(Warning – long post, not many pictures.)
When Chance was a baby, he would have a “falling” reaction anytime I lowered him down (to be changed, to sleep, etc). I thought it was odd. At his 6 month check up, the doctor informed me he had dual ear infections. That explained why he didn’t sleep at night. But he didn’t run fever or pull on his ears. He had 8 rounds of antibiotics for the second half of his first year, until we finally decided to get tubes. He slept better, so we thought he was cured.
But as he grew to be a three year old, he had behavioral issues. Of course, I realize the irony of that last sentence. But his tantrums were not from bucking authority; they were sporadic, and more like something from sleep deprivation. He never slept heavily. He could talk to you within seconds of being awake as if he’d never been asleep. He told me he had hundreds of dreams. I never could sneak into his room without him waking at night. I thought he was just a light sleeper, but his constant congestion suggested there was more to the story. His pediatrician put him on allergy medication. It worked! He slept much better and longer and acted much more like himself! But after awhile of that, I decided we needed to see what he was allergic to.
To my great amazement, a scratch allergy test revealed NO allergies. None, zero, nada. I had myself and his brothers tested. We all had allergies. But not this guy! The allergist sent me to have him xrayed, expecting enlarged adnoids. He called to tell me that was definitely the culprit! The congestion was keeping him from sleeping well (and caused fluid to stay in his ears), and the adnoids were causing all of the congestion. He suggested having an ENT remove them. He also said Chance would probably have an instant growth spurt afterwards, because his lack of sleep was suppressing his growth hormones.
I took him to an ENT who said, “Ehh, he is borderline. I’d just let him grow into them.” I nearly cried right then. But I knew this wasn’t a major medical issue, so I let it go.
A few months later, he stopped sleeping well. The medication wasn’t working anymore. He had built up a tolerance. We switched meds, but the new ones just didn’t work as well. Finally I decided it was time for a second opinion. We saw another ENT.
This ENT heard my pleas, looked at him and said, “Yeah, it’s minor but I’d take them out. But first let’s do a sleep study.”
Can I just tell you, he slept better than usual for his sleep study?! Because I had to lay beside him, he didn’t feel scared (thanks to those hundreds of dreams at night he usually has). He told me he felt much better than normal after a mere 6 hours of sleep looking like this. No, I’m not kidding. Just my luck.
I was a bit nervous when he told me that. What if this ENT said “Nevermind, he sleeps just fine.”?! But to my amazement, she had us in to review the results and said, “I definitely want the adnoids out, and the tonsils, too. His results were that he woke up, on average, 14 times per hour, due to upper respiratory blockages.”
Ahh, validation. So in November, he had yet another minor surgery, this time to remove those pesky tonsils and adnoids.
And now? He sleeps like a rock and eats like cow with a few extra stomachs. He’s also getting less timid and scared…although he still has a long road to go in conquering those nightmare-fears. He’s moving up quickly in pant sizes…And best of all, he behaves like his usual humorous, happy self!