Monday, March 4, 2013

Jimmy Legg -- 546 in dog years

“Restless legs”

    Did you know that it’s possible to take too many naps? I had no idea. A tendency towards daytime dozing is a sign of something. There is a 73 percent chance that it’s something bad. I may have read that somewhere.

    According to my sleeping nurse, I nap too often. Sleeping nurse? That sounded bad. She’s a family nurse practitioner (FNP). That’s what she is.

    My FNP told me that napping could be a sign that I’m not getting enough sleep at night. My first thought was – Who told you I’ve been napping? Turns out, my machine told her. She had the printout from my CPAP machine right in front of her. CPAP stands for “Blow Air Up Your Nose” machine.

    Kay and I both use a CPAP. Have for years. As long as you don’t take a look at me wearing my mask, I don’t mind you knowing about it. Some of the CPAP masks give you the look of a jet pilot. If you have trouble nodding off, you can pretend to be in a dog fight. Kay always makes me fly the MIG-29, because she wants to be one of the Blue Angels. She’s such a child.

    Turns out Kay and I were both told we needed to go the sleep clinic… again. It would be Kay’s second visit and my third. A sleep clinic is where you get a room with several other people and talk about sleep. No, that’s something else.

The sleep clinic we went to was really a place where you get hooked up with wires on your head, face, arms, chest and legs. Once you’re completely wired, you’re told to go to sleep on a bed that feels much worse than yours. It’s a blast.

    Kay and I went to the same clinic, but were given separate rooms. They apparently fear that, if you get the least bit amorous, one or both of you are liable to get electrocuted. That’s just a guess.

    Kay was the first one to get wired, so she had some time to kill before lights-out—uh, lights dimmed. So, she walked into my room looking like a giant chia pet. The minute she laid eyes on me, she started laughing. The girl looks like Medusa unchained, yet has the gall to laugh at how I look. For some odd reason, they didn’t have mirrors in the sleep clinic.

    During the night, your every move is videoed, while a computer takes readouts from all the wiring. Our night in tangles ended at six a.m. We could’ve stayed longer, but we had a reservation at I-HOP.

We walked into the pancake palace with red gel in our hair from where they stuck the wires. We would’ve cleaned up better, but there were no mirrors. I thought I told you that.

A couple of days ago, we went back to our FNP for the results. Kay’s doing okay. She just needs a chinstrap to keep her mouth shut at night. And, she needed her CPAP jacked up three more points to shoot more air up her nose. She’ll be fine.

Me? The nurse needed to increase my air power four more notches. And, get this, I’ve got the jimmy leg. RLS. The ol’ restless leg syndrome. Apparently, I move my leg 78 times an hour. That converts to 546 in dog time. (I don’t know what that means.)

As long as Kay hadn’t complained about my night-kicks, I didn’t see a problem. The nurse told me that each time my leg twitches, it wakes me up. She had the readout to prove it. I was waking up 78 times an hour. Had I been a dog I would’ve dug a hole in the mattress.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been diagnosed with restless leg. The last time, I was prescribed a pill that gave me headaches and made my breath reek. I quit taking it. My new nurse told me not to worry. They’ve come up with a patch. A patch that, without insurance, would be affordable by only one percent of the nation’s population.

    I now wear a patch 24 hours a day. I’m in the constant state of patch. Side-effects? – I’m not making this up. – The patch makes me hungry and it makes me want to nap. Fortunately, it hasn’t caused nausea and mood swings, two of the other possible side-effects.

Okay, let me sum all of this up for those of you still awake. -- If you take too many naps, it may be a sign that you’re not sleeping well at night. But, again, it may be a sign that you’re sleeping well at night, but the medication that helps you sleep at night  makes you nap.

     If you scratch this thing, you’re gonna find someone in the pharmaceutical industry laughing his rear off.


You can contact mark at

No comments:

Post a Comment