Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Childhood Sleep Apnea

Well, it has been some time since I got a chance to post.  This time, I would like to share a little on a topic that has touched us recently, and hopefully leave a resource for other parents whose children may be affected by sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the person affected stops breathing during sleep.  It is estimated that 1 to 4 percent of children have sleep apnea.  There is much speculation that number may be higher, as the belief is that many children with sleep apnea are misdiagnosed with ADHD or depression.  The symptoms of sleep apnea in children do not necessarily mimic adult symptoms.  While excessive sleepiness may occur, the following is a list of ways in which sleep apnea may (children will probably not experience every item on the list) impact a child:
  • snoring - loud, squeaky, raspy
  • nocturnal snorting, gasping, choking (may wake self up)
  • restless sleep
  • heavy irregular breathing
  • excessive perspiring during sleep
  • severe bedwetting
  • bad dreams (nightmares)
  • night terrors
  • sleeps with mouth open, causing a dry mouth upon awakening
  • chest retraction during sleep in young children (chest pulls in)
  • sleeps in strange positions
  • confusion upon awakening
  • morning headaches
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • may develop high blood pressure
  • may be overweight or underweight
  • learning problems
  • excessive irritability
  • change in personality
  • depression
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Developmental problems
  • failure to thrive or grow
  • frequent upper respiratory infections
  • hyperactive behavior
  • The type of sleep apnea which is most
The easiest way to recognize sleep apnea in adults is loud snoring.  Sleep apnea in children may easily go unrecognized by parents, as children sleep alone, and snoring is not necessarily an issue.  Because of the medical issues that can be caused by sleep apnea, and for the well being of the person affected, it is very important to properly diagnose and treat this condition in children and adults. 

Here is the website from which I took much of this information:
In my next post, I will include video of Sweet Pea sleeping both before having his tonsils and adenoids out and after.  I hope these will be most helpful to parents who suspect their child may have sleep apnea.  It has been only one week since his surgery, and there are huge diferences in how he sleeps, and how he sounds when he sleeps.......................

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One year ago today....

One year ago today, we awoke to the sunrise in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

One year ago today, we heard the song of the church bells of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church calling the masses to morning prayers.

One year ago today, we bonded with eight wonderful families we had not previously met.

One year ago today, we learned to say thank you in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.

One year ago today, we left our cameras at a tiny guard shack when we wanted them desperately to take pictures with.

One year ago today, we donned communal crocks which were one or several sizes too big (or too small).

One year ago today, we were overcome by the fragrance of the Ethiopian spice mixture, bebere, as we walked into the Care Center that was Sidamo's home at the time.

One year ago today, we waited anxiously with the other eight families for our name to be called.

One year ago today, we climbed three flights of stares with a level of anticipation so high we trembled.

One year ago today, we saw the most loving nanny holding Sidamo in her arms.

One year ago today, we held Sidamo in our arms for the first time.

One year ago today, we welcomed Sidamo into our family forever.

One year ago today.........

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Racism - Do we "get" it?

I have been feeling kind of fired up about race relations recently, after reading about a white racist gang at a High School in the Madison area.  I hope by sharing my journey, I can be part of the solution, not the problem.

As many of my readers know, we began our adoption journey to Michael in 2003.  For those of you not familiar with adoption, there is a lot of parent training and preparation involved prior to placement.  If you are open to adopting a child of another race or ethnicity, that training includes cross-cultural training.  This training is intended to prepare you for what you might encounter as a cross-cultural family, and to give you an idea of what it may be like for your child to be in your family.

I was resistant, and I didn't get it.  Michael was home a year before I realized this.  As a person who grew up in largely minority portions of a large metro area, I thought I knew what was going on in the world of race relations.  I thought that because my friends and family of color didn't talk to me about racism, that it wasn't happening to them.  I truly beleived that the US had done a lot of healing in the 15 to 20 years that preceeded my high school experience.  I thought that white priveledge was a thing of the past.

I was wrong.  I can pin point just the time that I realized that. As cross-cultural parents, Pete and I have continued to focus on learning what it would be like for our children as they grow up in a race concious society.  To that end, we have attended far more training than what is required by the adoption agency.  It was at one of these sessions that I finally got it (or at least understood better than before).  I let myself hear the adoptive mom's stories of racism that she and her children had faced.  Not before my time, but now, recently.  I let myself hear her story of being attacked by a druggie in a church, in a minority neighborhood, and that the police had to be called multiple times only to respond when they were informed a white woman was being attacked.  I let myself look through the eyes of the minority room mate on an episode of "The Real World" that she shared, and understand that a white man would have been handled differently by the police, and see that the room mate's white friend clearly didn't get it.

If there is a part of white priveledge that we can give up, it would be ignorance of racism.  This is when I gave that up.  It is a white priveledge because people of color don't have that choice.  People of color can not choose whether to be a victim of racism, just as victims of other aggregious acts don't choose to be victimized.

I am going to ask a very special favor of all the readers of this blog.  Readers of color, please share your experiences of racism by commenting on this post.  I moderate the blog comments, so your stories won't post immediately.  I intend to keep this a safe place for you to share, and will reject disrespectful/hurtful comments.  White readers, please allow yourselves to open up and hear, without pre-judging, stories of racism posted.  Remember, each of us experiences life differently.  You may have to try to view stories through the tellers eyes to understand where they are coming from.

Thank you, in advance, to everyone who chooses to participate.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Charter, actions speak louder than words.

Charter Communications commented on my last blog post. I was encouraged to contact them, for assistance with my issue. The thing is, I really have no faith that Iwon't just be irritated more. I looked back at the last bill I received from them, which they insisted on the phone that they didn't bill me for the equipment that I had returned as part of the balance due. They quite obviously did. So now I know that I can expect them to lie to me, too.

Charter, I am free of you. I am choosing not to allow you to aggravate me further.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I knew cancelling Charter seemed too easy........

After putting up with Charter Communications for several years, and several poor customer service experiences, I should have known it was too good to be true when cancelling seemed almost pleasant.

When I cancelled, I was told that we had 2 weeks to return the receivers. We received a bill 2 weeks later that included a charge for the receivers which we had returned 1 week after cancelling. Well within the window. I called Charter, and they had to "track down" the equipment which they did, and advised they would remove from the bill. I requested that a new bill be sent because I wanted to ensure that the receivers were indeed removed from my account.

Fast forward to one or two weeks ago, I haven't received anything from Charter. So I accessed my account online to try to pay, but the system appeared to be unavailable. On to today. I open yesterdays mail and open something I initially think is junk mail. I look closer and see that Charter has sent our account to collections. WTF!! I was/am so angry. Is it too much to ask for a CORRECT final bill? Apparently for Charter it is. I called customer service, which was a pointless waste of time.

Maybe I should send Charter to collections for the time our service was out for 4 days and our account was never credited........