As I reached for the phone, the only thing missing was Laurence Fishburne asking me if I wanted the red pill or the blue pill.

Let me back up a little. Well, let me back up a lot.

According to Anna, I snore. Now, I’ve never been able to confirm this for myself, but she says not only do I snore, I also randomly stop breathing.

The brain can survive without oxygen for three minutes. So, I’ve never really been too concerned with this.

Especially since there was a time, early in our marriage, when Anna would wake me up each time I stopped breathing.

Now, I think she starts counting down from three minutes with her fingers crossed and leaves it in God’s hands.

This goes on for a while and I finally have a conversation with my doctor, who looks at me, then looks at my chart and says, “Yeah, that tracks. Let’s set you up with a sleep study.”

Apparently, the rest of North Alabama is also having trouble sleeping because you have to fast-forward a month and a half until we get to the consultation appointment for that sleep study.

That’s correct. You don’t get to jump straight to sleep study.

You have to go to another doctor before you actually get tested.

Now, I don’t know why, and I don’t make a habit of questioning a doctor’s method.

But there I am at the consultation for my pending sleep study in a hospital gown and my underwear, while this doctor explains what sleep apnea is to me and the three ways they can treat it.

I had a little out of body experience here because coincidently, the last time I heard exactly what this doctor was telling me, I was sitting in my underwear reading a WebMD post.

Apparently, you’re just not allowed to be fully dressed and learn about sleep problems.

I digress.

Nevertheless, I make through the speech and he says “OK, I think we should do a take-home sleep study. Get dressed and go see the nurse at the desk and she’ll get you set up.”

I think to myself, “Great. We’re finally back to where we were over a month ago.”

But, like a bad infomercial, where each time you think you’re getting closer to the end someone yells, “But wait! There’s more!”

The nurse politely informs me that it’s going to be another two weeks until I can pick up said sleep study. I can’t prove this, but I think there are only two at-home sleep study machines in North Alabama and everyone just shares them.

I mean they blame it on the insurance needing to pre-approve it, but I see what they’re doing.

I finally think I’m getting to the end of this gauntlet and then she hit’s me with a “But wait! There’s more!”

The good news was I could do the sleep study in two weeks. The bad news was I would then have to wait another month and a half to get the results. And, why would it take that long to get the results? … because.

By this point I’m starting to feel like I’m a mark in some long con that’s designed to just milk me of every dollar I’ve ever made. I mean I’m three co-pays and who knows how many “unexpected medical bills” in and I still don’t have any results or resolution.

Or maybe, I’m on some reality TV show and the goal is to see how many things you can get someone to do.

Regardless, that’s why when I went to pick up the sleep study and I was told to go to the basement.

Take your first left.

Follow the hall until you come to a phone.

Pick up the receiver and dial the number by the phone.

And, oh by the way, you won’t encounter a single soul once you go through that elevator.

I fully expected to be teleported out of the Matrix and wake up in a gelatinous goo.

But no. I’m still here. Still not getting a restful-night’s sleep.

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