Tonight we are Clonidine-free. It took us essentially two weeks to wean Oliver from the medication that we had hoped would help us solve the ever-present sleep problem. The decision to try a sleep medication was a long time coming. Oliver is seven and a half now and has never slept well. To put it nicely. I suppose we always thought -- hoped -- he would grow out of it. But the impact of lost sleep for our whole family is just so great that the time had finally come when we were willing to try just about anything. We initially experienced moderate success. Two, three, four nights in a row strung together in solid ten hour blocks. But no matter how many adjustments we made in his nightly dose, it just didn't seem to completely solve the problem. Not only that, but it introduced a new problem. With every increase in the dose Oliver began to rebound to greater and greater effect every afternoon. It wasn't pretty and I won't describe it here because it remains one of the more difficult things that we as a family have gone through. What little sleep I was getting ultimately seemed to come at a pretty high price for my sunshine boy. And no matter how many apologies I make to the heavens the guilt remains.
It's hard, this business of parenting, isn't it? There are no for-sures and an awful many lets-sees and maybes.
But we haven't given up. We won't give up. We've found a new developmental pediatrician (and only five hours from home!) who said all the right things when we met with her two weeks ago. We have an appointment at a sleep clinic on the horizon. And as always, Oliver himself gives us the most perfect incentive to keep on.