For years, my restless sleep sounded like a buzz saw with a faulty, gas-starved motor. Raucous, gurgling inhales were interspersed with frequent periods of deathly silence.
I was scheduled for a sleep s
tudy in the clinic at the local hospital. I can’t sleep well at home, yet somehow I was expected to sleep in a strange place with sensors and wires stuck to me from the top of my head to my calves and with tiny air hoses up my nose. All this while unseen eyes stared at me from the ceiling and unseen microphones eavesdropped on my breathing.
After I got into my pajamas and got wired up and had settled as comfortably as I could, I suddenly realized that I had left my car’s headlights on and they were not set on “automatic.” It was a rental, just picked up that day.
I buzzed for the nurse and her voice echoed eerily from the speaker in the ceiling. I explained my concern and she returned to the room and unplugged me from the monitor. Then she said, “Ok, run on outside and take care of it.”
What?! Outside? In nothing but my pajamas and unsupported by foundation garments? In a public parking lot? Is she kidding? No, she was not!
So I dashed out there, looking like a crazed Medusa, with wires sticking out of my head. More wires hung out the sleeves and pant legs of my pajamas. I had my arms crossed in front of my unsupported bosom.
It was dark, but I discovered that at night, the front of the hospital is lit up like the Vegas strip, with just about as many people coming and going. I am sure that passersby had me pegged as an escapee.
I quickly saw that the car’s headlights had gone out, so either they were automatic or the battery was already dead. In either case, I was not needed out there and had to get back in.
For security purposes, the doors had locked behind me, and I frantically banged on the door and pressed the buzzer, shouting, “Let me in! Let me in!”
Visitors in the parking lot were already reaching for their phones. I am afraid to watch TV’s “Funniest Home Videos.” I am probably on it.