Nicole has provided us with a play by play of her 36 hours sans sleep. Enjoy!
So I’ve been having some weird health issues and my doctor decided he wanted me to have an EEG done. I figured no big deal… all I have to do is lay on a hospital bed with some wires attached to my head. As long as I didn’t have to shave patches of hair out of my head (as much as my boyfriend wanted them to because he thought it would be hilarious), I’d be OK with it. That was until the hospital sent me instructions that I could only get 4 hours of sleep the 48 hours before the exam and I wasn’t allowed to shower or consume any sort of stimulants or depressants.
I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to make 48 hours. One of my symptoms of my mystery illness is fatigue. So I went online to research EEG’s and discovered that most hospitals require you don’t go to sleep for just one night. I figured I could manage that and followed the Internet instructions instead. They were mostly worried I wouldn’t fall asleep after all, and believe me, I knew I would.
So the day before the exam, 7pm, I was falling asleep already. My boyfriend and I were driving up from D.C. from a mini road trip, and seeing my impending doom, he decided to stay with me that night to keep me up by throwing things at me. Weapon of choice: a pillow. It worked to a degree. I also kept my activity to a minimum to try to conserve energy.
At 10pm I was a lost soul. I wasn’t even making complete sentences. I was regretting the shortened nights of sleep the days before due to the road trip but then realized I had one saving grace: 4 hours of “oops I fell asleep” time. I went to bed for 3 hours and started the stay awake game again. I really was bad at this game. Stupid Stupid EEG.
2 movies and several smacks with a pillow later, it was 7am. Just 3 tortuous hours more until sweet sweet sleep. Then I fell asleep. Luckily little brothers came running down the stairs at that moment to get ready for school. My parents and brothers kept me awake so my boyfriend could get some shut eye before he drove me to the hospital.
By 10am we had arrived. Me being a grumpy walking zombie. My boyfriend Sam barely able to tolerate me yelling at him for his horrible parking job even though it really was quite good. The hospital staff show us to the waiting room and it wasn’t long before the nurse came in and called my name. What does she say to me? That she’s terribly tired from not getting her full 8 hours of sleep that night and that she hadn’t had her coffee yet that day. I was ready to punch her in the nose. But it got better. She then asked why I was so tired because this EEG after all did not require that I was sleep deprived.
I think I shed a tear or two at that point. The nurse proceeded to shine bright strobe lights in my face and make me hyperventilate for some reason.
Lesson of the day: EEG’s suck.