Thursday, January 14, 2016

Every breath you take...

...and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you.
-The Police

Such a good song and one that has been stuck in my head (and now yours, you're welcome)  pretty much since Tessie came home from her spinal fusion surgery in November. 

You see, since that surgery, when Tess sleeps at night, her breathing is...weird. Loud. Alarming (literally). 

When we first noticed it, we had the most awesome "Dr. Jen" come check her over because this was something we had just never seen, or heard before, not to mention the oxygen alarms that were blaring about every fifteen minutes all. night. long. I even managed to get it on video so Jen could see and hear for herself the symphony of noises that Tess was making as she slept. 

It was like listening to the worlds most annoying tight rubber band being rubbed one minute then would switch over to what I could only assume was the spirit of a departed truck driver who hadn't slept in days and was using Tess's little body to get some much needed rest. Because there was no way the noises that were coming out of her little mouth could be those of a twelve year old girl.

I mean, people, she was giving her dad a run for the money in what was the worst contest ever created: Who can snore the loudest for the longest period of time. 

Well I am here to tell you that Daddy won the 'longest time event' but my Toodle Bug for sure won the 'loudest and squeakiest' event. 

At any rate, Jen thought all those noises were just as odd as I did and called Tess's pulmonologist in Portland. Since she was still on higher rates of pain meds at the time from her surgery, that was thought to be the culprit because she takes so many meds anyway, that more on top of that was simply depressing her breathing too much. He also suggested we put her on oxygen at night to help her breathe easier.

Well, we did pull her off of the pain meds and she went back to her normal pre-surgery med routine and seemed to be doing better so I didn't bother with the oxygen because she absolutely hates it and I figured it wasn't worth the battle for the smaller amount of snoring and alarms.

Cut to the past two weeks and we are right back to square one. The loud, rumbly, wake herself up with a snort, snore. Then the tight, squeaky rubber band noise kicks in. Then, God help me, the alarms start blaring. For hours. All. night. long. 

Now one would assume that her mother would haul herself up out of bed and go put oxygen on her child.

One would assume wrong.

What this awesome mom does instead is sigh heavily, very martyr like, look in the monitor to see if Tess 'looks' okay, and waits for the alarms to stop which they always do very quickly. Then mommy rolls over and goes back to sleep and starts the process all over again about thirty minutes later. 

Good times. Good times.

I finally have gotten sick enough of the alarms, as well as concerned enough as to why this is all happening again, that I myself called the doc which totally seemed to surprise his receptionist.

Her: "You want to speak with Dr. W?!" 

Me: "Yes, please. Or I can leave a message with you and you can have him call me when he has a free minute."

Her (still not sure how to handle the clearly odd request): "Can I pass you along to the nurse?"

Me: "Only if by nurse you mean the doctor. I need to speak with the doctor myself. Not his nurse."

Her: "Okay, I'll give him the message." (still confused that a parent had the gall to ask to speak directly to the doctor)

Anyhoo, he very nicely called me back the following afternoon and chatted with me at length about what he suspected was going on. He told me that due to Tess's pretty profound scoliosis prior to surgery, muscles that wouldn't normally be needed to help a person breathe had had to step in because the muscles that she should have been using were compromised and not able to work due to the scoliosis and now that she was straight, the breathing muscles had, in a sense, atrophied and needed to build their strength back up and the other muscles were now in different positions and weren't doing the same jobs anymore. So basically, Tess is having to work really, really hard while she sleeps just to breathe. He also made the very good point that our bodies repair and rejuvenate themselves during sleep and she wasn't getting to do that because she was almost working harder during her sleep. Poor kid. 

So he gave me a plan and can you guess what it starts with? 

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Yup. Oxygen! Imagine that!

Plus he is ordering another sleep study for her and he strongly suspects she will test positive for obstructive sleep apnea and will be put on a little bit of bipap at night to help her. 

So that's the latest with the Toodle Bug. 

Oh, and she's getting the oxygen put on now. ;) 

Cheers to a (hopefully, please God) good and restful night's sleep for all of us! 






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