Thursday, January 19, 2012

Deprivation

Shortly after my last post life took a rather interesting turn. Eliana, my child who loves sleep and would typically sleep from 7pm to 9am.... stopped sleeping! What I do mean, stopped sleeping? Well, pretty much she decided she didn't need to sleep at all...naps, nighttime, nothing. So here I am 1 1/2 weeks later living off no more than 3 hours of sleep each night and ready to crash at any moment. I'm cranky, sensitive, rude, emotional, lethargic...you name it. We're talking major sleep deprivation here. And the 3 hours is 3 hours total- not consecutive. Some nights it's closer to an hour. My brain hasn't gotten the deep sleep cycle in a LONG time. The irony in all this is that Evangeline, who has been a terrible sleeper since day 1, is finally sleeping! She's up 1-3x to nurse and then goes right back to sleep. It's Eliana that is giving me hell.

I took her to her pediatrician a few days ago and he confirmed my suspicions that BOTH of her ear tubes have fallen out. It's sucks, they were only in for 5 months. But, 30% of ear tubes fall out before their time and unlucky us, we're in that 30%. I am praying that getting tubes back in will fix things but now we seem to be in a such a bad pattern of her constantly waking and not staying in her room. Our consult with her Ear Nose Throat Dr is on the 24th, so I've got a week at least til any slightest hope of reprieve. She's currently receiving an antibiotic for her ear infection and the fluid sitting in her ears, Benadryl to help things drain and dry out, Tylenol for the ear pain, and Calms Forte to help her chill out and go to sleep.....and still- no sleep. It's insane and leaves me in a total quandary. How can I be SO exhausted but she's acting like it's not big deal?

It all basically started after a crazy weekend 1 1/2 weekends ago. We had to be out of town for family stuff and didn't get home til nearly 11pm. Neither girl slept a wink all day. Eliana hasn't been the same ever since. I sort of think maybe her tubes fell out that day. Life is basically back to how it was before she ever had tubes; she doesn't hear us, can't sleep, complains of ear pain, etc. But this non-sleeping stuff is the worst it's ever been. I just fall asleep and she's at our door knocking. 2 nights ago I was up nursing Evie at 1am and just after I got her back to sleep Eliana was at my door wanting to be awake. I took her into the kitchen for more Benadryl and Calms Forte. I set her on the kitchen bench and started getting her doses and she fell off the bench onto her back and was screaming. I turned around to go to her and stepped on my fleece pant leg and my entire body fell on my upper arm that was trying to catch me. I thought for a minute I broke something. It still hurts. We both sat crying on the kitchen floor and I felt in that moment how deeply my life sucks right now. After that I got Eliana calmed down, back in bed and then the baby was up again. I calmed the baby and got her asleep and then guess who was at my door again? Yup, Eliana. 1 1/2 hours later it was 3:30am and I finally got to go to sleep....well, until Eliana woke me up at 5am and 7am and 8am. And so it goes every night, all night.

Sleep deprivation does crazy things to us. I feel angry a lot, have no patience, waver between feeling depressed and feeling normal, take things too personally, and don't have any desire to do well, just about anything. Last Sunday I almost got in a car accident because I was so tired my brain actually forgot I was supposed to stop at a stop sign!

I guess we're in a holding pattern for now until we can see the ENT and get her surgery scheduled. Every day and every night I pray that THIS will be the better night and I'll get sleep and every night it's horrible.

Eliana has typically been a very easy, gentle-spirited child so all of this craziness is so out of character for her. Granted our family has had to endure an enormous amount of stress the last 3 months, but even so it's weird. Some days I feel like I don't even like her, although I still definitely love her. It's just hard when a little 3 year old is making your life feel like living hell. Amidst the non-sleeping, all the other responsibilities still exist. I still have 2 household's finances and groceries to take care of, medical bills and calls to deal with, not to mention 3 kids to raise including a baby. I have to believe that God sees me and loves and wants my life to be better than this.

Check out this list of the effects of sleep deprivation:

Physiological effects


Main health effects of sleep deprivation.[5]

Minor dark circles, in addition to a hint of eye bags, a combination suggestive of minor sleep deprivation.
Generally, sleep deprivation may result in:[6][7]


Crazy, right? Anyway, I know I'm a total Debbie Downer lately and I'm sorry. Trust me, this wasn't exactly how I pictured my life going.

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