November 6, 2011

A Scalpel Saved Our Marriage

I know it's been a while. We've been up to a lot. Some of which is explained below.

Ah, weddings. You plan and plan, and for a while you seem to know more about mail-order napkins than your fiance's favorite color. The big day comes and hopefully it's filled with family, happiness, music, good wishes, and shaking your butt to "Whatta Man" at your wedding reception.

On to the honeymoon, perhaps to some place you've never been before, and the first night you're sleeping together (and, ahem, actually sleeping) you start to notice little things about the other person's night habits. The one thing I noticed during that time was that my shiny new spouse had issues with sleeping. Meh, no matter. We were in love and snuggly and starting a new life together, right? Nothing was going to disrupt our honeymoon phase that was destined to last until the Second Coming. Except that every subsequent night I began to wonder how long this earth life was actually going to last because Ted sounded like he was about to die multiple deaths.

I very sweetly mentioned this issue to him a few times, but he dismissed it. His reasoning was that if no one (parents, roommates, mission companions, Salma Hayek) had ever told him before that he was holding his breath and gagging during the night, it must not be true and I must be imagining things. Yes, this was MY problem, people.

Until I got pregnant. Then it was the world's problem. I got more and more frustrated about my lack of sleep in the first place, then combined with not being able to go back to sleep because of a certain spouse's snoring, and don't get me started on when baby #1 and then baby #2 actually got here and let's just say buh-bye to sleep altogether. I finally convinced him at one point to just "get checked out" and to his credit, he did, and he didn't even grumble about it. He had to spend the night at a sleep center hooked up to all sorts of who-knows-what, and the diagnosis: normal people's brains "wake up" about 5x per hour. Not a full wake-up, just normal patterns as your brain goes through its sleeping cycles. Ted's brain was waking up 36 times. Per hour. That's waking up more than once every other minute!! Basically, it was one of the worst cases of sleep apnea they'd ever seen. So they prescribed a CPAP. It was heaven for me, hell for him. He'd rip it off subconsciously in the middle of the night, so we were back to the same ol' antics and square one.

It was so bad during pregnancy #2 and post-baby #2 that Ted just took to sleeping in our guest bed every night. Despite the feeling that we were roommates and not lovers (kinky), it worked wonders with catching up on sleep. I got a full night (well, once Dean started sleeping through the night, which didn't happen until a few months ago) and he didn't wake up worrying if I was starting my day off ticked because I hadn't gotten enough winks.

Time to try something else.

A few months ago Ted went in for a consultation about his tonsils. They were massive. He was scheduled for a tonsillectomy on Sept 8, so my very pregnant friend came to babysit while I went to the hospital with Ted. The surgery went fine, but the recovery was awful for him. I had to do some major stocking up on ice cream. He winced over every bite. The doctor said it was going to "hurt like hell", and he wasn't kidding. Ted just plain ol' didn't want to bother eating because it hurt so bad, so he lost 10 pounds. I think I found them.

A month later, we went on a little weekend trip to the Outer Banks, a popular NC vacation spot and one of the points of interest for Hurricane Irene back in August (the 27th to be exact. I remember because I helped throw a baby shower that day -oh, for that very pregnant friend mentioned above- and my hair was a mess). So there we were, glowing in the aftermath of a BYU win over the Utah State Aggies - still trying to figure out how they did it - and I realized I hadn't heard Ted snore once the night before. See, we hadn't been sleeping in the same bed for months, more than a year, actually, so I'd forgotten about the various noises. Before I said anything, though, and jinxed it, I thought I'd sleep through another night. Same result. Could it be????

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, which was also a couple weeks after this little trip. Dean, the worst sleeping child we've ever had, was up to his same old tricks and it was driving us batty, so Ted took matters into his own hands and just stuck him in the office/sewing/guest room, no discussion, to just let him cry and reduce our frustration. Which means Ted had nowhere to sleep except....our bed.

And I'm happy to report that the only thing that bothers me now is how small a queen is when there's another body in it. But no noises - no gagging, no breath-holding, no choking, not even a snore. Just nice, even, deeeeeep sleep breathing.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thank you a million times over, Dr Snip-its at Duke Hospital. You have no idea what you've done for us.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the main reason his tonsils were massive in the first place was because when we were engaged, he um, contracted mono from me. What can I say? I'm a giver.

1 comment:

Derek and Ceri Steele said...

Sleeping in the same bed as your husband? I don't even remember what that is like (sigh). Congrats to having life back to normal, sort of...

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