The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Sleep, Ikea and Dr Maroon

“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


savannah said...

it all makes sense now...of what, i have no clue ;~D xoxox

ok, hand to god, vw is: undistrbo

Anna van Schurman said...

You know, in America it's always a bottomless cup at restaurants. I think that's why the dude stayed. My dad is 100% on the sleep apnea scale and that mask helped him. He was a new man. (He used to go to bed after dinner. He was always asleep when I was growing up. After he started using the mask, he was up at 11pm!) I hope the mask helps you as much.

Barlinnie said...

It must be my suspicious nature where the utterly charming Dr Maroon is concerned, but I was actually expecting you to describe how he wanted you to help carry something heavy to his car.

Never trust a Glaswegian who frequents the back streets of Auld Reekie.

Pat said...

I can't believe the meanness of that Doccie. Did you not even get a cakie?
And I'll bet you are sworn to secrecy about whatever you talked about. SDo tell us - it's safe with us:)
The mask doesn't sound very promising but worth a try.

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - glad it makes sense, of a sort

Anna VS - maybe there's hope then :)

Jimmy - Ikea is full of people wanting help to carry something heavy to a car... :)

Pat - I was not even offered a battered, deep-fried scone. However, to give him his due, when I told him about meeting you and that you are even more wonderful in person, he did sigh wistfully

savannah said...

i meant, about the doc, sugar! ;~D xxoxox

Eryl said...

Medicine still seems to be one big experiment, and you seem to be its favourite Guinea Pig!

I don't know what to say about that Doc, I'll just go over and give him a piece of my mind.

Z said...

A mask has really helped a friend of mine too - if there's any chance that sleep apnoea is the cause it's worth trying. I'd be quite hopeful about a 50-50 chance - after all, if that was the odds of winning the lottery I'd chance a quid, wouldn't you?

Dr Maroon said...

Ikea is the gayest shop in Christendom. The number of hand-holding same-sex couples makes it a hyphenated hell-hole. I think the interogation went well, I can't be sure; recording devices are so small and silent now.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm a sucker for Ikea coffee with all those refills! And now I feel better about not offering you coffee at our place: you'd have sailed home at 100 mph on all that caffeine.

As for the apnea thing, I'm with Anna -- I say give it a go, you never know. (Ooh, I said that poetically, didn't I?)

Apex Zombie said...

Well, at least there's potential for hope with the sleep apnoea. Er, that sounds a lot less hopeful than I intended it to sound...

Dr. Maroon = evil genius? ;)

And Ikea serves coffee? I thought it was a furniture place?

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - if anything of him makes sense to you, you're ahead of the rest of us :)

Eryl - it would be nice if they at least gave me fresh straw occasionally...

Lay into him, Eryl - tongue lashing and fists flying - he deserves no less :)

Z - we shall see...

Dr Maroon - you want to watch that kind of un-pc-hyphenated-language. I know heterosexuals who shop there too. In fact some of my best friends are heterosexual.

Mary - thank you so much for letting me stop by for Jasmine Tea, a fish supper and wonderful company :)

FLG - actually, Dr Maroon isn't quite the genius he thinks he is. If he'd thought about it, he might have guessed I have one of Ikea's family shopper cards which entitles me to completely free coffee in their cafe...

Charlie said...

Consultation 8 months after the sleep test—you're very lucky to be on the "IMPORTANT-RUSH-HIGH PRIORITY" list.

sarah said...

oh what fun, so you will have a hurricane blowing up your nose? that's what a friend of mine said of my CPAP machine/mask.. granted it was intended to make me laugh, but it damaged me instead.

you and maroon. what a pair. i think you're right to be suspicious of him. any sane person would be.

Anonymous said...

Well, a bit of oxygen never hurt anyone! I'm having my turn at the rheumatologist ? autoimmune disorder- woohoo. It's maddening isn't it?

Kim Ayres said...

Charlie - it's all to do with making me feel important...

Sarah - I'm told the latest ones detect how much pressure they need to produce and adjust accordingly. But I'm fully prepared to accept he may have been bullshitting me.

Starrlife - hope they get to the bottom of what's plaguing you soon!

sarah said...

Kim: i wouldn't know about an automatic adjustable type.. mine just shoots out at 18 psi which is pretty effing hard, but i've gotten so used to it that it's "normal" now.

oh word verification: NESSIES!! remember that?!?!

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