Do you remember when you were a little kid and you went on a family trip, perhaps to Grandma’s house? Let’s say you spent the majority of the day playing with various cousins, getting dirty, running around, petting and hugging dogs and cats. Maybe you walked to the local store for penny candy and soda pop, laughing, skipping, jumping and thoroughly enjoying yourself?

By the end of the day, your silly little body was tired and maybe a bit cranky, and you were ready for sleep. If you were lucky, you dozed off right after waving to Gram and woke up as Dad pulled into the driveway at home, an hour or so later.

Yeah, a sleep study is nothing like that. But I wanted it to have the same ending. I just wanted to fall asleep and not wake up until someone told me it was time to go home.

That didn’t work. There was no clock in the room, but I awoke and signaled my “keeper” that I needed a trip down the hall.

Must the lighting in a hospital be so glaring, so bright, so truthful?? The glance in the mirror this time was even more frightening than the previous one. I nearly screamed. I thought perhaps the zombie apocalypse had begun. Frankenstein’s monster would have defeated me in a beauty contest! Do the other people look this bad?

Back to bed and, hopefully, sleep. Evidently, the good Lord took pity on me and I managed to snooze until around 5 a.m. Stifling a “get me out of this mess” scream, I cordially greeted my “host” and he started the final leg of the torture: de-wiring of the study subject.

Water was involved to remove the goo that helped hold the wires to my head. At least the water was warm and as I mopped the drips from my face, I wondered what that hateful mirror in the bathroom would reveal. “Warm, soapy water will wash that stuff away,” I was assured.

I grabbed my toothbrush and my hairbrush and made a beeline for the bathroom. It was worse than before. Hair was partially wet and extremely gray. Hideous would be the best word to describe what was looking back at me. Teeth were brushed in record time. Clothes were changed quickly. In the process, I uttered a little prayer, “I know you’re busy, Lord, but if you could help me avoid bumping into anyone I know on this trip home, I’d surely appreciate it.”

Miraculously, at least to the best of my knowledge, no one who caught a glimpse of me on the drive from Chambersburg to Shippensburg died of fright. Nor did I hear any rumors of a character from “The Walking Dead” being spotted driving a minivan on Route 11 that morning.

The torture was over. Until I need to start using a CPAP machine.

Ah, it’s always something in these golden years!

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