Mother’s instinct, women’s intuition, call it what you will but TRUST in it!
My little #4 who is 4 ½, has been 12.4kg since his 2 ½ year check up and we’ve been to the doctor about it but as he sleeps well, isn’t lethargic, his behaviour is normal and he eats (albeit minimally) they don’t seem as concerned as I do.
He also has obstructive sleep apnoea where he can stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time ALL through the night which is often scary especially when he’s poorly as it gets much worse!
Then there’s his MASSIVE tonsils, I’m not exaggerating, they are HUGE! I have always believed that his tonsils are at the root of is failure to gain weight, his sleep apnoea and the fact that he had to have 6 teeth removed last year. (He used to hold food in is mouth and not swallow it, he could keep it in his mouth for ages before we noticed!)
I kept going to the doctors but I know how silly I sounded. They finally referred him (us) to a dietician (who put him on prescription high-calorie shakes) and paediatrician, but didn’t refer to ear, nose & throat as he’d never had tonsillitis!
To cut a long story short, I filmed him sleeping on my phone. The doctor took one look and referred him to the dept of paediatric respiratory medicine. He had blood tests, echocardiograms, sleep studies and a number of other tests.
The results were somewhat worrying… PRM… “Although there was no dysmorphism he had chest assymetry with a degree of pectus and a sternal dipping. His tonsils were enormous and there was no nasal airflow of note. Importantly, he did also have a degree of right ventricular heave and a rather loud pulmonary secondary sound that might indicate a degree of pulmonary hypertension”
The echocardiogram was a bit better… “From the cardiac perspective, he has an entirely normal heart.”
The sleep study… “Channels monitered: oxygen saturation, heart rate, chest & abdominal movement, nasal airflow & video.”
“The study showed a reasonable baseline saturation of 95% but several periods during the night, he demonstrated significant obstruction. His saturation dips were generally to around 85% but occasional dips down to 70% were noted. During these episodes there was paradoxical chest and abdominal movement with airflow obstruction typical of obstructive sleep apnoea. His apnoea/hypopnoea index was 10. Summary: significant abnormal study with moderately severe obstructive sleep apnoea.”
A week later I had a phone call to get him admitted to hospital for a tonsillectomy the following week!
So last Thursday, #4 had his tonsils removed and for the 1st time ever I heard him sleep peacefully!
I have to say the actual experience of having a child go under general anaesthetic is absolutely awful but when you know their quality of life is going to improve it’s bearable.
That night we stayed in hospital as they wanted to keep an eye on his sats which were still very low. He was on a monitor and it had an alarm set to go off if his sats went under 91% and it went off all night and most of the next day! He was put on oxygen and had steroids put into his cannula and they improved enough for us to go home.
Although he’s a little sore, he’s breathing much better and we’re yet to see if it improves his eating.
I do wonder though… if the doctors had listened to us in the first place (2 years ago!) would his growth and breathing have been as affected? I guess we’ll never know but I say a Mother’s Instinct is a very valuable tool and health professionals should take that into account more often.