I love my sleep. It is extremely vital to those around me that I am well-rested, because I tend to be just a bit cranky when I am tired. Like the head spinning scene in The Exorcist cranky. I can survive one night without enough sleep, but after that I become Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo.
Unfortunately, I married a snorer. The man I fell in love with just so happens to sound like an old buzz saw going full bore through a pile of logs at the toothpick factory. Night after night I found myself with a pillow over my head, trying to sleep, while my sweetie snored away. Except when he didn't.
Often the snoring would stop...because Larry stopped breathing. He had apnea. I was in a quandry. Either I didn't sleep because of the snoring, or I didn't sleep because he stopped breathing. Either way was not healthy for our relationship. I asked my husband to go see a doctor, and he tried to make excuses for not going. I've never understood the male reluctance to see a doctor; I was less than sympathetic.
"Go see the damn doctor," I told him. "I am not waking up next to a dead body."
He went. The doctor ordered a sleep study, and Larry complained about all the wires they attached to his head. However, it was found that my husband's breathing was indeed compromised by apnea. The solution turned out to be simple; a fantastic device called a CPAP machine. I call it a miracle worker. It keeps a steady flow of air so that the passages stay clear; no more apnea. Not only do I not have to worry about my husband not breathing, but now he doesn't snore.
My son is four, and he is pretty healthy. Except that he snores. The entire house rattles when he's sleeping. It's just horrible. I know what the problem is in this case. It's his adenoids. I know that we need to see an ENT, and I know that that ENT is going to recommend surgery to remove those offending adenoids. This is routine surgery; it may not even require a hospital stay.
I know all these things, and yet I haven't made the appointment. I'm freaked out about the idea of my boy having surgery. Emotionally, I have panic attacks thinking about my child going under the knife. I just cannot stand the thought of him lying there covered with tubes and wires again, not after all that time in the NICU.
I am disturbed by this disconnect between my intellect and my emotions. Parents have to balance their emotional and intellectual reactions to events that affect their children all the time, and most of the time I have that balance. But not here. My child depends on my ability to make rational decisions regarding his welfare, and I'm failing him with my own fears.
Am I the only parent out there who gets freaked out about this stuff? I don't know. Am I going to suck it up and deal with this? Yes. I don't think that I have a choice.