Thursday, October 13, 2011

Post Traumatic Stress


It's been a week now since Jie Jie's dental experience and she is still not back to her normal sleeping pattern. So far, after having any type of medical exam, she cannot fall asleep the same night or for several nights, but this is her longest stretch so far.

She usually falls asleep in about 30 seconds after getting into bed and sleeps 11-14 hours a night straight through. If I wake her up to use the toilet, she falls right back to sleep.

The night she had her dental work done, she tried very hard to fall asleep but every time she was almost there, her eyes would open wide. If I asked her what was going on, she'd start to cry and say, "Sleepy medicine, doctor coming." That first night, after many hours of lying with her to no avail, I let her watch her Chinese cartoon video for an hour then we both went to bed, in the wee hours.

The next few nights, after she would finally fall alseep, I'd not awaken her to use toilet, but then she had an accident so I started to do so again. If she managed to fall asleep without too much trouble, she definitely couldn't fall back to sleep after going to the bathroom and we were back to the prolonged wakefullness.

Tonight she is very, very tired and it's 11pm and she's still up. She fell into a light sleep an hour ago but awakened when I checked on her so I had her use the bathroom and now she's back in bed, eyes wide open.

She said she doesn't know why she can't fall asleep. I don't know if it's a physical memory of being put under anasthesia or an emotional memory or both, but she's definitely struggling with it.

1 comment:

goodiego said...

From my DD's special needs yahoo group it seems that some children have lingering effects after anesthesia. Some take a few weeks to get back to a normal sleeping routine. If it is emotional or physical, I don't know.

I see quite a few moms are posting after surgery that it takes more than a week or two for their children to get back to their regular sleeping routine. There are many posts "is this normal?" and they describe exactly what you posted. Some of the toddlers have more crying at waking up but they usually get past it after a few weeks. It is good that your daughter can verbalize her fear of the doctor coming & sleepy medicine, that will help her be able to get past it.