July 1, 2015

kullen's sleep study

i don't think i've mentioned much about kullen's "issues" on here lately. not for lack of wanting too, but just haven't known how to go about it. for quite a while now, kullen has had some sleeping issues. he SLEEPS but during sleep, his breathing becomes unstable. he snores, mouth breathes, pauses and gasps for breath. we'd brought it up to our pediatrician a few times but it was never a HUGE concern.
then he got strep throat about a year ago. things seemed to get worse. after being diagnosed with strep once, anytime he wasn't feeling well, his tonsils got very enlarged and red. around february, i noticed that his tonsils were very large (touching his uvula) and brought him to the doctor. all tests were negative so we were even more concerned. after a few months of his tonsils not going down, we decided to take some action.

getting your tonsils out now-a-days isn't as standard as it used to be. if you talk to most adults 40+, they've [or one of their siblings] had theirs out. well, i guess things have changed now and before they take out tonsils, they refer to a sleep study first. 
so, in March, we were referred to Childrens National for a sleep study. of course, there was a long wait list so we just had to wait it out until the end of June!
kullen got one more strep infection meanwhile and his pediatrician told us that he will most likely have the tonsils and adenoids removed. 

the entire time that we were waiting for this study to happen, i didn't really know what to expect. i was definitely thinking worse case scenario about my sensitive little mama's boy not being able to cuddle with me and being attached to 23948203983 wires! but, i'm here to tell ya: "it's not THAT bad!" i think it was worse for ME having to sleep on that tiny, hard hospital cot! 

so, waiting for your childs sleep study? here is what you can expect!

these were all laying on kullen's bed, waiting to be attached to him. 
if you're lucky, an excited six year old!
a lot of waiting. getting all those wires on, takes a while!
two chest straps. not something that i anticipated!
the straps are fairly tight and measure heart rate and breathing rhythm. 
[reminded me of the monitors us mamas had to wear while in labor!]
monitors/wires on face!
lots of wires on the scalp!
a head scarf! haha
this was to keep all the wires in place when he slept. he thought it was a neat ninja mask.
a nasal cannula - that doesn't move oxygen into the nose but monitors the output. 
and an O2 sensor on the thumb!
and a chance that things may change during the night.
considering kullen doesn't breath through his nose - like ever - they had to add a sensor over his [open] mouth to track his breathing that way. 
and if your child is used to sleeping with multiple pillows, forewarn them that they only get one pillow that night. i think that was a little tough for kullen but he totally handled the entire night like a champ!

i was worried it would take him a long time to fall asleep, as there was no tv or anything but it maybe took him 10 minutes once the nurse came in and turned the light off. 
he kept saying that he wanted to go home and i would just tell him that as soon as he fell asleep and woke up, we'd be able to go. he said his night went quickly but mine wasn't so pleasant!
when i would finally fall asleep, i'd be awoken by a nurse coming in and then realize it had only been 10 minutes since i last looked at the clock. 
was not a fun night for mama, but luckily, the boy did great.

the next morning, the nurse said that usually you get "results" within 4-5 weeks but in kullens case, i would likely hear much sooner. and asked if we had an ENT already. i assume his "results" weren't good - although i don't know if there are good/bad versions of anything like this. 
i'm assuming they'll diagnose him with sleep apnea but hope that once his tonsils/adenoids are out that it will no longer be a concern. guess i'll keep everyone updated ....


Richard C. Lambert said...

Great choice with Kim! I'm so lucky I was able to meet her and hang out a little during this past fashion week (although I wish you had been there to!). She really is such a positive and wonderful girl. And not to mention her amazing sense of style! snore guard

Shanice Weathers said...

This is very insightful. Thanks for sharing!