The Sherlock Holmesian method of mystery solving is failing in our house. Perhaps I’m not doing it right – I have to admit that I’ve always been more Agatha Christie than Conan Doyle and my knowledge of Sherlock Holmes and his method of deductive reasoning comes mainly from Benedict Cumberbatch. But my understanding is that if you eliminate all other factors, the one that remains is the answer. Right. That doesn’t work for Lil Z.
I thought I had it figured out with the reflux idea. It all made perfect sense. And most other factors had been eliminated. It isn’t seizures. She isn’t sick and she doesn’t have allergies. She’s not uncomfortable in her back brace (well, she is from time to time, but that isn’t what is causing her to scream in the middle of the night). She isn’t having a tantrum. Rule all of that out and reflux makes perfect sense.
Except that after a week of giving her two doses of reflux medication instead of one, there is absolutely no change. She’s been up screaming for the past two nights.
Which is why, dear reader, I am grumpy. Very grumpy.
Let me give you a glimpse into the past 24 hours of my life, since I’m feeling the need for a bit of a moan about life at the moment.
QB was out last night, so I put the girls to bed and curled up on the sofa, looking forward to an evening of indulging in my guilty pleasure (NCIS Los Angeles – yes, I know its rubbish, but I like it and I can’t watch it when QB is around because he makes snarky comments) and then going to bed early, since I had been up a good part of the previous night with a screaming and crying Lil Z.
All went to plan, although I didn’t get to bed quite as early as I’d hoped. Drawing up all of Lil Z’s nighttime meds, setting up her feed and taking the dog out always takes longer than I expect. But finally, I crawled into bed, took some tablets for a headache I could feel starting in the back of my head, turned off the lights and closed my eyes.
Almost as soon as my eyes closed, Lil Z started coughing and spluttering. I hopped up, made sure she was on her side so she wouldn’t choke if she vomited, patted her chest – and the coughing stopped. Hurrah. I got back into bed. This time my eyes were closed for a whole minute before she started to cough. Again I hurried to her room, patted her, she settled and I went back to bed. I was just starting to drift off to sleep when she coughed a third time and I had to stagger back into her bedroom.
Finally, she seemed to settle for good and I fell asleep. For a couple hours, anyway.
I woke up around 2am to the sound of Lil Z coughing and then grizzling. Sometimes she can resettle herself, so I left her for a few moments, but laid in bed listening, rather than sleeping. Her grizzling was getting louder and I could tell from the rustling sounds that she’d begun to scratch her ears and pull her hair. So, I got up and went to settle her. She kept coughing and that seemed to cause her discomfort because the volume of her crying would increase after every cough. She was also really tired, however, and kept yawning, which in turn made her cough… I repositioned her – because her back brace makes it hard for her to roll into a different position – and patted her back. When her cough sounded wet, I tried suctioning some of the goo that was collecting in her mouth – which made her cry even louder. She shares a room with Vegemite, so I contemplated getting Lil Z out of bed to comfort her elsewhere so that she didn’t wake her sister, but she was so tired and in need of suction, that I decided to try to get her back to sleep in her bed.
Her legs were kicking manically and I had to hold her hands to prevent her from scratching her ears. Finally, she seemed to calm, her eyes closed, and she fell asleep. I staggered back to bed.
Only to have a repeat experience a half hour later.
And again at 4am. Although that time she was really frustrated (and therefore very loud) so I got her out of bed and sat in the study with her until she fell asleep on my shoulder. I put her back to bed and went back to sleep.
Vegemite woke me at 8am to tell me that she and QB were taking Ben to the dog groomer. As soon as the door closed behind them, Lil Z woke up and began to grizzle. I repositioned her in bed and went to make myself a cup of tea – knowing that I wouldn’t get any more sleep, but hoping I’d have a few minutes at the start of the day to myself.
By the time I returned with my cup of tea, Lil Z was in full scale crying mode. No amount of repositioning or patting was going to make her happy. So, I got her up and gave her a cuddle. She was still very sleepy, but didn’t want to be left alone. So, I grabbed a mattress protector and laid her down in bed with me. I held her hand until she calmed. She seemed quite happy, snuggled beside me in bed, with the duvet over her and Flopsy (my stuffed rabbit, which I’ve had since I was 2 years old) tucked in beside her. Her eyes closed. I had visions of lounging in bed for the morning, drinking tea and reading on my iPad. Those visions lasted about 2 minutes. Then Lil Z coughed, gagged, and vomited (thankfully all caught by the sick bag or the mattress protector). Then she started to cry again. So much for my morning in bed…
So, we went upstairs. I put Lil Z down on a blanket in the playroom while I brought up the suction machine, the syringes from last night, the dirty bed linen, and my cup of cold tea. By the time I’d finished running back and forth, Lil Z was asleep on the floor.
I was feeling pretty damn grumpy by this time. But then I had an idea. What would make me feel a million times better was a nice big coffee! So, I texted QB, begging him to pick me up a large flat white on his way home. I hit send and almost immediately heard the garage door open. QB was already home. No chance for a coffee then.
The story does have a somewhat happy ending. QB didn’t bring me home a coffee, but he did bring a chocolate croissant. And I made a pot of coffee for myself.
But as I sit here beside a still-sleeping Lil Z, I am feeling grumpier than ever. After two nights of interrupted sleep, my brain is too muddled to be able to do anything useful. And my patience is non-existant, which means I’m grumpy and short with Vegemite – who is climbing the walls since it has either been too hot or too rainy to play outside for several days now. And I don’t have the energy to do anything. Which means I don’t accomplish anything, which makes me angry with myself.
I’m also frustrated because I just cannot figure out what is causing Lil Z to turn into a nighttime terror. Something is waking her up and making her upset, but I have no idea what it is, how to prevent it, or how to comfort her.
And that, right now, is causing a whole lot of grumpiness.