This post might be slightly incoherent, since the Sleep Medicine Center does not dole out gigantic mugs of coffee to exhausted parents after the ridiculously long, sleepless night of a sleep study. I also have no pictures from last night, which is good because I'd really like to forget about the whole event.
It's not that the sleep study was bad in any way. Nothing causes pain, nothing hurts... there is simply no sleep to be had for the parent accompanying the child. Oh, the sleep center tries- they pushed two hospital beds together so that I could sleep next to Nolan all night. The technician was amazingly good- caring and gentle with my sweet boy. But there is, after all, a reason that specific children are referred for sleep studies: they don't sleep.
Nolan and I walked up to the ninth floor of Buffalo Children's hospital, having only one minor run in with a rent-a-cop. He wanted to know what we were doing at the hospital at that late hour. I debated telling him that I was there to case the joint and steal all their tongue depressors, but my better judgment prevailed.
After attaching about 6 bazillion wires to Nolan's legs, chest, and head, the technician let Nolan watch some Thomas the Train to calm down. After a brief attempt to attach the nasal cannula and the pulse-oximeter (insert "Nolan Screaming" soundtrack here), the tech made the decision to allow Nolan to fall asleep before attempting to put these final pieces of equipment on.
Nolan laid down, and after some crying and much back-patting, he fell asleep. The technician had access to the EEG readouts, and could tell when Nolan was in a really deep phase of sleep. He came in and we placed the pulse-oximeter on Nolan's toe. Then he slipped the nasal cannula on (only a momentary whine from Nolan), and then Nolan and I drifted off to a nice, cozy sleep.
Oh, that five minutes of sleep was nice.
Then the snoring started. Then Nolan woke up, and howled at the injustice of the nasal cannula. Then he fell asleep. Then he jerked suddenly, woke up, and howled at the nasal cannula. Snoring, waking, howling, jerking, waking, howling. Repeat this scene ad infinitum, and you will have the majority of our night. Sadly, this is rather typical of our nights at home (minus the excessive howling). Some time past 3:30am, he finally fell asleep for good and stayed that way until the tech woke us at 5:30am.
When the technician woke us in the morning, he was amazed at how often Nolan woke up. To shock a man who has run these tests every night for the past twelve years is an impressive thing, I suppose.
The technician can't tell us the results, so we will have to wait two weeks for the report to make its way to the ENT. I was able to see the CO2 monitor, which was pretty consistently at 49-50mm Hg. Dr. Google says that anything above 45 mm Hg is 'hypercapnia,' or too much CO2 in the blood (this can signify obstructive sleep apnea, so no big surprise there).
We left the sleep study center with goop-covered hair (no showers or facilities to remove it, and I didn't think Nolan would tolerate getting his head wiped down over the sink in the room). He is now home, bathed, and goop free, and running around as if he had the best night's sleep, ever.
Once I get Nolan's latest hearing test report from the audiologist, I'll call the ENT and schedule an appointment for about 2 weeks from today. Hopefully by then, the ENT will have both the latest hearing test results and the sleep study results and we can make some decisions about what might be going on with Nolan's hearing, Nolan's inability to sleep, and Nolan's tonsils/adenoids.
Now please excuse me, because I think I need a nap!