Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to the hospital

Hope is going into the hospital in the next day or two for 48 hours of observation. It's nerve-wracking, but we're trying not to get too freaked out.

The dreaded results of the sleep study returned. We knew they would be bad. They were worse than we feared: Severe obstructive sleep apnea marked by an alarming number of episodes of suspended or shallow breathing.

We quibble with the severity of the findings. We know our daughter, have witnessed her episodes and have already ranted about the wisdom of putting 47 wires on an infant in a strange room and telling her to sleep tight.

But we don't disagree with the conclusion. She has apnea and we need to do something.

Like everything else with Hope, the solution is complicated. Ultimately, she could still get some of her larnyx trimmed during her surgery for ear tubes. There's some thought that her laryngomalacia or floppy airway may close while she's sleeping and cause the episodes. Or perhaps it could be her reflux and milk is coming back up while she's dreaming about frogs and flapjacks. Or maybe there's another cause altogether.

Either way, we need to figure it out, so we're glad in a way that things are moving quickly. Left untreated, infant apnea can lead to all manner of woe. At the very least, it makes her crankier than her father with five O's and two E's in Scrabble.

We're in the process of evaluating the apnea. Separate tests are scheduled Tuesday to help determine the extent of her reflux. In the meantime, her pediatrician recommended Hope receive supplemental oxygen at home while she sleeps. This would consist of a tank and a small strip between her upper lip and nose that would provide a little boost if necessary.

We were set to proceed with the plan until we met yesterday with the neurologist who monitored Hope's sleep study. His caveat is that not everyone does well with oxygen. Some get lazy, let the supplemental stuff do the work for them and problems worsen.

So we're off to the hospital so doctors can evaluate how Hope reacts to the oxygen. She'll be hooked up to a few more tubes and it undoubtedly will be a major stress for all those involved.

We know this is the right thing for her. Of course we wish we weren't in this position. But our fanciful days of delusions have long since faded. We know this isn't the last time she'll be in the hospital over the next couple years while we stabilize her health. It stinks. But it's true.

The timing is a major bummer. I was ready to fly solo this weekend while Mo went Up North for her annual Women's Weekend retreat, where she laughs and bonds with old friends with hot tubs, large glasses of wine and nonstop talk about how they couldn't possibly live another day without their hunky fellows.

Mo has looked forward to it for months, first worrying she'd miss the festivities, slowly warming to the idea and finally lining up baby-sitting reinforcements in case I wasn't up to the task. It's soul nourishment and she'll miss it. I feel terrible for her. She could use a break.

But life is different now. Not worse. Not browbeating, fists to the sky in grief. More challenging, sure, but also more rewarding because it includes the Hopester.


Anonymous said...

Although if you want to scream and holler in protest and frustration now and again, that would be OK. You can aim in this direction, if it helps.

Hope is a lucky girl to have you two for parents. Sorry you have to miss the big weekend, Mo. I'd suggest a large glass of wine anyway!

Love you guys!

Grandma K.

Misty said...

Love the pic! good luck to little hope and mom and dad!!