I don’t know if I should be comforted or frustrated by the knowledge that my instincts were right about the ENT. As Murphy’s Law would have it, Nik’s ear looked great and his tonsils seemed fine when the doctor got a good look. Well, hell, I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure that even I know that a week on heavy-hitting antibiotics might have some slight ameliorating effects.
The bottom line is that the doctor doesn’t think the tonsils are the problem and doesn’t want to remove them; he said he thinks it won’t give us the results we are hoping for and may make Nik’s oral motor issues worse. Now, here’s where the good doctor and I part company because I’m pretty sure he’s looking at this strictly from his little ENT-corner-of-the-world view while I am looking at the big picture.
To whit: Nik has a significant history of both cardiac and pulmonary disease or insult. He was a history of Failure to Thrive (FTT) and is still in the third percentile for both height and weight for his age with a body mass index of less than fifty percent. This child who used to sleep ten to thirteen hours per night without incident has not slept well in three years; the average amount of sleep Nik now gets is eight hours total —broken into three, sometimes four, segments. His longest stretch of sleep these days is about three hours.
My once placid and even-tempered child is now a whirling dervish with a recent diagnosis of ADHD. I’m not sure I buy that, really. Not as long as there may be any underlying pathology which may be treatable. And the long-term cost of doing nothing but medicating it and hoping it resolves itself is too great. The threat to Nik’s overall health and development is not insignificant; the toll on our family as a unit is beginning to show.
I’ve already got calls in to our fabulous pediatrician; I know I can count on her to go to bat for us if we need to be referred outside our state for a second opinion. Yes, one drawback to living in a small state is that all the pediatric otolaryngologists practice in the same facility. Apparently, they also all share one opinion among themselves depending on who’s on the schedule. But I digress.
Nik’s insurance demands that we exhaust all possibilities before they will deign to authorize an out-of-area office visit. That means our next step is requesting a sleep study. Call me jaded but I like to think of it as a sleepless study; let’s face it, there’s no way anyone can sleep “normally” when they’re in a hospital and wired to all sorts of machines —especially gadget boy Nik. But it’s one of the hoops we have to jump through before we can make any real progress.