There’s a reason we call our son snotface, not to insult him, and it is because his face is a magnet for snot during the wet season. In Ireland that’s practically all year round. Ok, it might be slightly fuelled by the fact that he has asthma and also because he has Vulcan designed sinuses. They are slightly angled compared to “normal” sinuses, which results in them filling up and leaking.
The local grocery shop is delighted with the amount of money we spend on tissues. We have at this stage used up a minor pine forest.
To my surprise, some kids (and adults) can have something called Sleep Apnea, which basically means that they might pause their breathing during their sleep. If you hold your breath too long you can obviously pass out. It might result in lack of full/deep sleep, which then might mean you get tired during the day.
To be honest. I think most kids and teenagers have sleep apnea. They all seem to be extremely tired during the day and they have little or no energy to interact with theirs parents.
Anyway, my wife signed our son up for a sleep study, and “volunteered” me to look after him in the hospital.
Initially I thought this was a cool idea, sleeping in the hospital and I would get an opportunity to write a few posts for my blog, catch up with my Twitter gang and update my social media statuses. And, I could watch a few movies or play games. All in all, a win-win scenario. How wrong I was!
We checked into Hotel Hospital-icana and we were escorted to our -1 star accommodation. I had hoped for a private room, but I soon discovered that we would have to share the room with some other dads, who also had “volunteered”.
Next on the itinerary, my son had to be wired up to some machines. I stopped counting around the 11th wire. I was dreading the nose/mouth cover. This little medical device was meant to sit just below my son’s nostrils, registering when he was breathing out, while a small/short plastic arm was positioned in front of his mouth, again to measure his breathing. It would be interesting to see how long he would let the nurses connect him up with wires, before ripping them all off again.
Amazingly, he was an angel and was fully wired in 28 minutes. The nurses hugged and tickled him, all while he leaned back and enjoyed all the attention.
I forgot to mention that he normally goes to bed and he is sound asleep around 19.30. When the wiring was done it was 21.15. He was exhausted but refused to sleep.
Right. Lights off. Despite the lights out policy enforced by the nurses, they still kept coming in with their torches and making the equipment make weird beeping sounds.
The silence descended the ward and all I could hear was the air conditioning and the sound from the keyboard as I was typing this blog. At times it felt like the Langoliers were gobbling up all sounds.
Ignoring the emptiness, I had loosened my belt and top button, so my buddha belly could relax. Honestly, it was just to make room for the biscuits, crisp, chocolate and sandwiches I had brought with me. I was eating non-stop and surfing the social networks to make sure my friends were still in touch.
Out of nowhere, this tiny ninja nurse appeared. All I could see was her shadow and then the damn little flashlight. I must have let out a tiny yelp, because she apologised for startling me. I quickly stood up, completely forgetting about my relaxation initiatives and my pants dropped to the floor. If the lights had been on, she would have seen my face turn purple. As a flash, I bent over to pull up my pants, only to bang my head on the nightstand, knocking over my bottle of coke.
Having survived the first little disaster, I was determined to be more alert and not embarrass myself again.
This laps of concentration lasted for a mere 9 minutes, when the effects of all my junk food was building up in my guts. I had to fart!
But, I couldn’t just rip one, as this might alert the nurses or wake-up the other sleep study subjects. A brilliant plan emerged inside my enormous head. If I folded a towel, sat on it and then relaxed the brown eye – ever so slightly.
Gently I placed my butt on the towel, courtesy of the hospital, and relaxed. The warm air emerged and I can now confirm that sitting on a folded up towel can indeed muffle a fart. Unfortunately it cannot hide the aroma. And of course the ninja nurse had to do another check on the monitors. I calmly looked at her and said that my son sometimes farts in the night. She believed it – I think.
It was almost past midnight and I had to go to bed. The accommodation included a wake-up call, at 5.30am. I needed my beauty sleep too. Just a bit nervous about falling asleep. You never know if they start attaching me to machines and plug stuff into my butt or nostrils.
I had brought along a 30 year old sleeping bag, which had served me well while in Greenland as a kid, and it still looked ok. Looks can be deceiving. I opened the zipper and open the sleeping bag, only to be greeted by a moist and mold smell. Not too sure if anything had taken up residency in the dark pitt of the bag, so I kept socks and pants on.
My bed was actually a kid sized bed, which they use for transporting kids into surgery. It was not comfortable, but neither was the two chairs I had been using all evening. The old spine and lower back was starting to ache from the W-shaped position I had been sitting in most of the evening, so stretching on a undersized bed was at least some sort of relaxation.
In regards to a good long night’s sleep. Well, that didn’t happen. I was woken up every 30-40 minutes either by the ninja nurse and her light-saber, or by the monitor attached to all the wires or my son as he was turning in the bed and pulling all the wires + machines around.
I’m fairly certain that I did manage to fall asleep at times, mainly because I woke up drooling.
The wake-up call in Hotel Hospital-icana consisted of a bunch of nurses and cleaning ladies turning on all the lights, so they could prepare the beds for the influx of kids who needed medical assistance.
No breakfast in bed and no good morning kiss either. What is this World coming to?
Time to go home. Thankfully I had taken the following day off work. My brain and body doesn’t work that well after in-voluntary sleep deprivation.
It was a sleep study to see how well my son sleeps, and I can confirm he sleeps very well, even when attached to multiple wires that are connected to his head.