“Well you might be borderline with sleep apnoea,” said the consultant looking over the results of my sleep monitoring 8 months ago.
“But my wife has never been aware of me stopping breathing, and I don’t even snore very often.”
“Well, yes, you’re kind of in that grey area where it affects some people, but not others. It all depends on how you think it makes you feel.”
“I feel tired all the time and my doc says I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Could this be the cause?”
“Hmm. Maybe you should try one of these masks that pushes air up your nose while you sleep. It might help. About 80% of people who are much higher up the sleep apnoea scale benefit from them, although in your case it’s more 50-50, flip of a coin kind of thing. I’ll send a note through to Dumfries to recommend they contact you to try one out. If it works, all well and good, but if not, you’ve lost nothing.”
“If it ends up making no difference, is there anything else in those results to indicate what might be causing my CFS?”
“No, that’s it.”
And that was it. A 5 hour round trip to Edinburgh for less than 10 minutes with the consultant for me to see how he can shrug his shoulders. At least there’s a department in Dumfries, which can supply me with the mask. It’s only 20 miles away rather than over 100 to Edinburgh.
Still, it wasn’t an entirely wasted journey. I took the opportunity to meet up with Dr Maroon.
He’d phoned the night before and with a voice conveying a sense of urgency wondered when we could next meet up. It seemed unlikely that 2½ years of owing me a lunch was foremost on his mind, so I mentioned my Edinburgh trip the following day. “Excellent,” he said, “I’ll see you there!” Then he hung up.
As it turned out, we ended up meeting at Ikea on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Free parking was mumbled at some point, although the real reason soon became clear.
Initially it hadn’t occurred to me he’d carefully arranged the meeting after lunchtime, thereby ensuring I’d already eaten a ham roll Maggie made for my trip, and thus wasn’t hungry at the point we entered the café area in Ikea.
“Coffee?” Maroon asked with a gleam in his eye. I nodded warily, expecting him to say, “me too, make mine a large…” but instead he took 2 empty mugs and paid for them at the till.
It transpired that at Ikea you pay 99p for the use of the cup, rather than the coffee, and can go back up and refill from the machine. I’m sure it said a refill, although it didn’t stop Doc constantly leaping up only to return excitedly with another each time we finished.
Oh sure we chatted about things that now escape my memory, and by the time we parted company I was high as kite on all that caffeine and only came down with a crunch at 4.30 this morning.
But I have no doubt he now feels he’s met his obligations and is currently planning our next meeting when it will be my turn to pay