Vancouver Sleep Center

Last modified on December 19th, 2008

So I finally had an appointment down at the Vancouver Sleep Center in Burnaby. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had trouble sleeping through the night. It’s been going on for so long that I can’t even remember if there was a time when I used to sleep soundly or not. I often wake up every hour or so and feel rather anxious, and most nights it takes me at least an hour to nod off. It could be the traffic or some sound that wakes me, but I’ve never really been sure.

I had a consultation with Dr. Dong and he went over my history. Then he informed me that he wanted to take a look inside of me and see what it looks like when I breathe. To do that, he used a fiber optic camera. Unfortunately, since they route it up your nose and down your throat, it’s not that pleasant of an experience. They sprayed lidocaine into my nose and made me inhale, and also shot a bunch into my throat and made me swallow it. It’s really bitter and gross tasting, but thankfully it makes everything really numb.

The good news is that I didn’t really feel any pain during the procedure. It was definitely uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt. The bad news is that now I have a pretty bad headache, and a bit of pain now that the lidocaine has worn off.

They’ve given me a little personal sleep device here that will monitor my heart rate and oxygen level during the night for a few days to see what it looks like. I have an appointment on Monday to go back in and look over all the data. So we’ll see what the final verdict is then.

8 responses to “Vancouver Sleep Center”

  1. I don’t envy you, things are generally supposed to come OUT of your nose, not the other way round (well, other than expensive powdery stuff…). Hope you find some relief, man.

  2. Sean says:

    A while back I got tested for sleep apnea, and I got to wear one of those fancy oximeters while I slept. I had to use some scotch tape though, I tend to move around quite a bit while I sleep.

  3. Duane Storey says:

    Yup I get to wear one of those things as well. How did the tests ultimately go for you?

  4. yo homey, welcome to the happy land of c-pappin’

  5. Let’s say that a naso-gastric tube, which I had in the summer of 2007, is a similar idea and also pretty darn unpleasant, especially when you have to swallow it down while you’re already vomiting.

    But hey, it made me look oh so stylish for a few days.

  6. Duane Storey says:

    Not a bad look at all! I have a little pulse oximeter I’m hooked up to at home for a few days. Not as stylist as yours, but I get to tape a cord to my finger.

  7. Peter says:

    What was the outcome? Reading your blog post was like my own diary. I’ve been investigating this recently and called Dr Dong’s office. Curious what the final prognosis was and what you thought of the sleep labs service. (I have to pay cash so good reviews are helpful.)

  8. Duane Storey says:

    Well, Dr. Dong is pretty much the most unenthusiastic doctor I’ve met in my time, but he did a decent job.

    The end result is that I was diagnosed with a mild version of sleep apnea. Because I was on a medical plan (that was about to go away), I bought a CPAP machine, even though Dr. Dong recommended just getting a bit more exercise and dropping a few pounds, which usually helps people. My medical plan covered $2,000 of the CPAP, and I pitched in about $200 or so.

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