Monday, July 19, 2010

Cries in the night

I'm tired this morning, and it has nothing to do with diabetes for once.

Nope, I'm tired because Elise had another long night of night terrors. To be totally honest, I'm not sure that they're 100% true night terrors, but they are terrifying for me.

Elise has been suffering from them since she was about 18 months. The first time it happened I nearly had a heart attack, since I was awoken from a deep sleep to the sound of my child emitting a blood-curdling scream.

Thinking it was D-related, I ran into her room, meter in hand and saw that she was thrashing around in her crib and crying. I thought maybe she was having some sort of seizure, but when I checked her BG, it was on the high side of normal.

She continued to scream, but when I took a good look at her, I saw she wasn't even awake. I had heard of night terrors before and knew not to wake her, instead just staying with her until she had calmed.

Elise gets these episodes every so often (maybe 3 - 4 times a month), but the hard part is they last most of the night, starting around 3:00 am. She'll calm herself, then about 45 minutes later it will start all over again. Her BG is always "fine-ish", and there's nothing we can do except to make sure she's safe. Last night we found her on the floor.

These days, in addition to the screaming and crying, she also talks.

It can be funny; "No Momma, I don't want to wear THAT dress... I want THIS one!"

It can be non-sensical; "Colour with the paper on your head."

And it can be heart-breaking; "No, no, I don't want another shot... please!"

It had been awhile since she'd last had an episode, so I was hoping we were done with them, but last night was rough. I think she went from 3:30 until about 6:30 this morning; crying out every 30 minutes or so. Considering I didn't get to sleep until 1:30, that makes for one tired Momma.

Most of the reading I've done on this subject tells me that I just need to be patient and wait until she outgrows it, but until then, I have yet another "sleep-thief" to deal with.


  1. That stinks! I am so sorry. I read something once about waking the child up before you go to bed - something about how it resets their sleep cycles and somehow avoids the night terror? Have you read anything about that?

    If not, don't go waking her up - I read that years ago and it is all pretty fuzzy in my brain. As are most things in my brain these days...

  2. I'll have to ask Elise's pedi about that... I like to live by the credo, "never wake a sleeping baby/child".

    I also like my husband to live by these very important words, "never wake your sleeping wife!"

  3. This brings back sooo many sleepless night memories for me. My 13 year old Kailyn use to suffer from night terrors when she was about 6 years old. I think it lasted for about 1 1/2 years of on and off nights full of screaming and yelling and panicking.

    I feel for you!! and I hope you get some great naps very soon :)

  4. I used to have these well let us say at a rough patch in my life . I am over them now but I sure remember waking some people because they said I was screaming at the top of my lungs . I would talk to the pediatrician and see what they say .

  5. Oh I am so sorry Joanne! I always had heard, and maybe I am mistaken, but that they are associated with growth spurts. Have you heard that too? Here's hoping they are over soon and you and Elise can both get some rest!

  6. That is the saddest thing. Poor little Elise. Give her a hug for me, would you?

  7. I am so sorry!! That just sucks.
    I hope she grows out of this stage soon.

  8. That SUCKS the BIG ONE...on top of everything else that is going on during your life at night...hello BGs and Pregnant Bladder action - UGH. Give Elise a big hug from her Portuguese Buddies in VT!!!

  9. Just reading about that makes me tired. At least she's in a good diabetes zone when it all goes down.

  10. My son had these often right before and right after Isaac was born...his pedi said it was his bodies way of handling the stress that he didn't handle during the day. We started doing color journals before bedtime and that helped...basically we'd all color the pages the way we felt. I started doing them with him where I'd have my own journal and I'd pick up a crayon and say something like "I'm choosing orange because I feel really silly and I think orange is a silly color. I'm coloring hard because I feel a little frustrated by not being able to stay up longer and it helps me to color hard...." (I'm sure you get the picture) We got the idea from a friend whom was an art therapist at a children's hospital.
    I also found for Ethan that we couldn't wake him or he'd be up for hours and never go back asleep and he had no recollection of having the terror, so sometimes (my big ol' pregnant belly) would just lay down on the floor next to his bed to make sure he was physically safe and wait out the terrors with him as there was really nothing else I could do. Granted d wasn't involved, but it wasn't fun at all.
    Hoping you're getting a good nap in!

  11. My daughter had these as well at about 3 or 4. (she was dx at 10) We found that they tended to happen when she was over tired - so that stress thing might make sense. She did out grow them but boy were they scarry for mom


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