Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Sleep Study

No, Jaycee did not fall into a pile of wires. This is a picture of her all hooked up for her yearly sleep study.  Jaycee has obstructive sleep apnea, which is common with individuals with Down syndrome.

Her apnea was discovered around age 3. Her enlarged tonsils and adenoids were taken out in an attempt to fix her apnea. However, it still remained. That's when we entered the fabulous world of c-paps and bi-paps. She wears these machines at night to help force air in to keep her airway open. Getting her to wear her c-pap and bi-pap masks has been a challenge at times. Maybe I'll get into all of that in another post.

Every year, Jaycee gets a sleep study done to determine if her bi-pap machine needs to be adjusted and if her apnea is better/worse. Sunday night we made our way to the hospital for her sleep study. We drove most of the way over to the hospital earlier in the day in order to keep her awake for the study. I took her shopping and had a fun afternoon out. I have learned that getting her a little more tired than usual helps the study go easier.

When we check in at the hospital at 7:30, Jaycee is excited to get into the bed and watch tv. She is familiar with this place now, but her first sleep study (when she was under age 2) did not go this smoothly. I get her pjs on and I feel out a large stack of papers. They contain lots of questions: Does she have a tv in her room? Does she sweat during her sleep? Does she sleep walk? Does she have nightmares? What are her medications?

Then the sleep technician comes in to start the hook up. There are several electrodes glued in her hair. She gets things placed on her leg, around her chest, and face. There is stuff everywhere it seems. They measure all kinds of things: snoring, leg movements, brain activity, oxygen saturation, etc. There is a lot to these tests! I have to hold Jaycee's arms down a few times, but overall she does ok with the hook up. This process takes about 30-45 minutes. Jaycee is tired after all of this. It's time for bed. She falls asleep really quick, which means I did a good job of wearing her out. After she falls asleep, a nasal cannula is put on. It annoys Jaycee. I have to sleep with her for the next 2 hours holding her arms down so she won't rip it off. Halfway through the test, the tech put Jaycee's bi-pap mask on. The doctors will later compare all of her numbers looking at no support and with bi-pap support to see how she did.

Morning comes and it's time to unhook. This process if faster. After several hair washings over several days, the glue will be completely out. Jaycee did great and is ready to start the day. I, on the other hand, am exhausted. I spend the rest of the day on the couch.

Look at all the wires. How can anyone sleep with that on?
In a few weeks, we'll get a phone call which will tell us the results. Hopefully we'll get a good report and we won't have to see the sleep lab for awhile!

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