Slow and Steady Wins the Race

My superpower is my Mommy Instinct

on March 22, 2010

For a while now I have noticed that Ian seems to stop breathing for very short periods of time (about 5+ seconds, but less than 10) when he is sleeping.  It was happening often enough to freak me out.  The kid also snores so loud that it is almost impossible to sleep next to him if you actually want to get some sleep yourself.  Both of these things became very apparent to me after he had Croup.  I honestly never noticed them before he had it.  I don’t know if that virus caused a change in his airway or if I started paying attention to his breathing more after he had it.  Either way, I haven’t been the only one to notice that his breathing is different since having it.  My Dad and Stepmom have also made comments about how loud his breathing is just when he sits on your lap and is awake.

Ian also seems to have issues with focus/concentration sometimes.  I started to wonder if he had ADHD, but felt that he was a bit young to notice that kind of thing.  I started looking up symptoms of ADHD in preschool age children and a lot of the literature was pointing to sleep deprivation as a problem with concentration.  That led me to look up sleep apnea in kids.  I always thought sleep apnea was an adult problem and mostly an overweight adult problem.  It isn’t.

All of this led me to ask my husband to make an appointment with our Pediatrician to have Ian’s anatomy checked in his nose and throat.  I have larger than normal tonsils and figured it was possible Ian inherited that from me and it could be causing problems with his airway when sleeping.  The Ped didn’t see anything to alarm him, but said we should go to an ENT and take some footage of Ian sleeping to that Doc appointment.  My husband did all that and the ENT said that he thought he saw some breathing issues on the footage and ordered a sleep study.

I was very worried about how the sleep study would go.  Ian is not a fan of people he doesn’t know touching him.  I figured it was going to be hell to get him to not pull all the electrodes and stuff off of his body once he was all hooked up.  Turns out I had absolutely nothing to worry about.  The tech that worked with us was great with kids.  The tech said he worked with all the kids that came to their facility and he did a great job putting Ian at ease.

Ian with all the stuff hooked up for his sleep study

Ian did everything the tech said to do and didn’t try to pull anything off.  The only thing Ian didn’t like was an airflow meter that was supposed to stay in front of his mouth and under his nose while he slept.  I wouldn’t have wanted that thing on either and can’t blame him for wanting it off.  The tech said we could remove it since there were other monitors around his chest to monitor breathing.  Ian actually went to sleep fairly quickly once everything was hooked up and we were in bed.  I did not go to sleep quickly and got very little sleep that night trying to doze off next to little jet engine asleep next to me.  Throughout the night the tech had to come in to put leads back on when Ian would knock them off in his sleep.  That kept me awake too.  I honestly can’t complain though since a lack of sleep is all I had to deal with that night.

The next morning the tech told me that Ian did have some episodes of a reduced oxygen intake.  He definitely has a partial obstruction of his airway and I think they call that hypopnea.  His snoring is also not normal for a kid his age.  He doesn’t stop breathing completely and so he doesn’t have sleep apnea, but the reduced oxygen intake is concerning.  The problems with his breathing are leading to fragmented sleep.  Ian isn’t getting the rest that he needs and in the long run could have a major impact on his development, if it hasn’t had some impact already.  The tech said his best guess is that the ENT will want to take Ian’s tonsils out and maybe adenoids too.  However, we will have to wait for official results.  I am hoping that the sleep center gives the results to the ENT today so we can schedule our follow-up appointment and determine the next steps.

I have learned to trust my Mommy Instinct.  There is nothing stronger.  I was worried that I was a little crazy to think that Ian stopped breathing in his sleep.  I am glad I didn’t allow my doubt to overshadow my instinct.  I would much rather be wrong than find out later that he did have a problem and I didn’t do something when I first noticed it.

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2 responses to “My superpower is my Mommy Instinct

  1. swellmama says:

    Wow, Ann, sounds like you guys have been through A LOT. I couldn’t agree with you more about trusting your instincts. It’s so important, even if everyone else has a different opinion on the situation. So glad Ian is okay! Such a trooper. Hope you guys have your answers soon. Please keep us posted!!

  2. Janet says:

    All I can say is awesome.

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