Sunday, June 13, 2010


Tomorrow I am taking Matthew to a new pediatrician in the city. Well, he's not a new pediatrician really, just new to us. He used to work in Jamaica where he delivered two of my nieces and my brother and cousin think he is just the greatest thing in the world.

I am hoping he can shed some light on a few issues Matthew has.

1. Matthew doesn't sleep. He's never been a good sleeper. As an infant I'd lay him down for a nap and an hour later he would still be laying there staring at the ceiling. More recently, he sleeps in five hour stretches. So, I put him down for the night at 7 p.m. and by midnight he's up again. He'll stay up for two and a half hours or more before finally settling back down and sleeping for another five hours. This has made for some very cranky days and nights.

Some nights he drops right off to sleep and other's he'll bounce for anywhere from one to three hours before finally allowing himself to go to sleep. And he'll purposely shake himself awake over and over again. I've tried everything. He has the same bedtime routine, the alarm goes off at the same time every morning, he rarely gets sugar and when he does it's usually at lunch or before so he has lots of time to burn off the energy. I've tried to get him to sleep with the lights on, the lights off, TV or other noise maker on but not where he can see it, or as silent as it's possible to be with eleven dogs and living in a rainforest. I've tried totally bundled up and barely anything on. Fan on. Fan off. I think you get the idea. Nothing works. When Matthew decides he's not going to sleep he just won't.

I've taken him to other doctors and their solutions were, give him Benadryl. That didn't work, it only made him more hyper. Give him chamomile tea. That didn't work, he only fussed over drinking his milk. Give him Ovaltine. Well, I didn't try that. And if all of the above doesn't work we can try child strength barbiturates. Gee... um... thanks but... um... no. I am not going to give my two year old child strength sleeping pills. The Benadryl was bad enough and I only broke down and tried that after nearly a month of not sleeping. Those were the days before the five hour stretches where he'd sleep until just after I went to bed and then he'd be up for the rest of the night. After over a month of getting one and two hours of sleep a night I was almost willing to try anything.

So, we are going to see what the doctor thinks.

2. Matthew often wakes up crying and tells me his legs hurt. Now, Matthew is a hypochondriac. This is a fact. An ant bite a month later is still worthy of being commiserated over, according to him. Often, I don't think his legs are hurting and I'll rub them for literally two swipes of my hand, ask him if they feel better and he'll tell me yes and sometimes he'll settle back into sleep. More often that's it, he's up. Sometimes though, I think they really are hurting him and only massaging them for upwards of fifteen minutes will settle him down. I don't mind massaging them but there has to be something more that can be done so they don't hurt him in the first place.

Again, I took him to the doctor and asked if he thought it might be restless leg syndrome. The immediate answer was, "No, it's just his muscles after he's had a busy day." Okay, I can buy that, I guess, but wouldn't it be better to examine him before coming to that conclusion?

3. Matthew doesn't speak. He's nearly two and a half and it's only in the last month that he's started saying "mama" and "mom". He also says, "yeah" but as I don't say that and no one he's around says it I am thinking it's his version of "yes".

I wasn't/am not particularly worried about this for a number of reasons. a) Matthew has done nothing early except sit up. (See number one for the reason to early sitting. Don't want to sleep, then let's sit.) b) He has said words in the past. Three examples: He called me "mama" just before his first birthday. He said "webra" while looking at a zebra shortly after that. He's copied his cousin and said "da" when my brother walked in the house. c) He has exceptional hearing and will get excited about the airplane or helicopter he hears coming thirty seconds before I, or anyone around us, hear it coming. He can also distinguish between the helicopter and the airplane and if I tell him the wrong one is coming he gives me a look like I should know better. d) Not that is really has anything to do with speech but it's one of the senses, he has amazing eyesight. He once pointed to a dead beetle, laying on it's back, with it's brown belly up, on the brown wooden floor... in the dark.

But, Matthew does communicate. He has a number of signs he does, water, please, thank you and then there are the points and grunts.

Anyway, I am partially freaking out that the doctor is going to tell me something horrible is wrong with him and partially totally calm.

We've been here before, my boy and me, and it turned out fine the first time, but that is a post for another day.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy


LisaDay said...

I am so glad you are going to the doctor. It is likely that nothing is wrong but it's good to check it out.

Even better to doctor comes with great referrals.


becca said...

i hope your doc visit goes well, and you get some answers. your boy is precious, and i'm enjoying reading your blog. :)

Sukhmandir Kaur said...

Wow honey, you have a lot on your plate. I don't think it's that unusual for kids not to sleep long stretches. I read one that 3 year old's were prone to walking around and three am, Hey maybe he's totally spiritual and wants to meditate.
My youngest son got suspended from nursery school for 3 months until he turned two and learned to talk so and Einstein did not talk until he was 4.
What are your fears? Are you thinking autism maybe? Hopefully the doctor will put all your fears to rest or if there is a problem get an early diagnosis. My leg is hurting badly at the moment from a very old injury in a car accident which caused sciatica. I can remember my older son telling me his legs hurt as a kid and thinking back he might have had the same problem. One thing that helps me more than anything is drinking water a couple of bottles and I feel much better. The other thing is acupuncture!!!
I'd like to promise you some sleep someday When he goes off to college maybe :) Whatever is going on one thing is true he's lucky your his mommy and you lucky he's you little boy, everything else is secondary and will work it's self out with time. Wishing you all the best blessings!