Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Relief at last!

Most mums (and some dads) know what its like to suffer from sleep deprivation. I'm pretty certain I can say with 98% accuracy that I haven't slept a night through completely since JJ was born nearly 9 years ago. There's a 2% margin of possible error there as I have a lousy memory, but I think my hubby will agree, we can't remember it ever happening. All four of our children have varying allergies and intollerances. I find they are similar to children who have a cold - sometimes they're not so bad during the day but at night they can become miserable. Our house is a bit like the Cinderella story, it turns into a pumpkin at midnight (actually its more like dailylight savings time, the metamorphosis begins at 11pm)

When they do have a proper virus, the sleep problems are compounded. After a few nights of 'little than normal' sleep, I turn into a pumpkin! No one can function when mum is a pumpkin. In the name of sleep and sanity, these last two weeks I have taken some drastic measures.

We have three mini pumpkins in the home - Benny, Lani and Sisi.

Bennys problem is always athsma and eczema. His nights are worse again if he eats something he shouldn't.
He has been on some preventative medicine for the last 3 weeks or so, plus his ventolin at night. I usually get up to Benny two to three times on a normal night, one of these will be to give him his puffer. I taught him today how to administer it to himself - so fingers crossed tonight he does!
I have had lots of trouble getting on top of Bennys eczema, but I think we may have just had a breakthrough. In my desperation for sleep, I cut wheat completely out of his diet (he is already egg, nut and dairy free) and introduced bleach baths (after much research)

                                         This is what his eczema looked like two weeks ago:

It shows a spot on his leg. It was like this on both legs, both arms, his chest and the fingers on his right hand. Often he had to go to school with all four fingers bandaged up so he could hold his pencils to write. It really bothered me that he was so uncomfortable every day and would cry and scratch every night. It got to the point where I just couldn't touch it to put cream on because it was too painful for him and we couldn't bath him because the water stung too much. After one and a half weeks of bleach baths and no wheat, here's what his legs looked like tonight before bed:
The relief I feel for him is huge! I am so happy he can now sleep without the aggravation of being itchy through the night. He is so proud of his eczema free body. Its the first time in years he has had some relief. I hope we have found the answer and can stay on top of it now. I am hoping tonight will be a Benny free night for me :)

My second little pumpkin is Lani. She is extremely sensitive to the foods she eats and can have awful night episodes that include lots of crying, sometimes screaming, hiting and throwing. Her night problems aren't constant like the other two, she goes in cycles. A bad episode will last for three nights, each one going for 1-2 hours. I took her completely off yeast the same time I took Benny off wheat and she has slept through for the last week straight! Two pumkins down.

The last little pumpkin is Sisi. She was born with reflux and dealt with it as a bub by holding her breath and turning purple. She had a couple of stays in hospital as the doctors thought she had a heart condition. She would set the heart monitors off all through the night by holding her breath. In the end I took her home at 4 weeks old with a box of reflux tablets I had to somehow get her to eat. She held her breath randomly until she was 6 months old. There was no way I was having our baby turning herself purple in another room, so she slept in my arms so I could give her a gentle nudge to get her breathing again. She was more than happy to stay sleeping in my arms over the last two and a half years until I had tantrum the other week about how tired I was getting. The last month or so she has been sleeping with benny but around midnight she sneaks back into bed with me. I do enjoy sleeping with her and we both love the cuddles but it does add to my tiredness during the day unfortunately - so this is what we have come up with:
The Terrys were kind enough to lend us their toddler bed so she can sleep in her own bed but beside me. She went straight to sleep without a fuss tonight. Lets see if I can get her to stay there all night.

JJ has some eczema too, although its not as bad as bennys, it has been getting him up every night for the last week. Luckily for me he is much less of a pumpkin than the others during the night, I tell him where his cream is and he puts some on himself and goes back to bed.

I often wish I had Jobs mad skills of being able to sleep through everything. He says to me each morning "So how did you sleep?"



Sam and Mariah said...

WOW I am amazed at Benny's Legs. WOWZERS.. That is amazing well done.

We are glad that Sisi likes her bed and we hope that she stays there through the night.

We had a look through our bread maker book and there are recipes for yeast free bread and Wheat free bread if you wanna give it a go sometime. We use it from time to time, but you can borrow it whenever you need to.

The Kings said...

Oh man Leona - I seriously don't know how you do it! Noah is one thing, but he is 'easy' really :) I'm glad you are working out what is helping them and hope you get some decent sleep VERY, very soon!

Nettie's Blog said...

Oh Wow that is auch a difference.... lets hope that it keeps healing at that rate and stays that way...
if not you have that number and you can ring her anytime..
Happy sleeping from now on..lets hope!!!

Toni said...

Your such an amazing mum Lug, I wish I had the patience you have, I get crabby if one of my kiddies wakes up through the night cause I'm now so use to sleeping through... I will not take this for granted anymore.
Your kiddies are so very lucky to be blessed with a mother like you.
Hope all continues to go well for you, if anyone deserves a good nights rest it is definetly you.
Love you heaps