Sleep Tight: The Sleep Study

About the Family, parenting fail

On our second night in Ann Arbor, Robert was subjected to a sleep study. Oh, what a joy that was.

They lie.

We got to the sleep disorder wing of the hospital and proceeded to sit and wait for about 45 minutes. Eventually were greeted by an angry doctor.

“Why did you bring HIM?” he demanded, motioning to Peter. “Can’t he stay home with someone?”

Home is 9 and a half hours away at this point. I explained this to the doctor who replied with, “Oh. Well, you should have known we can’t accommodate families.”

Where would I have gleaned this knowledge, I wonder. From the non-existent confirmation letter of Robert’s appointment or the non-existent call? I have never had a sleep study. I had no idea what to expect. Do we drop him off? Do we sleep nearby? That would have been nice to know.

Apparently, it’s expected that parents stay in the room with the child for the study and the doctors were certain Peter being in there as well would corrupt any results they would get from the study. Not sure how my snoring wouldn’t be a problem, but Peter’s would…

So, we got settled in to the room which was about the size of a Smart Car. Across the hall was a gloriously huge suite-style room that was empty. I asked if we could be moved there, but the doctor was so miffed at the presence of my other son, we were told we had to stay put.

A technician with the bedside manner of a rock came in to get Robert all wired up. She didn’t explain to us what she was doing and didn’t attempt any small talk so, Robert started getting pretty scared. By the time he was all hooked up, he was in tears and looked like an onion.

A very sad onion.

I was pretty worked up by all this. I didn’t want him scared and I didn’t want to have driven across the whole darned state to have a sleep study that was ruined by Peter and me. So, we tucked Robert in and then went and slept in the hallway.

On the floor. With ALL the hospital hall lights on. I stole a crib mattress for Peter to sleep on and I just plopped on the floor next to him. No one gave us much notice so they are either a bunch of jerks, or this is more common than I realize.

At around one in the morning, I realized I missed my calling. I would make a killer diagnostician. For example, I know why the dude in the room one door down from Robert is having sleep problems. That fella was up watching Law and Order until the wee hours of the morning. My expert opinion: Watching dramatic TV shows at deafening levels until the middle of the night may hinder your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

I’ll be waiting patiently for my check. Thank you.

At 7:00am, we were unceremoniously told we could leave. No one told us when to expect the results or how they would come to us. We were just shown the bathtub (to wash off the sticky stuff that kept the electrodes on Robert’s head) and shown the door.

I am not expecting special treatment because I am from far away or because I have 2 five-year-olds with me, but boy, I would have left there in a much better disposition if someone would have just treated me like a person. Or, heck, if someone could have held open the door as I struggled to get the boys, all their things, and  a cart out and on to the next appointment.

Considering how the rest of the day went for us, I really REALLY wish the day would have started with some kind words. They would have been the last from THAT hospital.

(Ooh, a cliffhanger…)

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2 thoughts on “Sleep Tight: The Sleep Study

  1. Don’t you know? Doctors aren’t real people. They are zombies here to observe our life and suck out our brains.

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