Sleep Study

Sunday, June 24, 2007

On Friday night, the three of us spent the night at a Sleep Disorder center, where Caroline got a sleep study done. Frankly, it was a very hard thing to do - both physically and emotionally.

The pulmonologist (lung specialist) ordered the sleep study to get more information on Caroline's breathing problems (labeled as "chronic lung disease"). The results from the sleep study are supposed to tell us how her brain is working while breathing, whether or not she desats* at night, whether or not she has "centrals" (apnic** episodes that aren't long enough to set off the monitor we have her on nightly), and other things.

We arrived at the Sleep center around 8pm. The test technician guided us to our room (basically a full-size bed [aaagh!], a sink and some cupboards) - I told Bryce that it was our first camping trip together :).

The tech kept talking about how we'll see from this test if C can come off of oxygen. I knew that she was not at all ready to be taken off of oxygen and that was not the purpose of the test, but it still got my hopes up.

Around 10pm, Caro started to get sleepy, so the tech began to hook her up to tons of monitors: EEG-type nodules on her head, straps around her chest and stomach, a snore microphone taped on her throat, leads on her chest, and CO2 monitor. The tech watched the data from these all night, and she also watched Caro sleep through an infrared camera they had on the crib (the crib by the way was I think from 1965).

The tech took a poloroid of Caro all hooked up - this is a picture of that picture because I am too lazy to scan it in.

When the tech was almost finished strapping on everything, she took Caroline off of oxygen completely, so the first few hours of the test would test her off of oxygen. The tech kept telling us not to worry unless the oxygen saturations went below 90%.

Before the tech could even officially start the test, Caro dropped to 71% saturated (the lowest she got), and the tech had to get her back on oxygen right away (it took Caro about 10 min. to get back up into the high 90s). Thus, no data could be recorded about what she's like off of oxygen. It was scary to see her dip that fast, especially when she had all of those wires sticking off of her.

Of course, Caro was snoozing away - the tech said "oh she must be used stuff like this." Doctors and nurses say that to me all of the time and that makes me so sad because yes, she is used to being poked, prodded, and studied. No baby should be used to that. We just try to have hope that she forgets all of the hard stuff quickly and will still learn to trust the world and us. Anyway, what little hope we had that she would do well off the oxygen quickly left. Her sleep study then started.

After a restless night of sleep for me, and a ok night for Bryce, the tech came in at 6am to wake us up. She told us that she couldn't officially give us results, but, of course, she let a few things slip. She told us that she didn't take C down to room air again, although she did try to lower the amount of oxygen C got but had to raise it back up again after only 15 minutes. She also told us that Caro had several centrals (short apnic episodes).

On top of all of that, the different cords and leads had to be removed, and, unfortunately, taking some of those off really hurt Caro.

It was a rough night - hopefully, the doctor can give us a more accurate prognosis because of it.

*Desats: Short for oxygen desaturations - most of us have an oxygen saturation level of 95-100% - when you "desat," it means your body isn't saturated with the oxygen it needs (lower than 85-90% is the typically considered a desat).

**Apnic: adj for Apnea - a condition where your body forgets to breathe

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