,  could randomly have lined up that way. It appears that everything was orchestrated and planned out. And none of the players could possibly have seen, understood or even imagined that each event had been specifically designed. 

Is there a lesson for us? Does God work this way in our lives? How do we know if God orchestrates circumstances in our lives today? The book of Esther teaches that God can use people to bring about events he desires – even through people who don’t acknowledge or worship him. The book of Esther also shows God’s heart and compassion for his people. God has good intentions toward us and the power to orchestrate human events in our favor. I believe God has the power to answer my prayers, the power to influence my mind and help me make wise decisions.

Did God orchestrate the approval process at Hamline so that I would enter their education program? Does God specifically want me to be a reading teacher? I still can’t answer these questions with 100% assurance. However, I think it’s much easier looking back over time at events to see a plan and that’s why it’s so evident in the book of Esther that there was a plan. We are looking back over time. No one in the story saw the plan as it was unfolding. The book of Esther teaches that God sees and cares and works on behalf of his people. May we trust in God’s good intentions and his providence over our lives. 

Romans 8:38-39 states, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I’m not sure it really means anything, per se, but I find it interesting that I’ve never come across any Calvinistic reference pertaining to God exercising his sovereignty within the Book of Esther. Still, it’s hard to argue against the “lessons” of Esther that my better 7/8ths elaborated on in her journal. And, it’s hard to argue against those passages in scripture in which God takes an active role or against those individuals specifically called out by God – including Moses, Abraham, David, the disciples, Paul, et al. I don’t doubt that God, being God, can do as he pleases. That said, I’m not a “determinist” and as such am not convinced that God directs the actions and activities of each and every “free agent” (a philosophical term I seem to be coming across more often). Nevertheless, perhaps it is only through the long lens of time that we can understand the path on which we’ve walked and how all that we have encountered on that path has indeed, per Rom 8:28, worked together for the good of those who love God and have been called according to his purpose.