Emry putting himself to bed on the couch, November 2016
I’ve written a lot about sleep over the years. When I recently went back and read old posts, I have to admit I actually shuddered. The sleep situation in our house was that dire. For many years.
Thankfully, over the last four years, as Elan’s sleep apnea has been successfully treated and Emry has gotten older, sleep is no longer the limiting factor in our lives. Well, at least not most nights. And not usually because of the kids.
But I remember so clearly the desperation of that particular kind of up-four-times-every-night exhaustion. When I look back, I have a lot of compassion for myself, for Mikhail, and for Elan. Parenting takes a lot of internal resources, and when you’re chronically exhausted, it becomes very difficult to summon those resources. I still remember the incredible sense of relief that flooded me when the sleep specialist looked at my Excel spreadsheets of Elan’s sleep and said to me, “this is not normal, it is not your fault, and we can make it better.”
The other night, Elan was congested from a cold, and he had a night terror, the first in many years. I had already scheduled an appointment with the sleep center, our first in four years, because he’s been complaining of not sleeping well lately. Hopefully we will find that his apnea is still well controlled. But for all our sakes, I don’t want to turn a blind eye to sleep troubles, even if they present differently at age 10 than they did at age 5.
To read more about diagnosing my son’s sleep disorder, how we treated it, and the emotional processes behind it all, look here (posts in reverse chronological order).
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