April 14, 2012

Bye-bye adenoids, hello sleep (we hope)

So this post has been a long time coming. Thus, my procrastination has produced a lengthy blog post. Just thought I'd warn you. :)

A few months back, I noticed Toby's behavior becoming extremely difficult to figure out. He seemed to be both angry and tired all of the time. I couldn't make sense of it because I was very militant about his bedtime. He went to bed early and at the same time every. single. night. I prayed and worried off and on for a couple months. I knew something was off with him, I just didn't know what.

One night while I crept into his room to check on him, I noticed him snoring very loudly. Other nights when I checked on him, I discovered him thrashing around in his bed and one time I could tell he had stopped breathing for a minute. I kept thinking, "No wonder he is tired and grouchy all day, the poor guy doesn't get any quality sleep at night!" After talking with friends and family members about his behavior and symptoms, they encouraged me discuss my concerns with his doctor during his 4 year well-check visit. So I did. She suspected sleep apnea due to enlarged adenoids and possibly allergies. I was referred to an ENT doctor to look at his adenoids as wells as an allergist. But before leaving she said she was curious about Toby's oxygen levels at night, so she had Toby sleep with a pulse oximeter (that was a fun ordeal) just for one night. A few days later, my doctor reported that his results were abnormal: most people are in the 90's and above with their oxygen levels, Toby's dipped into the 60's and sometimes stayed that low for up to 3 minutes. She was really concerned -which made me even more concerned - but again, she wondered if it had to do with his adenoids being enlarged. She made sure I had an appt. with the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor - I confirmed that I did and met with the wonderful ENT doctor, Heidi Heras, a few days after that. Within minutes she told me that on a scale of 1-4 (4 being the biggest) Toby's adenoids were a 4.5. So basically they were huge. My doctor had also faxed her a copy of Toby's oxygen levels and Dr. Heras was pretty wide-eyed while she looked them over. "I was going to mention some conservative treatments for enlarged adenoids but after looking at his oxygen levels, I can say he should definitely have his adenoids removed." Then she added, "But if having his adenoids removed doesn't help with his sleeping, then he will need to undergo a sleep study."

So last Tuesday, Toby had his adenoids removed. I was worried about the procedure, as any mom would be. Not just because of the "going under" part, but I knew my high-strung, boy would never warm-up to or completely understand the idea of surgery. And I was right. While we waited for the anesthesiologist, Toby cried and screamed as we attempted to dress him in the hospital gown. It really tore my heart out. But the worst part was when they took him back for surgery and he looked at me with such frightened eyes. He did not understand what was going on one bit - even though we tried to explain the best we could without scaring him. When they wheeled him into recovery he was slumped over on the hospital bed. As soon as he saw us, he began crying and screaming again. Within minutes he tore out his IV, his pulse oximeter, broke his hospital bracelet, and ripped off his gown. The nurse came in and gave him a dose of Lortab and said it would ease the pain and calm him down. "Most kids go to sleep within minutes," she reassured us. My child is not 'most kids' I thought, but thanked her anyway. And I was right. Toby continued crying and screaming. 20 minutes later the nurse came in completely shocked that he wasn't asleep, or at least somewhat calm. But again, it was no shocker to me. I know my boy. I just held my little man, stroked his hair, and kept reassuring him that we would be leaving soon. Thankfully, they discharged us early because Toby was having such a hard time. And so was I. I had to fight back the tears a few times while I was there.

As soon as we arrived home, Toby was Toby again. After hanging out a bit with Grandma and Grandpa Sibert (who graciously offered to watch Aspen for us), Toby was outside kicking his Spider-man ball and wanting to help Nick mow the lawn. Luckily I was able to talk him into eating some jello and watching a movie with me instead. Nick and I just shook our heads. "You would never know he had had surgery," was what we told family who called to check-up on him.

And now, we are hoping and praying that our adenoid-less little man is well on his way to a good night sleep. We should know for sure in a couple weeks when the swelling has gone down.

I was going to change my playlist, but the Godspeed song by the Dixie Chicks seems more applicable now than ever.

Sweet dreams, little man :)


Jessie said...

Oh my goodness - that stressed me out just reading it. Calvin wouldn't have been a picnic for such a procedure either. It reminded me of when Cal was hospitalized at 2months for a high fever, and they basically forced me into letting them give him a spinal tap, which he fought so hard it shocked the doctors. 2 MONTHS OLD! I bawled my eyes out (and yeah, I've never trusted doctors since).

Anyway, I really, really hope it helps him feel better and more rested. Heaven knows getting good sleep can make a WORLD of difference for anyone, let alone a high-strung little guy.
So funny that he was up and jumping immediately following a surgery! Holy moly!

Colleen said...

Oh goodness, that sounds horrible. I hope it pays off and he is able to get some sleep! (And you too!)