I thought I would share my story in case there is another mum or dad going through what I went through with my son some years ago. Perhaps another little person needing help to breathe, unable to tell anyone and this story resonates with you.
Someone who will be given hope that they can help their child – there is a solution!
My experience is with both snoring and sleep apnea. Firstly, my husband is an extremely loud snorer and I have to say the number of times I have had to nudge him to wake during the night to roll him on to his side is way too many times to count! He has been known to snore so loudly that he wakes himself up! We’ve needed to investigate snoring and find solutions that work for us.
Also our son suffered with sleep apnea as a baby. Unfortunately we did not get an accurate diagnosis of his condition until he was 4 years old and so I consider us so very fortunate that he survived those years. I’ll tell you a little of the story.
Our sleep apnea story
From the time my son was born, he would sleep just 2 to 2 1/2 hours at a time and he would then wake screaming. He would eventually settle again for another short sleep period. This pattern was to be repeated for 4 1/2 years until we received the much needed, correct diagnosis of the problem.
I cannot tell you the number of times I went to see medical professionals – post natal clinic nurses (I went for weekly appointments for months in desperation hoping for help); the number of appointments with doctors, medical specialists and naturopaths. There were even occasions where we rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night with our son. I shudder when I think of my baby as ‘stiff as a board’ and then just as suddenly he would be OK. I didn’t know he was ‘shocking himself’ into breathing again. He would scream, totally wear himself out and would then seem to be relaxed, calm and asleep by the time we saw a doctor.
We’d be sent home being told our child was fine.
From the beginning I knew in my heart something was very wrong. A mother’s natural instinct was screaming out for help, but it seemed impossible to get anyone to believe me or understand the pattern. Of course as a new mother I was sleep deprived (and I was to be sleep deprived for many years.) I have to say I generally was treated in a condescending manner and the inference was made clear (if not in so many words) that I was a ‘neurotic’ mother and simply not coping with a baby.
The very poor advice my husband and I were given included ‘we were picking up the baby too soon when he woke’. We needed to implement the ‘controlled crying’ program. The baby had to learn to ‘soothe himself’ and other such nonsense.
In fact at one appointment a doctor prescribed a sleeping mixture for our baby to take. I was not given the instruction that this was to be used on an occasional basis only. A few weeks later at yet another specialist doctor appointment I was told that this medication should never have been used daily as had been prescribed. We then had the additional problem that our baby was ‘addicted’ to this medication and had to wean him off it. I might add after the first few days it had not caused him to sleep any more peacefully or for longer – which was just as well.
I had heard of sleep apnea, but I didn’t understand the condition, nor did I realise or think for a moment this was what my baby son was suffering from.
I had always respected the medical profession and foolishly expected that they would make this diagnosis if it was in fact the problem.
So for those first few years of his little life he was suffering. When he was awake he was tired because he was never getting the peaceful and refreshing sleep he needed. He did not eat well. His bowels did not work efficiently, in fact it could be up to 5 days before he had a movement. He was low on energy so did not run around as the other little boys of his age did and always wanted to be picked up.
For all the struggles he had though, I have to add he was always a delight, a joy and a fighter.
One day things changed. We were moving house. I had removalist vans coming. Chaos all around me and my 4 year old was definitely not a well little boy. As was usual he had woken all through the night and he was generally very unwell. I was absolutely desperate for help! I called my Mum to see if she could help me out by looking after him for a few hours while I finished packing up the boxes to move house. Thankfully Mum decided to take him to her doctor (a surgery on the other side of the city to where we lived). That doctor took one look at my son and told Mum that he was a very sick little boy with asthma. Medication was started straight away. Asthma had not once been mentioned to us by any of the doctors we had seen in those previous 4 1/2 years – even though from time to time Luke would get eczema and need cortisone ointment to stop the itching. I know now asthma and eczema go hand in hand.
He was also booked into a sleep clinic at the hospital. I stayed with him while the testing was done which confirmed a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Yet again, not once during those 4 1/2 years had a doctor suspected sleep apnea.
I think it was far easier for them to assume I was a mother not coping and dismiss me!
Over the following couple of years he underwent surgery and had his adenoids removed. He also had surgery on his nose on a couple of occasions to give him a much clearer breathing space. This meant having cartilage and tissue cut away and also quarterising inside the nasal passage. He was on regular medication for asthma.
The change was amazing and almost immediate. My boy could now breathe properly. He slept more, which gave him energy to run around. He started eating more and enjoying his food which made him go to the toilet regularly. He now enjoyed his sleep. In fact at 4 1/2 years old when most children are growing out of their daily naps, my boy started having his daily, and lengthy afternoon naps. It was just so wonderful and I feel so blessed that my child survived those first few years of his life.
I cannot bear to think of how many times and how close I came to losing him. I can see now that he had got so used to living with his breathing difficulty that it was normal for him.
And so I have a very personal experience and interest in snoring and sleep apnea.
Looking back I realise how inexperienced and naive I was; how much I doubted myself. Fortunately I was able to learn from this experience and my son thrived after diagnosis and treatment.
I hope my story and experience might help someone else and spare the pain of feeling so inadequate and helpless to help their child as I did.
And as for our site endingsnoring.com, I hope you find the product reviews helpful, content informative and useful and find the solution you need for your snoring problem.
All the best,