Sleep Studies Are Tiring!

Our daughter had a sleep study last week in hopes of getting to the bottom of why she has such a difficult time staying asleep.

When we arrived at the Sleep Lab, Avery was happy to be there. I suppose there’s a certain air of excitement—new environment, friendly faces, lots of attention, rubber gloves.

She was rigged with wires glued to her head and bands strapped around her tiny chest. And after some cuddle time and several rounds of ad-libbed lullabies sung horribly wrong by yours truly, she went to sleep like the little trooper she is. 

She was in a narrow bed, HIGH up off the hard floor and I told the technician I was concerned about her waking in the night and bolting as I slept unaware in my bed, aka petrified log with a whisper of a blanket and imagining of a pillow. Jeremy the tech guy told me “to relax” (Oh now I love it when people say that) and that they’ve never had any problems. He’d be watching on the monitor though just in case.

Flash forward to 12:10 a.m…. Hellooooo bolter!

The next two hours were your basic gong show. Avery wanted out of that bed and would stop at nothing to make it happen. Since her head was literally attached to a machine at her bedside, she could NOT get up. She asked for a drink. To go to the bathroom. To go for a walk. To play. To get a book. To stand up. To go home. Gotta give the girl props for persistence.

She pulled at the wires and struggled to break free from my arms. I was now lying beside her, crammed between her and the wirey mass attached to the machine. At one point I looked up at the camera and mouthed, “Please help me.”  Apparently Jeremy was on a coffee break.  Finally at 2 a.m., as I was having visions of a future redo, she went back to sleep. 

Between fears of her waking and my petrified log bed, I stayed awake on “night watch.” At 6 a.m. we packed up and headed home (after a mandatory fill up at Starbucks).

The next few nights, Avery slept well of course. It’s like when you make a hair appointment and your hair looks fab the day of, or you take your car in so the mechanic can listen to the noise that mysteriously disappears the minute you drive into the garage. We started to think maybe this WAS just one of those phases that children go through. Perhaps her sleep apnea is gone? Maybe we’re out of the woods…?

Or maybe not. Yesterday, Avery woke up at 6:30 a.m. and stumbled into my bed like a drunken sailor (not that I’d know what that actually looks like, I swear!). She tried to speak but couldn’t. Her words, when they did come, were slurred and unrecognizable. She was pleading with me, with her eyes. She wanted to tell me something, but couldn’t form the words. Her brother, who was sleeping with me said, “Mummy, why is Avery talking like that?” I told him she was still groggy and waking up. He didn’t believe me. “Do you think she had a seizure?” he asked. Damn that boy is smart. Yes, I do think she had a seizure. And I wonder, has she been having nocturnal seizures all along?

I called the sleep lab that morning to ask how long the results would take. I’m desperate to know if they documented any seizures during the test. They advised that since they do so many tests which take a considerable amount of time to read, results generally take at least a month.

So we’ll wait. And watch. And sleep with one eye open…

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