Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Sick Kid's Sleep Clinic

    Today Riley and I had a one on one day.  I am sad to admit that my kids actually look forward to doctor's appointments and trips to the ER.  It is one on one time, something we do not do nearly enough of.  The problem is with 4 kids and day to day life, dedicated one on one is hard to pull off.  Every summer we do give them one on one days, and they really look forward to them.  They get to pick the activity and the parent.
   Today Riley and I headed into Toronto to Sick Kids Hospital.  I am amazed at this beautiful facility.  It would be dreadful to "have to have" a child in there, but if you did, what place.  It is like it's own village, and everything is for kids.   It really is beautiful.
    We were there because Riley may have slept through the night at most 10 times in her 7 years.  My husband and I have been sleep deprived for the last 10 years.  It's something about our girls.  The boys slept through from infancy, but not the girls.  Riley however takes the cake.  She is up an average of two to three times a night, and likes company.  Something had to give.  With much begging and a few tears (by me), Riley was referred to the Sick Kids Sleep Clinic.  The wait list for the clinic is something like a year and a half.
    We have been going for almost two years on and off.  The first visit they suggested changing her sleep routine, we did.  The second visit they prescribed melatonin.  The first three days on the melatonin were bliss.  She slept through the night.  It was like Christmas only without the going into massive debt part.  I began to celebrate.  The celebration was a bit premature.  On the third night she developed debilitating stomach cramps.  They were so bad that we took her to the ER fearing she had a ruptured appendix.  After a week of debilitating stomach cramps we took her off the melatonin.  Within days of coming off the melatonin, she had pain free, and sleep free.
    Today the doctor suggested that we try the melatonin again.  If that didn't work, then we would try a sleeping medication.  I do not want my child to require sleeping medications at 7.  I also do not want her to never sleep through the night.  Tomorrow night we will try the melatonin again, and pray for the best.  It is a really tough decision.
    On a positive note, we had a wonderful day in Toronto.  Sick Kids was exciting and fun for Riley.  It's a wonderful place. She loved riding in the glass elevators.  Then we rode the subway.  She loved the subway.  She was amazed that we were traveling under the city.  We went to the Eaton's Centre.  Then we went to Yorkdale.  At Yorkdale we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  This is not a venture for the poor.  I should say that Riley had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, and I had a coke and a small salad.  It was worth every penny to see her face.  If there is a draw back to our large family, it's that we are not able to afford the luxuries.  I guess that is why one on one is so special, and why you have to make the most of every one on one, even if it's to a doctor's appointment or to the hospital.

Beautiful bustling Toronto, what a treat to be here visiting.

The giant Mickey in the Sick Kid's food court.

The glass elevators.  Riley told me how proud she was of me for riding on
it and looking out the window ( I don't like heights).

Not your average examination room.  At Sick Kids they think of everything.
  Riley sat and drew pictures while we waited.

Riley on the subway.  "Hey mom, are you taking this picture for your blog?"  I sheepishly replied "yes".

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