Poem a Day 6: A Night Poem


cartoon sleepNighttime never tormented me –
until I was an adult
and my husband said.
“Honey, you sure are snoring a lot.”

The snoring was followed
by periods of not breathing
and then
gasping to automatically revive myself,
which resulted in –
you guessed it!

Each night challenged me
daring me to
and refresh.

And then,
There was the sleep study
and temporarily placed electrodes secured
onto my pulse points,
adhered with airplane-smelling adhesive.

Why do they call it a sleep study
when you DON’T snooze well
or soundly?
But I digress.

In a separate room,
A young man in primary blue medical scrubs,
and trained in polysomography,
observes me and my circadian rhythms through the night.

He watches with electronic eyes of closed circuit technology.
He monitors his marvelously impressive medical machinery
To note and record hypopnea events
(the times I stop breathing for at least 10 seconds.)

 Finally morning arrives.
In several weeks, the follow up visit occurs
And the prognosis is decreed
Severe obstructive sleep apnea.

The prescription?
Learn to use a CPAP machine at night
To keep my airways open.

Now the snoring is gone
The gasping has ended.
I stay awake ALL day.

And my only concern
is how badly I’ll feel tomorrow
If the electricity that powers my machine goes out tonight.