No lost sleep over recordings


Lindell John Kay


Staff Writer

Monday, August 28, 2017

This old dog is learning new tricks.

In my professional and personal lives, I’ve changed my mind on two things I’ve been adamant against for years.

First, as a reporter, I’ve never recorded an interview. I always felt like a reporter who relies on recorded interviews isn’t as engaged as a reporter who uses the trusty pen and notepad. That a recording is a crutch real journalists would never use.

But I learned recently how wrong I’ve been. I recently conducted an interview along with a colleague. She recorded the interview.

And it’s good she did. Our interview subject said outlandish things that I don’t think anyone would believe he said if we didn’t have the recording to back it up.

Since then, I’ve conducted a couple more sit-down interviews that I recorded. It turns out I was completely wrong. Not having to worry about writing down every single word that is spoken gives me a greater opportunity to really listen to the interviewee and think of follow-up questions.

In my private life, I’ve learned to depend on something I’ve derided for years.

My doctor recommended I see a sleep specialist to determine whether I would benefit from wearing a CPAP mask. What’s that? CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It’s basically a mask that fits over your nose hooked by a hose to a ventilator machine that pushes air into your nostrils. The theory is that forcing air down your throat keeps it from collapsing while sleeping.

I used to laugh at folks who wore such devises. During an overnight session at the veterans’ hospital in Durham, I told the sleep specialist that he was wasting his time. There’s no way I have this sleep apnea thing.

Boy was I wrong. After hooking me up to a bunch of monitors, I’m allowed to go to sleep. Except, I wake up more than 100 times in a couple of hours. I had to be shown the scientific evidence to believe it, but during my sleep I quit breathing, which leads my body to wake up, which means restless sleep.

So the specialist hooks me up to a CPAP and tells me to go back to sleep. According to all the readouts, I woke up only three times in two hours. I felt so good in the morning that I was instantly sold on the CPAP.

After a month of using the machine, I feel better and better each morning. No more falling asleep at red lights. No more snoring during my favorite television shows. No more nodding off at my desk.

Come to think of it, I didn’t believe I was waking up hundreds of times a night until I was provided a recording. So have I been sleeping through interviews all these years?