I had been feeling very tired lately. I was thinking that maybe I was exhausted because I was a single mother, or because I was taking a Master’s course while working full time, or because I was not a meat-eater and my diet was not balanced enough. I had been ill too, and coughed for weeks, so my GP decided to refer me to a lung specialist.
A couple of weeks later, I went to my appointment. I was dreading it a bit, my breathing wasn’t great and I was worried of what the doctor would tell me. But I was way more anxious about the fatigue that was really concerning, particularly when I was driving for over an hour to go to work. The doctor offered to do a polysomnography. We booked a new appointment. I arrived in the evening, was fitted with electrodes, lots of wires, and a box. My sleep and all my vital functions would be recorded.
My daughter was shocked and worried when she saw me like that. Bedtime, sleep, and next morning, back to the respirologist.
He checked my results. You have quite a severe sleep apnea he said. Also your pipes are too soft, you were probably born like that. We need to help your lungs with a CPAP machine. I was aghast. I would never have a boyfriend again if I looked like the love child of Robocop and an elephant, I thought. That’s where I was almost right, a boyfriend no, but a f****boy yes.
The lung specialist gave a quick call and told me to wait in the corridor. After a few minutes a man in his early thirties arrived. Blond, blue eyes, rather thin, underdeveloped shoulders and very narrow hips. He made me fill in a form with most of my details. Then, he requested my mobile phone number. I thought it was the procedure I gave it to him. I noticed that he jotted it down on a different paper than the form he had me to fill in. I followed him into a room where he showed me how to set up the CPAP machine. I gave my feedback – it really felt good, I had no trouble breathing anymore, it was so amazing! The guy looked elated, his eyes were really sparkling. He was standing really too close from me, but considering that he was checking the CPAP machine I thought it was ok. He said he would contact me for a follow-up. He didn’t want to let me go though, and I really had to grab the door that he wouldn’t open so that I could go out. He made me think of a sticky chicken drumstick. I couldn’t wait to get him off my hair.
I went to work that afternoon, got home a bit late, fed my child. Then I heard my mobile phone vibrate on my desk. I checked the number, I didn’t know it. Then I looked at the message, it was sticky chicken drumstick asking for a date. I turned him down politely. He insisted. I turned him down again. Then for the next couple of weeks, he kept sending me sexual messages, telling me that all he wanted was to have sex with me. He wouldn’t let go. It was terrible. The messages only stopped when I changed my number.
And the CPAP machine? Well, after a few days of trying to make it work, and failing – my nose would get blocked, I couldn’t breathe, just very horrific. I left it in a corner of my bedroom in its box. I couldn’t call the company to handle it, since I would have had to leave my phone number, and sticky chicken drumstick was in charge of my area.
A few months later, I had an appointment with the lung specialist. I said I tried but it didn’t work. He was mad at me. He had a proper yelling rant. I was the patient and I needed help, so I didn’t reply, and let the storm pass. I then said that I had issues with sticky chicken drumstick, and that was why I didn’t contact the company. The lung specialist sighed, and said, ah you too. He offered a different way to handle my sleep apnea, gave me an appointment to have a device fit into my mouth and shaped after my jaws. I said goodbye, paid, and left.
I went home and cancelled that appointment, never mind my sleep.
No more contact with medical device company sticky chicken drumstick f***boys. I swore to myself that I would never be left on my own during a medical appointment ever again.