Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sleep Study

A while back I had talked to Carter's doctor about how he often snores when he sleeps.  It's not like he's hardcore sawing logs, but he breathes through his nose very deeply, and it sounds very congested and labored at times.  It's hard to tell if he has pauses in his breathing, but sometimes he does do a snort that sounds a lot like sleep apnea.  Full disclosure: My last boyfriend before Craig had really bad apnea, to the extent that he had his tonsils, adenoids, and even his uvula removed (in his 30s!) to fix it.  It helped considerably (though not entirely), but I still got a very good education about what sleep apnea sounds like.  Preferably from a different room.  It was awful.

Anyway, I didn't like the way Carter's sounded and how often it happened--every night at times.  So, we got referred to a sleep clinic, the doctor found reason to send him for a sleep study, and we got scheduled for late November (!).  They told me when it got scheduled that there's a cancellation waiting list, but I've heard that before from other doctors, to no avail, so I didn't hold my breath.  But a week or two later we started getting frequent calls with cancellations.  None of them fit our schedule particularly well, but then we got a call a week ago offering up Sunday night.  I was hesitant at first because I knew we had a Buffalo trip on tap on Saturday (our nephew's birthday party), but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to risk doing it after school started.  I also wanted to avoid a day we could otherwise sleep in since those are so few and far between already.  I had an early meeting on Monday morning so I figured it might work okay since we would be out of the clinic by 6:30am.  So, I took the appointment.

I packed up Sunday afternoon--pajamas and extra pajamas, some clothes for me to sleep in, Carter's stuffed animals and blankets, some books, Carter's nightlight, a movie, a snack, our water bottles, my (work) computer, my phone charger, and some toiletries.  It seemed like a lot for less than 12 hours, but I wanted to be prepared for everything and ensure Carter would be as comfortable as possible. 

We arrived at 7pm and there were two other kids there for studies, too.  One was around Carter's age, and one was a bit older.  All three were "C" names, which was funny, and I felt better that one of the other parents looked as much like a pack mule as I did!  We were shown right to our room, which I think was the same room we saw the doctor in during our first visit.  The room is equipped with two murphy beds and a bathroom.  Carter jumped right on his bed and we waited for the next set of instructions. 
I had been telling him he was going to turn into a robot, and he was in really good spirits when we got there!
We found out what time Carter was going to get hooked up, and we had some time to watch Lego Batman before he got in his jammies.  He was still in a really good mood, as I'm sure in his mind it felt pretty much like a sleepover or a hotel night alone with mama!

Near the end of the movie, around 8:30, the tech came in and started hooking Carter up to all of the monitors.  He had stuff everywhere--all over his face, glued to his head, and stuck to his neck, chest, and legs, plus a monitor clipped on his finger.  He had something in his nose and near his mouth, probably checking how he was breathing.  It was a little jarring to see, to be honest.

At first he bought into the robot thing and kept smiling, but then started realizing he was missing some essential robot characteristics...at which point the novelty wore off.  He was uncomfortable as he laid down and asked when he could take the stuff off.  I told him that the sooner he went to sleep, the sooner it would be morning and he'd be done.  He was chatty and seemed to have a hard time getting comfortable, so I was worried he might never fall asleep.  I had been working on a couple things for work while he was watching the movie and getting hooked up, and I hoped to do more after he was asleep, but I decided to cut it off early in case me being on my computer was keeping him up.  But minutes after I shut down, I started to hear rhythmic breathing and tiny little snores from the next bed.  Even still, I figured I should probably just go to bed, too, given the early wake-up call.  Carter was asleep by 9:30, and I was probably out by a little after 10:15 or so.

It was a pretty restless night, mostly for me.  The bed wasn't very comfortable and the pillow was really flat.  I know I tossed and turned a number of times and slept very lightly overall.  I think Carter slept pretty well, though at one point I looked over and he was facing the opposite way in bed, which was a feat considering all of the cords!  The tech had to come in a couple times to reattach things, as they tended to come off if he moved too much.

At 5:30, Carter woke up and said he had to go to the bathroom.  I reminded him that he had to say that directly to the camera so the tech could come in and unhook him from all the machines.  I had to carry a handful of cords into the bathroom behind him and hold them while he went.  Once he was done, he got hooked back up, but unfortunately did not go back to sleep.  So, it ended up being an even earlier wake-up call than we anticipated.  They officially finished things off at 6am, and we were home a little after 6:30, despite the fact Carter was demanding we stick around and watch another movie!  When we got home, I had to put Carter right into the bathtub to rinse the glue out of his hair and more easily take off a few of the sensor stickers that were a bit more stubborn.  I tried scrubbing him all over since I wasn't sure at that point where all of the stickers had been, but by the end of the day it was clear I missed a few stubborn areas of sticker residue, as any that was left had visibly picked up fuzz and dirt over the course of the day.  He also had a pinkish spot on his face where some tape had been, and he'd said "Ouch!" when the tech took it off.  I tried to use rubbing alcohol to remove the rest with less pain, but I think a couple spots were already a little raw as he said that hurt, too.  Poor kid. 

But all things considered, he did well.  He had been so uncomfortable and hung in there all night without pulling anything off.  He was a trooper and I'm so proud of him.  I still have to reschedule our appointment to get our results since our original one isn't until December, so I still don't know when we'll find out how he did or what might be in store.  It could be tonsils and adenoids, it could be a nose spray, or maybe it's nothing.  We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess.  I'm just glad this part is over!

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