Friday, January 2, 2009

The Long-Awaited....

Dania's appointment with the Pediatric Otolaryngologist (E.N.T. to us reg'lar folk) was today, and what a surprise! I actually believed long ago, almost a year ago, in fact, that Dania had obstructive sleep apnea and would need her tonsils removed. Now, I have a specialist to confirm my opinion.

The up-side is that Dania should sleep better after the surgery because she will be able to breathe better. She may even eat better as there will be less discomfort in swallowing (other people have this experience, but since Dania cannot express difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, we are unsure if she suffers this... we do know that her appetite for solids decreased at the same time that the snoring began). Dania may even begin growing at a more rapid rate - she is far below average, though she was right on average at birth, and the dip in her growth also occurred about the time her snoring and appetite loss occurred. Plus, growth hormones are often decreased in children with sleep apnea.

What we didn't know was that the procedure would be so awful! She is expected to be in a lot of pain, with some relief coming from around-the-clock pain medications for a full week. She is expected to run a fever, be cranky, suffer pain even on the meds, and refuse to eat for a week following the surgery. And because she is so little, we will have to stay in the hospital longer than usual - possibly 3-5 days.

And the bonus of all this not-so-great prognosis is this: my determination to search out an answer to all of the snoring, sleeplessness, and decline in growth may have saved my child's life. The doctor informed me that if we opted not to get the tonsillectomy, Dania's obstructive sleep apnea would continue to put a strain on her heart, which would eventually weaken it enough that she would develop heart failure. Are you kidding me?!?!?!

My Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology payed for itself: Psych classes taught me about sleep apnea, and that knowledge rang a bunch of bells over the last year. Those bells and my own "Mother's Intuition" (which I believe to be a gift from God) compelled me to seek answers. And God, in all His wisdom, even told me what was wrong and what we should do before it played itself out. PRAISE GOD!!!

We'll keep you abreast of the surgery schedule and healing.

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