Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I've known for some time The Boy probably had night terrors. But today at the Dr's office we got the diagnosis. It somehow makes it more real when what you think is said out loud by someone else.
Night Terrors are awful. If you've ever seen one, I don't have to tell you anything. You know.
I kinda always thought it was when a child woke in the middle of the night after a bad dream or was scared. NO! That is not a night terror at all. That is "waking" in the middle of the night after a bad dream.
In a night terror, the child first, has no idea they are doing it. They have no memory of it after it's over. They scream, cry, wail & thrash around. All without waking or knowing what they are doing. You CAN NOT WAKE them. The Boy screams & screams for me, and I am right there, telling him I am here, I am here. He does not know I am there. You can not comfort them or help them. You have no control. You are helpless. It has to play itself out.
When it first started happening he was about 2 yrs old and it would last 5 or 10 minutes and only happen about once a month. This week we've had 2 episodes. One lasted 45 minutes and the other 1 hour. As you can imagine you are mentally & physically exhausted after one of these.
I was very lucky that I didn't have to explain what goes on to the Dr, because her son had them from age 9 months to 2 yrs old. So she understood. Thank God.
From everything I've heard or read he should out grow them by puberty. I'm not sure I can do this for 10 more years.
She said look for triggers, like being overtired, going without a nap. She said traveling with her son was a huge trigger. She said,"try explaining to a hotel clerk why your kid is screaming bloody murder and it appears your not doing anything to stop him."and also, "don't take him on the balcony thinking that will help the people next to you from wanting to kill you. Then everybody in the hotel will want to kill you."
Good words of advice.
She said the neuro. dr they took their son to, recommended waking him 90 minutes into his sleep every night. supposedly they have night terrors when entering that sleep r.e.m. Sure, right, I wake that boy up 90 minutes after he goes to sleep & he's going to think it's "wake up time".
There is absolutely nothing to be done. Except wait this out. One of the most heart breaking things to do is hear your child scream for you & there is nothing you can do to help them.


Anonymous said...

Ouch, sorry to hear this! I've done some research on night terrors because my GirlyGirl has very mild ones every once in a great while. So far, she is pretty easily calmed, and the worst it gets is that she sometimes talks and yells in her sleep. Only a few times has she cried and kicked, but again, it lasted very, very briefly.

You're right, though, I don't think there's a thing at all they can do about it. Poor kiddo. Poor Mama.

The good news, though, is that it doesn't HAVE to last until he's a teen, does it? He could outgrow it sooner than that if I remember correctly.

Wow. Parenting is a barrel of monkeys, isn't it?


Torina said...

I'm glad I don't have to deal with that! I love my sleep. Good luck! I feel for you.

Anita said...

Very tough! Can't imagine that beautiful boy of yours doing anything angelically sleeping at night.

Momto5 RachelJoy Photography said...

phew i had one child that i was caring for that had ALOT of nightmares tooo.. not diagnosed though.

Diane said...

I don't believe my grandson has night terrors, but lately he has been waking up in the middle of the night crying for no apparent reason. Last night was the second night for this. He was awake so I know it wasn't night terrors. But, he wasn't hungry, he didn't need changed, he didn't want to lay down, he didn't want to stand up, he didn't want to be walked around, he just basically wanted to cry, loudly, pitifully, and for a very long time. Mom had to be up at 5:30 a.m. so grandma and grandpa tried to calm him down.

I've read about night terrors before and have always been thankful that none of my kids had them. That seems to be something that perfectly normal kids can have, not just formerly abused kids. I hope things go better for you and the night terrors stop. I also hope I get some sleep sometime soon. I can't say I'm the best mom in the world when I'm running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep!

Don't know if I thanked you for the referral to Jemmers post. I left her a comment and she wrote me one and it helped. so, thanks.


AfricaBleu said...

Man, I'm sorry for your little guy--and for YOU. I am just so. glad. he has you there, worrying over him, taking care of him. He is blessed. Hang in there.

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Casey said...

oh wow, I didn't know that they could last so long! my daughter had night terrors for a few months after her dad starting working away from home, thankfully they've stopped and never lasted as long as your sons. I hope he out-grows it soon

The Brothers said...

My guy had these. For 3 years. Hasn't had one in quite a while now. Will for sure, though, if overly tired. Vacations are VERY tough! Hang in there!