Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The hardest part is the night

I love to sleep, but there have been times in my life where I have hated nighttime. I find myself entering one of those seasons again.

When my kids were infants I dreaded going to sleep. I felt like I watched them so closely all day long and then the night came and they just slept there unsupervised for hours. Something could happen to them while I was sleeping - I can't go to bed! The other part of my dread came from the fact that when I actually went to bed after the eleven o'clock-ish feeding, I knew that it was only a matter of a few hours and I would be up again - and I would be SO tired. Repeat the same scenario a couple of hours later. Months with a newborn are the most exhausting of your life.

I hate the night when my kids are sick. Why is it that sickness seems so much worse in the dark? When I am up at night with a sick kid the fear and worry just tends to overwhelm me. I find myself second guessing decisions and playing worst case scenarios over and over in my head. I try to talk myself down by thinking that in a few short hours it will be morning and if he is still acting like this, I can call the pediatrician and get him seen. So far I have not had to make any early morning drives to the ER. Thankfully, my kids are not sick very often. (I better not have just jinxed myself by writing that!)

I didn't sleep at all last night. Thus begins the new season of night time fear. Evan came into our room at about 12:30am saying that he didn't really feel good. He said every time he coughed it hurt his throat and his stomach. He wanted to sleep with us, which for him means lay down for a half hour or so and then he tells me he wants to go back in his own bed. Last night he never asked to go back and I don't think I would have let him if he did. The remnants of his cold and his normal heavy sleeping/snoring patterns made for a night filled with bouts of sleep apnea. (Or what I am guessing is sleep apnea). I don't think there is a sound that has ever caused me so much fear as listening to him breath and stop breathing while he sleeps. I am aware of the sound (believe me) because Trent suffers from it too. I have suspected that Evan has it because of sleeping with him in the past - but it was never as bad as last night. At least that I know of. The odds of him having apnea are in his favor: he is an extremely heavy sleeper and he has larger than normal tonsils. He was so tired this morning. I don't know how he could sleep at all with the coughing on top of the deep jarring gasps of air he kept taking to get back into a normal breathing pattern. At one point I just layed there staring at him, he just couldn't seem to get enough breath or something. I started to panic thinking that maybe this is one of those times that you read about, one of the times where you think "Why didn't they take him to the hospital?" I was about ready to throw some jeans on and drive him to the ER, but then my head was messing with me telling me that I couldn't get there fast enough. I should call the ambulance. My friend is an ER nurse and she always tells me to not hesitate to call an ambulance if a kid is really sick - they see enough people riding in on ambulances with nothing but a sore toe. As the battle raged in my head, his breathing evened out and turned normal sounding. It was scary. Like I said, I didn't sleep at all last night.

I talked to his Dr. last spring about what to do about the apnea. He didn't seem very concerned about it at the time, but told me that if I convinced Trent to do a sleep study, I could call him and he would order one for Evan as well. I told Trent this morning that a sleep study is in his near future. He agreed. He didn't sleep well either. So that is where we are going from here. I don't know what kinds of things they do to alleviate the apnea. He may have to get his tonsils out to help clear the passage. I would not look forward to that, but if it helped him breathe better - I guess it would have to be done.

That is where I am today - back to dreading the night time.


dr said...

So sorry you have to deal with the worry. I imagine he is just fine, but not a bad idea to do a sleep study.

I know what you mean about the hardest time being the night. I remember when Mira was a newborn dreading going to sleep because I never knew if I would get 15 minutes or 1 hour. And no amount of sleep was ever enough.

jensenbo said...

Oh, Ev, I'm sure you will be just fine. I know how hard it is when you worry about your kids --- And guess what? It never ends.