Thursday, December 27, 2007

A History of Lack of Sleep

As a explained in my post yesterday, David has gotten little sleep for the last month. I should explain that this is not unusual for him. David has a pattern of this. If he's happy, sad, excited, bored ... and any other reason he will not sleep. In fact, we even went to the doctor when David was three, after five months of him not sleeping for more than four hours a night (which resulted in Mom and Dad getting even less sleep) we sought medical advice. The first doctor we went to proceeded to tell me that "some people don't need a lot of sleep." I found this so absurd that I was speechless—only four hours a night (no naps) for five months for a three-year-old.

The answers that followed were no better, I'm sure you're exaggerating or my wife doesn't have problems with our two children, so if you are having problems it is due to bad parenting. After another month of this my son started to sleep through the night, however, if he had a nap—forget about getting him to sleep at night. As I continued to have issues with doctors I decided that I would have to become very proactive and began researching many of our medical issues before going to the doctors. During this research I found that the long period of non-sleep was probably withdrawal from the drugs in his system from his birth-parents.

We have also been criticized for giving our son too much sugar—this when he was on a diet of no added sugar, no additives, and no food dyes. This diet we tried for over a year with no change in his behavior. It has been difficult at times when others have all the answers—we have been told by one assistant pastor who stated "you need to beat him" to another pastor who told us "it's a sin issue." We do understand this is a sin issue, since all illness and disobedience is a sin issue that is a very simple statement that while being true doesn't help with our situation. One young (unmarried) man recently told us that following Ephesians 4:20-24 was all the parenting skills you needed.

I have found that this is a common problem for not just our family. I have seen many other blogs that state the same problem. I know that many of these comments are made to be useful and helpful, but often these comments are also made to make the person feel superior. I find it very interesting that the people who don't work closely with David criticize us the most. The people who have direct day-to-day contact with us actually commend us as being very good parents.

I began working as an adoptive parent liaison upon a recommendation by our son's school. The social services agency was looking for a parent who was a good parent and advocate for their child and I was the one they recommended. I am not trying to be boastful or say I am a great mother—I know my short comings, and they are many—but I must press forward each day, trusting that through seeking God's will David will grow into the man of God we pray for each day.


Barb J. said...

I know exactly what you mean. Our 12 year old son has always had sleep problems (but not because we - his parents - took drugs or alcohol!).

He didn't sleep through the night until he was three years old, and five hours sleep per night is considered good for him. Other than that he is one of the healthiest 12-year-olds I know. He never gets sicks.

We sought medical help via a pediatric sleep specialist for his sleep issues and my son ended up on four different daily medications. This year, we weaned him off everything.

We are just putting it in God's hands and letting my son be himself, and everyone is happier. I still worry sometimes, but I trust that God will take care of my son.

Kim said...

I find it very interesting that your 12 year old is also very healthy. Our son is never sick, he hardly even has the sniffles and he has only had a temperature three times in his life. We also don't have him on sleeping medication, he is on medication for his bi-polar disorder that we feel is necessary.