I have returned, and I am sorry about the absence, but this momma's schedule gets crazy this time of year. In the time it has been since I last posted my children started school, I started school, and we have gone through a surgery with our youngest daughter. It has been quite the adventure, but now that I have my schedule organized I am back and will be posting more regularly.
We are continuing our journey of helping our daughter get a good night's sleep. For the past two years we have been going through a battle of trying to get our daughter feeling better. If you are not already caught up then for a little back story please read the following posts.
For the avid follower and those that have been following our battle. We are nearing the end! How exciting to finally see the finish line! Last week our daughter went through a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and a turbinoplasty (which is where they cauterize the turbinates in the nose to reduce swelling and open the airway). She is doing amazing and we are so anxious to see how well this surgery has worked.
Our journey started with chronic migraines and behavioral issues, then later turned in to a case of extremely severe sleep apnea. When we were told that our daughter stops breathing 6 to 7 times in one hour we were in shock. The worst part of this journey was even now that we were aware all we could do was sit back and watch. There was nothing we could do to help her sleep. Now we have reached a point of hope to see our daughter get back to herself, and have fun with her sibling.
She has spent endless hours on the couch, in her bed, in our bed, or simply on the recliner in the living room, because her body was exhausted and her migraines were getting the best of her. It was a horrible sight to see, because she was such a bubbly little girl before it all began. Then she simply became a zombie in from of our eyes, and talk about emotional.
It was frustrating at time, but once we saw the big picture and knew about what was happening it was just painful for us. We could not even imagine the pain she was feeling, but we knew if we didn't do something we were going to watch her get even worse. She was acting out really bad and we did not realize it was because of the pain she was feeling, but now that we do it all makes sense. I know when I am in pain I get flustered and I am not the nicest person to be around.
With that being said I would just like to reach out to other parent, grandparents, and guardians. I would like to share our story, because for years doctors and parents have overlooked the symptoms of sleep apnea. Our daughter would have been another looked over case had we not found somebody willing to over look the fact that she didn't snore. Our local hospital rejected the request to test her because she was not a snorer, but we were lucky enough to have an amazing neurologist in another town that set us up with a doctor at the hospital he works at.
When we arrived they were all super friendly and were half way convinced that maybe we were looking into this for no reason, because her tonsils were not enlarged, which is the next sign they check for after snoring. He went ahead and did the test anyway just to eliminate it from our list of possibilities. We spent the night with her and when we woke up the next morning our test was over and the sleep tech came in to inform us how it all went, and she informed us that our daughters have very severe sleep apnea for a child.
To my surprise we had our diagnosis, but now what? When I think of sleep apnea I think of old people that have to wear masks, but this was our 4 year old daughter! I had no idea kids could even have sleep apnea, and how will I get her to wear a mask? Well my husband and I asked what we were to do next, and the tech let us know that she would be referred to and Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (ENT).
When we went to the ENT they informed us of surgeries and other possibilities of thing they could correct, because she was still young enough. So last week she went under the knife and is no healing from her corrective surgeries. It will be a few weeks until we can do another sleep study to be sure that surgery was successful. If it was not then we will be starting over and possibly be getting a cpap mask and machine for out daughter. Most children do not have to undergo another test, but because she did not snore before, then we will not have an indicator of whether it worked or not.
The hardest challenge for us was not only the pain, and the behavioral problems, but simply the lack of symptoms we had heard of for sleep apnea. When we read articles and talked to the doctors they are looking for children that snore, are overweight, have enlarged tonsils and adenoids, or restless sleepers. It was not until later that they added in bed wetting and behavioral problems, which were two symptoms we did have, but with her not being a snorer or extremely restless they looked no further.
If you have even a hinkling that your child may have some sort of sleep deprivation, do not hesitate to ask your doctor to do a sleep study. Do not take no for an answer, because I almost did and look what happened. It was our answer and I am so glad that I was determined and was not giving up eliminating or proving the diagnosis.
You know your child better than anyone, and they look to you for the answer to their...well everything! A child cannot always tell you exactly how they feel or on a scale of one to ten how bad their pain is. Our daughter had severe migraines and we still cannot imagine the pain she feels when she gets one!