Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today, I learn all about sleep deprivation: the effects, the tests and the recovery.

This is one of those things that requires back-story. I really don't want to be sitting here, typing, for the next half hour so I'll give you the abridged version.

Wolf left work one day last March, feeling a little under the weather. He was tired and had had some dizziness but his drive home was uneventful. When he arrived, he found he couldn't quite get out of the truck. He made a few calls - one to his roommate and apprentice, a couple to me and one to 911. By the time the ambulance got there his heart rate had dropped to 34 beats per minute.

This event led to a week's stay in the cardiac ward (with heart rate dropping as low as 24 b/m), a transfer to the major cardiac unit on the island for surgery (which never happened) and, finally, release. He's been home on Medical Leave since and has gone through a battery of tests. All of them have been relatively easy, requiring little more than wearing monitors and whatnot.

The big issue with this whole situation, next to not knowing what the hell is wrong, is that Wolf's doctor is an ass. The man didn't set Wolf up with a specialist until last month. After more than a half-year and no answers, the good doctor finally said, "I'm just a GP. How am I supposed to know?" And thus rings in a new era. A week later, Wolf was in to see an Internist who ran one 24 hour test and said, "It isn't your heart. Your heart is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. I'm recommending that you be set up with a neurologist and I won't be seeing you again." And that brings us to today.

Last night I went to bed in the spare room just after eleven o'clock. When I woke at 6:30 this morning, I immediately returned to our room to see how he was doing. It took a few tries to wake him, at which point he looked pained and said, "Oh no, I slept half an hour." Not to worry, he'd been instructed to sleep no more than five hours to qualify for the test. When he told me about that I asked him if they knew that he generally slept less than that every night.

So, now we watch the election aftermath and logo wars on the news. We'll leave here at 9:30 am to arrive the hospital by 10:40. That's all I know. From that point on, I don't know what to expect. This whole experience is new to me. Wolf has been through it all, many times - that's more back-story which I will get to at some point.

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