Monday, January 08, 2007

The Sleep Clinic

BEGIN Sunday Evening, 1/7/07


We're taken to our room for the evening. Kate sees the crib she's supposed to sleep in, blows it a kiss and says "up," clearly letting me know that she hates the damn toddler bed at home.

Wired for sleep, with few complaints. I'm starting to think this might not be as bad as I had predicted.

Respiratory therapist tells me to rock her and put her in the crib when she gets ready to drift off to sleep. Like other things in life, Kate does not drift. She goes full force into everything, so I'm already thinking , "um, yeah, I'll let you know when Little Miss Intensity suddenly changes her personality with a mellow, sleepytime child who doesn't mind 20 wires, 3 belts and lots of glue in her hair."

Respiratory therapist comes back in the room, a mild look of impatience on his face. He let us know that he needs to hook her up to the machine soon so that he'll get enough data to determine if her breathing is obstructed by her ginormous tonsils. He recommends placing her in the crib and letting her cry herself to sleep. I am in full agreement, as she'll never fall asleep in my arms, but I tell him that I'm worried that she'll pull all the wires off of her. This is not a problem as he will reattach "those few" when she falls asleep.

Kate is in her crib, entranced by the glowing-red pulse monitor on her finger. She is alternately giggling and yawning. All signs point to sleep.

Kate is in full meltdown mode, trying to pull the glowing red monitor off of her finger and the accompanying wire off of her arm.

Pulse monitor off.

One of the forehead monitors and a leg monitor off.

Monitor behind ear is off.

Still howling so hard that she almost throws up. Screaming "hep" (help) and "up" and some other choice words that I couldn't understand. Mother and child crying.

Kate gets tangled in wires and pulls more of them out this way.

Asleep, tangled, and with runny snot rapidly drying on her already-decorated face, the test begins.

Respiratory therapist reattaches some wires, but cannot find one of them -- decides it's not an absolutely necessary one and will try again later.

Lying on her back with huge tonsils hanging down her throat, Kate relies on her nose to breathe. When the very stuffed-up nose fails her, she awakens. Realizing wires have been reattached, Kate makes fast work of REremoving them before falling back asleep.

11:45 pm
Wires reattached. I ask therapist what I can do. "Pray" he says. I do.

Kate sleeps, Mama sleeps.

2:30 am
Kate screams. I ignore her and hope she'll fall back asleep. She does.

3:30 am
Kate screams, sits up, rips out wires and wakes the other sleep study patients, I'm sure.

4:30 am
Respiratory therapist says that he has to record for 30 more minutes for insurance purposes, but that he'll recommend a tonsillectomy because he believes that's preventing her from sleeping well enough to even conduct the study effectively. As an added bonus, he wants to see Kate a few months after the tonsillectomy to evaluate her sleeping. Oooh, double the fun!

5 am
After heartwrenching sobs and angry cries, we are outta there, but not without appropriate souvenirs. Kate has gobs of paste in her hair, medical tape on her face and the little electrode pad thingies on her chest. I am instructed on how to remove all of this (after a very long warm shower gently).

5:30 am
Kate's running around the house, so happy to be home. I'm hopeful that the experience with the crib is enough to make her long for her toddler bed. I put Kate to bed without an argument from her.
I go to unwind for a bit in the livingroom before trying to catch a few hours of sleep.

7 am
As I head off to bed, I pass Kate's room. Having given her toddler bed the metaphorical "finger", she's asleep on the floor, snoring away.

9 am
Kate's awake and, therefore, so am I.

9 am - 5:30 pm
Passes in a sleepy blur. Kate in good spirits despite lack of sleep. Me, a bit less spirited, but content to have a happy child.

5:30 pm PHONE CALL FROM THE ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor)
Paraphrase: Mrs. Braun, this is Dr. ______. I just received a report on Kate's sleep study and it looks like she had only very mild sleeping obstruction issues so I think we can hold off on the tonsillectomy...." The world spins and I see a future of Kate being exhausted every day for the rest of her life until I hear the doctor say, "unless you think the study wasn't representative of her real sleep pattern."

I explain the nightmare of the past 20 hours and, when he hears of how little she actually slept, he asks me to bring Kate in later in the week and we will discuss tonsillectomy. I am to bring in my observations of her sleeping patterns which will augment the sleep study.

To be continued....

Monday, January 01, 2007

It means "Happy New Year"
Pronunciation: "shin nien kwai lerh"