Yesterday I woke up at 3:00 in the morning, and on purpose. Then I woke up August. You know how bad it feels to have to wake up a 6 year old that early and keep them awake? Ugh.
Part of the official diagnosis process for August (who may have a very mild form of Cerebral Palsy) is to get an EEG. In order for this to take place and be effective, he needs to fall asleep during the test. Unfortunately because his test is at 2 in the afternoon, we need to sleep deprive him so that he’ll be tired enough to fall asleep.
Last night we stayed up until 10 at night, which is fine for many kids, as well as Laura and I as August’s parents, but since he normally has a bedtime around 7 to 7:30, that was sort of a big deal. It was a big treat for him to be able to stay up late and watch a movie with just his parents, but it was a bit rough, especially as the film began winding its way to the conclusion.
What do you do with a 6 year old at 3 in the morning if you want him to stay awake? Well, we have DirecTV, and one of the networks is PBS Kids Sprout. A 3 hour block of programming is framed around the Wiggles. August and I sat up and watched this engaging (for kids) set of shows, such as Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Night Jungle, and a healthy dose of The Wiggles sprinkled throughout.
My plan was to get a bunch of work done, writing up some of the stuff from the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo. I have plenty of previews to finish up and edit, then post. Unfortunately after coming off of a long weekend during which I was tired, and getting half the sleep I normally do last night, it was all I could do to stay awake and help August stay awake.
There was plenty of stuff I wanted to do, but the primary concern was with keeping August awake for his EEG. He stayed awake and was in good spirits all morning, even though it was difficult. It would have been easy to simply complain about being tired, but August goes through life with a great humor and positive attitude, and that carried over to this morning. Sure, he enjoyed watching more television in one 24 hour period than he usually does in a week, but he is such a good natured child that we could have been reading stories the whole time and he would have been just as happy. I didn’t do that, however, because it would have been harder to stay awake.
It was much easier to keep August awake as the day wore on, and more people woke up in the house. First up was Ciárán, and the three of us ran an errand dropping something off at the post office. Then Déla woke as did mom, and breakfast was had. Then some playtime, and stories, and some other generic activities.
I wasn’t able to take August to the appointment itself, but apparently it went well. August has always been a trooper, and this seemed to be no exception. They connected 25 electrodes to his head, which was reportedly a process in and of itself. Then they conducted some tests on him, such as having him count to 50, short term memory stuff, all to get a baseline. Then they let him sleep. While he slept, they read his brainwave patterns, then he was woken up after only 20 minutes. The full connection of wires and electrodes and whatnot were still on him as he woke up to read his brain activity while transitioning from sleep to wake. It was, however, difficult to get him to wake up. A couple of short tests later, and the boy was allowed to return home.
Naturally, August was in a bit of a bad mood, he had been awake since 3 in the morning after only a few hours of sleep, and when he was allowed to go back to sleep, it was only for 20 minutes. It should be noted that this is the kid that goes to bed about 7:00 or 7:30 and wakes up at 7:00 in the morning. He normally gets about 11 to 12 hours of sleep, so he was really on his last nerve and over tired.
An early(ish) bed time and he was much better this morning, ready for a full day of Kindergarten. We haven’t gotten the results, and don’t expect them until sometime late next week.