Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sleepless Nights, Surgery, and Still Laughing....

So, after 4 years of almost NEVER sleeping through the night (I know firsthand what sleep deprivation is, let me tell you! :) ) we finally realized our sweet little Angel had more than a learned aversion to sleep. After multiple various attempts to get her to sleep through the night failed, we finally sought medical treatment and learned that Angel has Restless Leg Syndrome and Sleep Apnea, which, we hope, are the root of her night terrors and problems.

The restless leg syndrome has been easily remedied by supplementing her diet with iron (since we are, for the most part, vegetarian, she doesn't eat as much iron as her little growing body needs). The sleep apnea, however, is not such a quick fix. Her ginormous tonsils seem to completely obstruct her airway several times a night and are therefore no longer welcome in her sweet little throat. So she is scheduled for surgery next month.

Angel has been such a trooper through the whole process. Undergoing an overnight sleep study at the hospital was a bit daunting, but fortunately they let her Daddy and her Teddy accompany her, and she proved every bit the Angel; the nurses all spoke of how sweet, cooperative and accomodating she was! Following the results of the sleep study, we prepped her for the visit with the ENT, saying something to the effect of "Your tonsils seem as though they may be too big, so we're going to go see a doctor that knows a lot about throats, to see if he thinks we might want to take them out. But if you do need to get them taken out, it might hurt, but you'll get lots of yummy things like ice cream, popsicles and milk shakes." (Nothing like a little bribery...I mean incentive... right?)

The day of the appointment I asked "How are you going to feel if the Dr. says we should take out your tonsils?" to which she responded "I'll tell him 'I'm a little nervous about getting my tonsils out, but I'm looking forward to all the cold treats!'" That made me chuckle.

At the doctors appointment, she waited quietly and patiently as I spoke with the ENT about what we'd tried, the results of the study, etc. Then he asked her to sit up on the table so he could take a look. Since "Daddy is a Dr." and she loves playing "doctor" at home, she's usually very comfortable and cooperative with doctors examining her, but this time she held back and clutched at my arm. "Are you OK, sweetheart?" I asked. She leaned in and whispered into my ear "Is the Dr. going to take out my tonsils right now?" Realizing I may not have given her the whole time frame and scenario, I felt bad, and quickly assured her that this was just a checkup, and the surgery, if necessary, would come later. She was fine then, and jumped right up.

I know I'm rambling - this entry is more of a journal of sorts - but the punch line is coming up! Angel and Grins wanted to see their tonsils, so we took turns opening our mouths wide to show one another our tonsils (or, in the Mr.'s case, lack thereof), and then took pictures so they could see their own (I know, we're medical geeks. But it's all in the name of the scientific education of our children!) :) When we shined the light on Grins' throat, Angel excitedly shouted out "Look!! I can see his balls!" The Mr. and I could not stop laughing, and the kids looked at us as if we were crazy (we use correct anatomical nomenclature, never slang, so our children had no idea what we found so funny). Mature, I know. But it was just so unexpected.


Timani said...

oh poor girl! SMART move to seek medical attention for her not sleeping and not just thinking she'll grow out of it. Didn't know sleep studies were done on ones that young.

Jennie said...

You poor thing! I had no idea that you haven't been getting a full night's rest for the past 4 years! My friend had the same thing with her son and they took him in and found out that his tonsils were abnormally large (he also couldn't eat certain solid food because there just wasn't enough room in his throat!). They removed them and he's been sleeping through the night since.

Good luck Angel! You'll do great. You're such a brave big girl!

Symes Family said...

That made me laugh too!