Monday, June 15, 2015

Toddler Sleep Study

So I guess it's been a long time since I have blogged about my family.  I've been doing some soul searching recently and realized how much I missed my blog.  Not because I truly enjoy writing or think anyone really enjoys reading, but it really is a great way to document and be able to look back on our kids little lives, which are flying by way too quickly.  Hopefully later this week I will be able to do a quick update post on the family again, but for now I just wanted to document my experience with having a sleep study done with my toddler.

Kayla (almost 4.5 years old! what?!?) had tubes put in her ears for consistent fluid and ear infections about 18 months ago.  It has been great since then.  We went for a 6 month follow up with the ENT doc last June and were supposed to go back in December for another follow up 1 year post, however I was putting it off because I didn't know how much it was needed and I wasn't the biggest fan of the ENT we had seen.  Recently, it seems that her snoring has gotten worse, teachers at day care have mentioned things to me, and she and I had a sleep over in her bed one night because she had been so great at bedtime for an extended period without me begging.  This "sleep over" turned into her sleeping and me up all night, literally, just making sure she was breathing.  Her snoring is like an old, large truck driver - huge, extensive noises coming from a very petite little girl.  I couldn't sleep due to the snoring and then between snores, I found myself staring at her chest almost willing it to move.  I was pretty convinced she wasn't breathing in these 6-10 second breaks between snores.  Bolstered by the fact at the end of the pauses she was taking large gasping breaths, I decided to set up another follow up appointment with a different ENT to check the status of her tubes and talk about her snoring.

The new ENT was super nice, Kayla was extremely well behaved.  One ear tube is still perfectly in place, one has pretty much fallen out but there is no sign of infection in the ear.  The ENT said her tonsils were very "significant" and said we had two options: 1. just have her tonsils and adenoids taken out or 2. have a sleep study done to find out exactly what is going on.  I opted for the sleep study since she has been snoring for pretty much her whole life and I had only experienced this fear of her not breathing the one night I slept with her.  So we scheduled a sleep study for the next week.

Oh yeah, we are expecting Baby Hales #3 incase you weren't aware already!

We arrived at 8:30 for the sleep study.  Kayla was pretty anxious and nervous, clung to my side, but overall did great.  We filled out some paperwork, get settled into our small room and watched the end of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff game.  The tech then came in to put the "stickers" or monitors on Kayla.  These monitors involved 14 stickers on her head, 1 on her neck, 2 on her chest, 4 on her legs and a finger (pulse oximeter).  She was actually quite good during the placement of all these stickers, and actually was extremely fascinated by the red light on her pointer finger.  When I turned the lights off, she even was shaking her finger around to see the little red light in the mirror on the back of the door. This whole thing was pretty painless, but pretty jarring to see as a parent.  She looked like she was getting out of brain surgery, but all it was was little electrodes on her head.

No so sure about this. 

Warming up to the process

What is that thing?

Eventually, probably around 9:30-10:00 we went to sleep.  Well, she went to sleep and I lie awake for pretty much the whole night.  At first, I was worried she would have a great night where she failed to snore and was breathing normally. Then the snoring began, I was already emotional about her looking like she did and my nerves were on high trying to figure out if my little girl would have to have some surgery or something worse.  The snoring seemed worse than normal and the lack of breathing seemed worse than before as well.  I have never wanted to get out of a place and go home as much as I did this night.  Kayla slept great, we even had to change her nasal cannula in the middle of the night and she barely stirred.  At 6:15 am, the tech woke us up and came into our room to remove all the stickers from Kayla.  This was the worst part.  Kayla cried a bunch because I'm sure it felt terrible removing all the tape, etc.  Her sensitive skin turned red almost immediately but I was so glad to be headed home.  The tech said to me, "You didn't sleep much did you?"  I said, "No, I'm already anxious and it's impossible to sleep when you are laying next to your daughter who you KNOW isn't breathing properly."  She said that she couldn't say anything but "we got what we needed."

Showing off her little red light finger

We stopped for breakfast and donuts on the way home and were home by 7:30 probably.  We took it VERY easy all morning and watching movies huddled together in the basement.  Then the waiting to here from the doctor began.  

I did hear from the doctor last Thursday (5 days after the sleep study), which wasn't so bad, except it was in the morning while I was waiting to begin my last weekend intensive of prenatal yoga teacher training (more on that in a later post). She has SEVERE obstructive sleep apnea and the ENT suggested a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, so we are in the process of trying to schedule the surgery ASAP, as I can barely check on her at night without crying due to the fact she isn't breathing properly.  I know it's a pretty routine, quick surgery, but my little toddler is still having SURGERY.  I'm nervous and anxious and I just want it to be over so we can be past this.  I want her to feel better and sleep better.  I will keep you updated!