I was jostled awake by a firm nudge to my left leg. “Pretz, you’re snoring again.” (Pretz is short for Pretzel, which sounds a bit like Russell, hence the nickname. The fact that pretzels are generally twisted has nothing to do with it---I’m almost certain.) This mid-night awakening resulted in a familiar mumbled apology and a shuffling off to the spare bedroom.The subject was revived in the light of day. “Not only are you snoring, it’s like you stop breathing for a while, and then start up again.”
“That’s disconcerting,” I said. “For a long-suffering wife, it must be like receiving a pardon from the governor, only to have it snatched away thirty seconds later.”Donna replied, “Thou hast said.”
Actually, my lovely wife was sympathetic, and she urged me to go forthwith to a sleep clinic---to have my head examined.One night a few weeks later I was in a cozy room with a bazillion wires attached to my head.
“Try to just relax and sleep as you normally do," the technician said.“I don’t normally sleep with a bazillion wires attached to my head.”
“I suspect you don’t normally sleep normally at all---that’s why you’re here.”
I politely explained to her that in my stories I prefer to ascribe to myself any remarks that could be construed as clever.
After a few days I was told the results were in, and I went to see the doctor. Those of you with a medical background may know him as a Sleepologist, Dreamician, Nocturnist or Snornithologist, but to me he was just the sleep doctor. An older gentleman hailing from the Hudson River Valley, Dr. Van Winkle told me that on the night I was tested I had “only danced on the edges of deep sleep.” This came as a complete shock to me.
“So I can dance?”The Dr. was not amused. He said, “This is a serious condition. You have Sleep Apnea."