Thursday, January 10, 2008

No More Chinese Restaurants for Nessa

So...Tuesday became a frustrating day at work and as my laptop continued to process when I should have been leaving work I felt the last remains of any peace slip away and my shoulders reached their old familiar tension-filled space. I had to leave work to go get Nessa, but my laptop wasn't ready to go and of course I HAD to work a bit that night. (I tell myself that a lot because I'm ALWAYS on a roll at the end of the afternoon. But I only sign back on after Nessa is in bed a fraction of the time.) So, I decided I would leave it processing (checking out files I needed) and come back and get it later. On the way home I backed out of cooking for veggie night and asked Shawn about going out to eat ... he generously said yes and we went to a Chinese restaurant downtown (close to work so I could stop back quickly).

Nessa did quite well through supper. I didn't do so well because the waitress was not all that pleasant about answering questions about what is actually in the food so I could at least attempt to avoid my allergens (I'm sure my mood didn't help). So, we made it through supper and headed home after I stopped to pick up the laptop. Bedtime went as well as we expect it to lately and Nessa did fall asleep before her parents did ...

I think it was about midnight when we woke up ... I can't even remember what exactly Nessa was doing to wake us up, but she was up, so we were up. Shawn went in first. I don't know how long he was gone, but he returned at some point to inform me that he could not convince Nessa that she did NOT in fact NEED mommy. I went in to Nessa's room ... She seemed so sweet and quite calm while I calmly talked to her and stroked her hair. I fooled myself into thinking she just needed some snuggles to drift off to sleep. She never fell asleep, but about 1:45 I thought I could sneak out to go to the bathroom ... I could hear her cry before I sat down.


She was not sick.

She was simply not falling asleep. And she did not understand being alone at night in the dark while WIDE awake.

At some point I gave her a book to "read" and told her I would check on her in a bit. I don't even remember falling back asleep.

I believe Shawn went in and sang to her again.

I believe it was sometime around 4 a.m. when she fell asleep again, but it could have been later (or is that earlier?). I do know that when our alarm went off at 5:45 we rolled over (Shawn to the actual alarm and me to the dawn simulator) and simply shut it off!

The next thing I remember is waking up with a start after hearing a loud crash. It sounded SO loud I thought a piece of furniture had fallen over and all kinds of bad parenting thoughts went through my head (the bored insomniac must have climbed her dresser...). Shawn returned from Nessa's room to assure me that it was only her Sigg water bottle hitting the floor, and that she seemed to have dropped it *in her sleep* ! At that point (7:05 a.m. -- the time we usually head out the door) I decided to drag my tired butt out of bed and race to get to work close to on time. Nessa informed me that she wanted "MOMMY" to take her to daycare so I did not, in fact, make it to work on time; however, Nessa got herself dressed faster than we thought was ever possible! and I merely missed the morning meeting that I usually complain about anyway.

The night did NOT do much to relieve my tension.

However, having experienced insomnia and having very real sleep issues in the not too distant past (any time I mess up too much on my food issues or overdue it in some other way), I felt bad for her and as usual my brain started working on ways we can prevent this from happening again. I do not believe this is normal behavior nor do I believe it's "naughty" in any way.

As I remembered a few other rough nights we've had and how her behavior in general has seemed inconsistent at times (the times we wonder what in the world happened to our sweet girl ... like New Years Eve holiday time ... other factors involved too, but still not our sweet Nessa). This insomnia episode and a few others suddenly became crystal clear as a reaction to something, and the most likely cause seems food of some sort (my top pick for this episode is food color (likely red) but it could also be other additives, flavorings, MSG, etc.) ... and I've always suspected she has some food allergies/sensitives similar to mine due to her digestive issues.

So, this was one BIG wake up call to start the testing and process of elimination to find out what she is reacting to. So far, I've scheduled an appointment with the doctor I have worked most closely with in regards to my own food issues (at Franciscan Skemp Center for Health and Healing in Onalaska). We may end up seeing others as well as we continue to look at our options. We couldn't get in as a new patient until March though ... so until then, we will try to at least watch her diet more closely to stick to whole foods, etc. so that if she does react it's easier to tell what it is (hopefully!) ... although we won't be letting her near a Chinese restaurant, store bought sweet and sour sauce, or almost anything red for quite awhile! (And if you feed her something full of food coloring or additives and she is up all night ... guess who I'm calling at 3 a.m.)

On the other hand if anyone has any suggestions on books, resources, local doctor recommendations, etc., please let us know.


Anonymous said...

Have you investigated the Feingold concept at all? They have resource lists for special food needs. Very handy and emails available as well.

Tami of BrooksGroth said...

Actually I've seen the Feingold diet mentioned a few places as well as the failsafe (?) diet out of Australia (?) ... and it is on my list of things to check out. Good online resources would certainly be a plus as are books I can find at the library rather than needing to buy.

Thanks for the reminder to look into this!