Picked up the paper, it was more bad news…

Now that I have a bit of time to blog, I’ll give you the gory details on my last 24 hours. I got to the sleep center at 8:30, registered, filled out questionnaires, and told the sleep tech that I’d like to get to bed around 10:30. She said that it wasn’t likely, but she’d get me to bed as soon as she could. I sat around for a while and enjoyed the hospital’s sporadic, yet complimentary wifi. I watched a terribly outdated video about sleep apnea, and was told by the tech that she’d come to hook me up around 11:00. I wasn’t happy about this because I remembered from previous sleep studies that it takes over a half hour to get all hooked up to the monitors and electrodes. When she came back in, she took a sharp red marking pen and marked a variety of spots on my head and neck. Then she roughly scrubbed cleanser over these spots to take the natural oils away so the electrodes would stick. Next, she put freezing cold gobs of sticky electrode gel on each spot, and jammed on each electrode with her thumb. Each electrode had a colored wire that connected to a control box.

After the head, neck, and face electrodes, she repeated the process on my abdomen and calves (luckily she let me guide the wires through my clothes myself). Then she clippped two different monitor bands around my midsection. Once I got in bed, the two sets of nasal cannulas were stuck up my nostrils, and I was told that I must sleep on my back for at least 3 hours. I know that my doctor ordered a CPAP test, but the paperwork confused the tech and she decided to be “safe” and go with a baseline study (which I’ve done twice already) I allowed to go off into camera-monitored dreamland around 12:00 am.

Six hours of sleep time was required for the full study, but I was wide awake just around 4:00 am (just like usual). I sat up, streched, and was told that they needed at least 90 more minutes of sleep time. I layed around for about 30 minutes before dozing back to sleep. I dreamed that I was having my sleep study in a high-rise hospital in California during an earthquake, and it made me fall off of my bed. I nearly choked to death on the cords around my neck. Luckily, Chandler from Friends (and I don’t even watch Friends) saw the whole thing happen from the car wash next door to the hospital, and he came to my room to save the day. Bizarre.

At 6:00 am, my Blackberry alarm clock went off, despite the device being turned off. It was across the room, so I couldn’t reach over and turn it off. It blared on for about two minute before the tech came to the room to turn it off for me. At this point, she said I needed 15 more minutes of sleep time. Luckily, I fell back asleep immediately, and I got up around 6:45. The tech removed all of the wires, monitors, and electrodes, and then scrubbed all the spots with acetone to remove the electrode goo, and I was sent on my way at 7:40.

I was driving home from the hospital down LaVista, and the sun was blaring in my eyes. I was driving in a school zone at about 20 MPH, and the lady in front of me slammed on her brakes when the crossing guard walked into the croswalk. (My guess is that the driver I hit wasn’t paying attention, and had to brake immediately) Even though I was going an acceptable speed with an acceptable following distance, I skidded into a shiny new Volvo. Her hard plastic bumper had very minimal scuffing on the bumper, but the whole front of my hood was crunched (although my bumper remained completely intact) We pulled into the neighborhood to exchange information, and she was a lot more difficult with me than she needed to be. She asked if I worked for Emory, and I told her I did, and she told me people she knew from my division. She repeated, in a menacing tone, “I really want to trust you” about 40 times. She wanted to leave so she could drop her kid off at school, and threatened “If you try to throw this situation around, and make it seem like it was my fault, my attorney will be after you.” I’ve tried to call her twice today to give her more of my info, but she hasn’t returned my calls.

So now I have a car that needs to be repaired, and a $500 deductible I honestly can’t pay. It will drive, but I know it won’t pass the state inspection that needs to happen before my Michigan car registration expires on Thursday (happy birthday to me). And since I haven’t been able to get in touch with the “victim” of the accident yet, I can’t complete filing my claim nor get my car repair started. At least I opted for the rental car reimbursement.

To top off the horriblenes of the day, Taylor and I had a meeting with a credit counselor today. We have been drowning in our student loan debt and wanted to see if we had any options available to relieve our financial stress. The rep checked our credit scores, reviewed all or our monthly expenses and consumer debt. We were told that they have no pull with the student loan companies, and we were basically left on our own to try applying for more consolidation loans. As for our consumer debt, he offered a credit card consolidation plan that would RAISE our monthly payment. And as for the deficit of our income vs bills..he suggested we both look into supplementing our income with part time jobs. We’re screwed.

  • Mandy

    we’ve been there with the debt stuff … we have some school debt consolidated and the payment dropped to about half of what we were paying .. check with sallie mae for that stuff, I did all online thru them

    sorry about the car stuff …. that is never fun and always a hassle .. hope all that gets settled soon


  • Lori

    That sleep lab sucks! Their are sooooooooooo many things the tech should have done differently. If you need another study, refuse to go back to that lab. Make your doctor send your referral to a different one.

    Fly down here to Boise and I’d be glad to give you a whole new sleep study experience!

  • Nicole

    Mandy- So far we’ve been declined for consolidation loans through Sallie Mae, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Key Bank, Great Lakes, and a few other companies. They say our debt level is too high to consider us. The credit counselor said our next option is to go for private bank loans (similar to a home equity line of credit) but we’ll probably be turned down because we have NO assets.

    Lori-I had wondered the same thing…going to a different sleep lab. The one at Emory (where I work) has one of the top rated labs in Georgia. It’s where RLS was discovered, too. And if worse comes to worse, I may just head out to Boise.

  • Someday

    I’m sorry about your terrible, horrible, no good day. I wish it could be better for you!

  • Lori

    I hope you have a much better Wednesday. That sleep study sounded awful. Not sure I would be able to do it, I HAVE to sleep on my side or I don’t sleep at all.

  • Cpt. J’s Wife

    My vote is for an Ambien!!

  • Misty

    I am so sorry Nicole!! If I was there I’d give you a hug, and I’m not even a huggy person! But crap, dude, you need one!!!!

    What about bankruptcy? I know that you probably want it to be a last resort, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to file a Chap.7, you could file a Chap. 13 payback plan. Your credit wouldn’t be great for 7 years, but there is plenty of financing available for people with messy credit, the interest rates are just always higher.

  • Nicole

    Misty: Actually, we were hoping that bankruptcy could be an option, but all of the loans that we took out had a disclosure that we agreed to be liable for paying all loans in full and we can’t bankrupt them. Even the private signature loans. There’s no statute of limitations on student loans, meaning that they can collect on the loans until DEATH, including the cosigner. Also, defaulting on student loans is WORSE for your credit than defaulting on credit cards. We’ll try a few more consolidation companies, try to keep sending the loans into forebarance, etc…we can’t live like this.

  • sarahbclark!

    that sounds horrible. you definitely had a sucky day.

    we have huge debt stress too, and i know how you feel!

  • The Life and Times of Travis

    okay that woman who you rear-ended is a bitch. I would have called her a cunt, threw my information and walked away telling her to wash the Sand out of her Vagina! (pardon my German)

  • Hizzeather

    Oh Nicole…I am so sorry. I completely understand being poor. I know it’s stressful, but just pray and do all that you can, and the Lord will do the rest. If you ever need to vent or just talk, call me.

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