Friday night I packed a bag and headed to the UCHealth Sleep Lab at Poudre Valley Hospital. I needed to find out if I have sleep apnea. I showed up at the sleep lab around 8:15 p.m. Sleep tech, Amy, showed me a video and hooked me up to about 30 chords from my nose to my toes. They were measuring everything from heart rate, to breathing, to vibrations in my throat to movement of my legs. It's a little weird to be hooked up to a bunch of wires in a strange bed in a strange place, although the bed was very comfortable.

It was lights out around 10 p.m. and my phone had to be completely shut off too. I was tired, so I fell asleep right away. Then Amy started monitoring me. After a couple hours she woke me up. I said, "Do I have apnea?" and Amy said, "I wouldn't be here if there wasn't a problem. Then the fitting began for a CPAP machine.

We started with a full face mask that covered my nose and mouse. It was continuous air blowing into my lungs, but the full coverage was a little to claustrophobic for me. Next we tried a mask that just covered my nose. I couldn't get a very tight fit and air was blowing up into my eyes. We then tried a large Dreamwear headpiece with medium nasal pillows (The things they shove in your nose that blow air). It seemed to do the trick. I still struggled a little with my breathing. I think it was mostly stress. Once I calmed down and controlled my breathing, I was able to go to sleep.

At around 4 a.m., for some reason, I woke up and ripped out my nose pieces. Amy came in to check on me and she decided I had worn the apparatus long enough, so she unhooked me from all the wires and tubes. She said I did sleep for a few hours uninterrupted. I got dressed and went home.

I think we determined that I do have sleep apnea and I will need a CPAP device at home. I was ordered to follow up at UCHealth Pulmonology. They told me it will be a couple weeks before I can find out the complete results of my study.

Todd Harding, TSM