I cannot believe it's been so long since I updated the blog. Life, as always at this time of the year, is a nerve-wracking whirlwind of various concert rehearsals, studying for exams, tears and sulking associated with studying for exams, more concert rehearsals...trying desperately to think of cost-effective but excitement-yielding gifts (Yes, Disillusioned *is* in fact my second name)...the actual exams...the actual concerts...as they say, time flies when you're having fun? ("Disillusioned" seems to be a popular second name).
So, taking everyone's chaotic schedules into consideration, here is a condensed yet thoroughly comprehensive summary of the Sleep Wars Saga over the past few weeks :
First we didn't sleep, then we did, now we don't.
And now for the more detailed version...
On the 14th Nov Sam and I went off to see Doc Paul, after sending him a brief e-mailed explanation of what had been going on with Sam's rocking-and-rolling nighttime jiving. I find this a hugely beneficial exercise for both the doc and us (the pre-consult information, not the rocking-and-rolling) as it gives them time to research the scenario completely and come up with a workable solution in less than the few minutes assigned to each consultation. The sad thing is that I am quite often disappointed to find that the doctor has not read the e-mail or, as was the case with a recent new specialist's appointment, was asked by the receptionist when requesting the doctor's email address, to not send her an e-mail as she would not have the time to read it. Thankfully Doc Paul had taken the time (major smurfy kudos to him) and had obviously given Sam's situation enough thought. Ultimately Doc Paul shared Sam's OT's view that Sam's sensory and high-anxiety levels have reached a point where basic occupational therapy exercises like brushing, swinging, etc are not as equally intense as the symptoms themself. While he agreed that it was time to resort to medication, he explained carefully why meds like Vallergan, Urbanol, Aterax, etc are not the most efficient treatment and that if Sam has had a bad reaction to just one of those, he would more than likely react the same to the rest of that "group" of meds as well.
So instead he prescribed a very low dose of Faverin for Sam which effectively is an anti-depressant when used for adults, but has been found to be extremely successful in treating children with high anxiety and/or OCD/repetitive behaviour issues...in other words...Samuel. It takes approximately 2 to 4 weeks for the medication to start working at its full potential and we are only on Day 12. The first few days and nights there was no remarkable improvement, then Wed-Fri nights we had absolute, pure BLISS with Sam sleeping straight through from 8pm-ish to after 7am without any rocking-and-rolling or practically any movement at all going on. And all was well with the world...well, other than that Sam was not in the least bit amused at waking up in his own bed as opposed to snuggled comfortably between Mom and Dad. And this is where the inspiration to change his strategy was born.
On Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning, somewhere round the unearthly-wee-hours our littlest dude woke up. He didn't rock-and-roll in his sleep. He plain and simply woke up. And decided it was as good a time as any to play a little peek-a-boo with the duvet, search excitedly for imaginery Po's and La-La's lurking within the blankety darkness and practice his most awesomely adorable smiles and giggles. Ai Ai! What is a mom to do when confronted by such ruthless and unleashed cuteness? Well I tell you what she simply CANNOT do....ignore it. So my giggle-stifled, mock-scolding commands that Sam lies down and goes to sleep were most certainly not obeyed by the little smurf. Unlike Chris (and probably most other dads) I've yet to master the art of ignoring such antics, no matter how desperate I am for sleep. Sunday night was pretty much a repeat of the previous and last night we did about a half-hour of playing and about an hour of rocking-and-rolling before Sam eventually went off to sleep again.
While our sleeping issues at night are still very much a work in progress, there has definitely been a huge improvement with Sam's behaviour during the day. The snowballing lack of sleep was making him quite heartbreakingly difficult to cope with during the day with more meltdowns than I'd like to remember. There are still tantrums and frustrations aplenty, but nothing in comparison to our pre-Faverin journey. And, while there are still occasional nap-starved days, the norm over the past few days is hovering around an hour to two hours napping in the afternoon - YeeHaa! One out of two is quite satisfying for the time being ;)