About a week ago, the technician from my sleep study contacted me to say she was bringing my CRAP machine over to my house. When she came by she was in her scrubs, my kids, ages 7 and 5, peeking out from the steps upstairs. I had explained to them that a “nurse” would be coming by to set up a new machine to help me sleep better and not wanting them to wander down the hall on a dark and stormy night to find a deep-sea-diver in my place, I wanted them there for the whole experience.
Upstairs we went, my nightstand already cleared off and ready for the hook up. We plugged the machine into my surge protector and she explained all the components to us. There is an air filter, a memory card slot, a humidifier which needs distilled water, various setting options, and of course the hose and mask. Debbie the technician (whose real name apparently is Diana, but that is neither here nor there) had me lie down on my bed and try out five minutes with the machine. My kids watched but really were very uninterested….I guess it really is no big deal to anyone but me.
When you grow up in a vanity rich environment, you worry about dumb shit like what you look like sleeping with a mask even though not a damn soul can see you except for your spouse who by the way is sound asleep themselves. It’s bad enough to walk around with a weight problem, where your addiction is carried around you like a neon sign, then to also have to add insult to injury with medical equipment strapped onto your head. And ridiculous as this is, even though I decided I was going to grin and bear the whole thing to get my approval for surgery, It was KILLING me that the first thing you would see when you walked into my bedroom is a goddamned CRAP machine on my nightstand. I did what any logical person in my shoes would do and I BEGGED my husband of ten years to switch sides of the bed with me.
Just a little adjustment, I thought. I have to make major medical milestones, the least he can do is sleep to the East, I thought. Supportively, he went along with it but truth be told, while I am sleeping better than I have in years, he is still struggling with the transition. I would gladly trade places with him, but then again, we would be back where we started, and that’s no good for anyone.
I can’t complain of course, he really is fitting into his role of my “support” person rather well. In fact when I told him I had to go to my required Lap-Band Support Group meeting tonight at the hospital, he asked to come with me. Call it a date night if you will, but together we went, just one more thing to check off my list.
The support group was lack luster, with the only other damn person in the room from my age bracket being the dietitian. A few people had been banded already, and quite a few had not and were just sitting there like I was trying to fulfill just one more thing on the list of to-dos. I’m not going to go as far as to say that it was completely pointless, but for someone who has been on this journey for 8 months now, researching, reading websites and online forums, reading books and memoirs, and looking through WLS cookbooks, there really was no new information that was useful to me. And for the whole hour and a half, my beloved husband sat there listening like a champ, even if he did wake up on the wrong side of the bed.