Why is he here?
I love my patients, but I have to admit there are some patients that make this job more challenging. They are not the patients with severe apnea or the patients who do not believe they have apnea; They are the patients who do not have anything.
You know the ones I am referring to: you put them to bed, you read their questionnaire, and you expect to see an AHI of at least 15 events per hour. Then it is 1 a.m. and you hear nothing. Not a snore, not a gasp, nothing. You look at the study and they have had plenty of stage 3 and REM already. You look to see if maybe they had not done any sleeping on their back. Nope, they have been asleep on their back the whole time.
When you talk to them the next morning you get one of two responses. My favorite is "This is the best night sleep I have had in years." The other type of patient is convinced he did not sleep.
We had the former patient in our lab last week. He teaches college. He scores papers on his laptop in his bed until 1 in the morning, most nights. His wife complains that he snores but he says she snores as well. The best part was when I handed him the sleep hygiene tips sheet. He said I left one item off the sheet. He informed me that he slept with his two children in bed with him. Now I was standing there trying to figure out how he did not tell his doc this before the doc sent him to the sleep lab.
I do not know about you, but if I stayed up until 1 a.m. every morning, had two squirming children in bed with me every night, and taught college all day, I would be exhausted.
So what do we learn from this patient? That every once in a while it is nice to have an easy patient.
Oh yeah, and if he even remotely looks young enough to have kids, ask if they have their own room.