The sleep machine I carried around my neck.
Last week was a Lost Week—a week that brought me closer to death without having brought me appreciably closer to anything else—because it kicked off with a nighttime and daytime sleep study that involved having to sleep in a strange windowless room in a hospital while connected to a giant strange machine and listening to disembodied voices say things like, "And now it is time for your leg exercises," before then having to spend almost nine hours in a waiting room with giant things stuck to my head.

It was by no means a genuinely horrific experience. It was kind of what you'd get if you took something mildly annoying, like standing in line with giant things stuck to your head, and then extended that for 19 hours.  

The only redeeming aspects of the whole thing were (1) the nice gentleman who worked there in the daytime and was willing to discuss things like how the large, sepia-toned photo by the bed boasting strange, stunted trees and a road staggering up into an even sepia-er sky looked like it was depicting a road to death, and (2) the following question:

One night you have to remain awake between 4:00 - 6:00 am. in order to carry out a night watch. You have no commitments the next day. Which ONE of the following alternatives will suit you best?

Would NOT go to bed until watch was over Would take a nap before and sleep after Would take a good sleep before and nap after 
Would take ALL sleep before watch 

What is a "night watch"? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT A NIGHT WATCH IS.

I wish all medical questions on medical questionnaires sounded like a cross between a choose-your-own-adventure book, a George R.R. Martin book, and a Victorian novel featuring a death-bed vigil.

9/4/2013 10:59:04 am

Come, you know what a night watch is. It's when it's bitter cold and you're sick at heart, and not a mouse is stirring. It's seeing ghosts and being harrowed with fear and wonder!!


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