This sleep study was originally scheduled for January, was denied by our insurance company, we took it through the grievance process, won, and rescheduled a couple times because C kept getting sick. It finally happened earlier this week! I was pretty anxious about it. With C’s sensory processing disorder, he hates having anything on his face or head. Well…they had to stick a ton of monitors and electrodes all over his face, head and body.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be much worse than I anticipated. He screamed the entire time they prepped him, from the moment they put sticker monitors on his legs, through the ones on his face, probes on his head, and until about 20 minutes after it was finished and they had left the room. He was inconsolable.
I know what you might be thinking. Did you prepare him? Did you warn him about what would happen? Did you try this or that or the other thing? The answer is that my child’s sensory processing disorder and traumatic experiences with monitors, NG tubes and more are unique to him. I did the best that I could to prepare him, to have every last one of his favorite things with us – right down to his favorite pair of pajamas – but nothing helped.
He spent an hour and a half with his eyes closed, head bobbing as he continually fell asleep, jerked himself back to sitting, and refused to let me help him lie down. Finally one of the sleep lab technicians came in and forced him to lie down. I had to hold him there until he fell back asleep. It only took a few minutes but it made me feel cruel.
He had a pulse-ox monitor on his toe, a monitor stuck to each of his calves, a sensor around his belly, a sensor around his chest, four monitors stuck to his chest, three monitors stuck on each side of his face, two monitors underneath his nose, and between 8-12 electrodes pasted to his head (I lost count). They were monitoring movement, exhalation of carbon dioxide, sound of any snoring, brain activity, sleep stages, REM sleep, any clenching of his jaw, and more.
He had an awful night. For a while he sat straight up every 20 minutes. He snored. He woke up once crying inconsolably. He displays all of these behaviors at home, but not usually all in the same night. I’m pleased that he gave it all he had! You know it’s bad when the sleep technician asks you the next morning if he’s that bad at home, and calls you a poor woman. I’m hopeful for answers after all of that.
And here’s another thing we can check off of our list and put behind us. Good riddance.