My list of things I never want to do again:
- Toddler Sleep Study
Neala and I went on a girls date last night. To a hotel. For a sleep study. Turns out, the kid has giant tonsils which may be causing her Darth Vader-like mouth breathing and, more importantly, sleep apnea. Of course, one sleepless night was absolutely worth us finding out if her size 3 out of 4 tonsils could be causing life-long problems.
We were instructed to arrive at the hotel at 8:45. This was a bit problematic since bedtime is usually around 7:30. I knew Rylan wouldn’t fall asleep without Neala in the room and I wasn’t sure what to do with Nea for the extra hour, so we went ahead with our bedtime routine and put them both to bed. I packed up all our stuff and we put a very groggy, but awake, Neala in the car and we headed to the hotel.
We had been instructed to report directly to room 436, and arrived there to find several “sleep technicians,” a bank of computers, a refrigerator, and other medical equipment. It was bizzare. We were taken by one of the sleep technicians to our room, which at first glance, looked like any other hotel room and were instructed to get ready for bed and do our normal nightly routine (oops, we’d already done that). I asked if there was a crib available and we were told that we both had to sleep in the bed because of all the wires and the camera mounted on the ceiling.
Neala was in good spirits, and, as per usual, was asking repeatedly about the whereabouts of “Ry Ry.” I’d tell her he was sleeping and she’d jam her index finger up her nose and say, “Shhhhhh!” We waited about 15 minutes and then our assigned sleep technician arrived with a box full of wires, gauze pads, goo (I’m not sure what else to call it), and stickers. She asked if I preferred to have Neala “hooked up” while she was awake or if I wanted to wait until she’d fallen asleep. We decided to go ahead with the application of all the stickers, belts, goo, and cannula while she was awake and she did great! She asked for her brother through the entire application process (about 45 minutes) and said over and over, “Oh cool!” when the tech put a new sticker on her! The girl is a trooper!
When it was all said and done she had around 20 wires connected to her legs, chest, face, and head. She also had a nasal cannula to sense her breathing and it had a little antennae sticking off of it to sense if she was breathing through her mouth, and an oxygen saturation monitor attached to her toe (she hated the O2 probe the most and lifted her foot up to see the little orange light shining under her sock multiple times during the middle of the night and then screamed in anger). The tech explained that there were sensors to monitor if she was dreaming, if she was awake or asleep, her heart rate, if her eyes were open or closed, if she was breathing, and, as mentioned above, her oxygen saturation. I have no idea what the others were for, but hope to find out when we receive the results of the study in a few weeks.
When it was all said and done, it was around 10:00 when we finally tried to fall asleep. Neala took much longer than her usual 5 minutes to fall asleep (I’ve been blessed with kids who sleep pretty well, thankfully) and for the first two or three hours, every time she’d move she would cry for a few minutes. The tech had to come in once to replace the sticker and wire that were stuck to her face closest to her eye. She was NOT happy with this and cried for about 10 minutes. Finally, around 2:30 A.M. we both fell into a deep sleep. Until 5:30 A.M. when the tech came in and started ripping off the stickers, ouch.
Little Neala did well with the removal and we said bye-bye to the stickers and the belts. All day long she’s been saying bye-bye to the stickers and the belts. Poor thing is a bit traumatized.
We went for a celebratory breakfast at a local diner and I knew she’d be OK when she exclaimed, “BACON!” when the waitress brought our food!
As I said above, we expected the results in a few weeks. Well, this afternoon, after writing everything above, my phone rang at it was the sleep center. The doctor said something like, ” Due to the severity of the results of Neala’s sleep study, we wanted to call you right away. She has severe sleep apnea and will need to have her tonsils and adenoids surgically removed.”
I was not prepared for this information. Our little lady sleeps so well, or so I thought. She falls asleep around 7:45 and sleeps until 7:30 or so if her loud brother doesn’t wake her up! Every once in a while, she’ll squeak in the night because she’s dropped her pacifier, but otherwise she is quiet as a mouse. I was also not prepared because I didn’t think we’d receive the results for a few weeks and I had not had time to really prepare myself (or do any research) about what we’re not facing.
We have an appointment with our ear, nose and throat doctor in mid-October where we’ll review the sleep study results and likely schedule a date for surgery.
Here we go again!