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All Healthcare is Personal

I don't like to go to the doctor. Never have I just don't go.

My wife hates this about me and tries to get me to go to the doctor for everything from food allergies to snoring

Actually, I only get a check-up when someone close to me passes away I've even taken to calling them "death check-ups"

On May 13th my Mother, very unexpectedly, dropped dead literally.

Only those of you that have lost your own mothers can understand how this rocks a person on every level of their being in my weakest moment, as I was drowning in grief as I was caught in the headlights of total emotional devastation, my wife took advantage of the situation and made me promise to not only go get a "death check-up" but to actually follow through on the other tests and procedures that were sure to be recommended by the doctor.

My last check-up was 5 years ago and I was prescribed a "Sleep Study" which I promptly blew off in my mind's eye the whole thing was just way too creepy - total strangers watching me sleep in retrospect, I was way too caught up in what I thought that someone else was going to think about my nocturnal bodily functions

After Mom passed I did a check-up, I did the blood work, did the stress test and yes, went to a Sleep Lab for the dreaded Sleep Study

The worst part of the sleep study wasn't having strangers watching me sleep - it wasn't the dozen or so electrodes pasted to my skull, chest and legs, or it wasn't whatever the sensor things were that were stuck in my nostrils the worst part of the deal was the oxygen monitor sensor thing clamped to my finger. That thing was not cool. I learned from my sleep study results that my oxygen was a "67" which I didn't think twice about, until a nurse friend of mine told me that ideally this number should be between 93 and 97

It turns out that I also had 246 incidents of either stopping breathing or barely breathing during my study hey, even I know that can't be good

I was told that I have Sleep Apnea.

So they invited me back for a second night of sleep lab fun. I was fitted with, and am now the proud owner of a CPAP machine.

The thing is the size of a shoebox there's 5 or 6 feet of air hose, the CPAP is on one end and there's a headgear deal on the other end that holds a mask over the users nose.

Sounds sexy right?

All I know is, supposedly, this thing blows air into my nose and keeps the old airway open while I'm sleeping.

Truthfully, I don't know what's going on I'm sleeping.

Lately, I'm sleeping really good and for the first time in maybe 15 years, I'm dreaming.

Mostly my dreams are about being in situations where there's a mask on my face that is blowing air into my lungs - dreams about deep-sea diving and being abducted by aliens but my big "dream" right now is that my wife will quit telling me "I told you so."

For WOSU Public Media this is Michael Ivey.