Children and Sleep

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When my oldest daughter was a week or two old, she started turning blue around her mouth one morning as I was holding her in my lap. After a frantic call to the pediatrician’s emergency line, a whirlwind trip to the pediatrician’s office, and a subsequent trip to the pediatric cardiologist, everything turned out to be normal.

Normal … temporary … benign, however you phrase it, it’s really the only diagnosis a parent wants to hear. However, in some of the pediatric specialties we covered for this month’s issue, the term “cure” is more like a four-letter word and reaching a calibrated level of “normal” is a challenging task.

UofL pediatric rheumatologist Dr. Kenneth Schikler doesn’t use the word “cure” with his patients, only remission, as he deals with chronic conditions such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis and fibromyalgia. UofL pediatric nephrologist Dr. David Kenagy is tackling the ever-growing issue of adolescent hypertension with a new care model and advocating for healthier children in Kentucky, in addition to navigating the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

UK’s pediatric hematologists/oncologists – Dr. Vlad Radulescu, Dr. John D’Orazio, and Dr. Sherry Bayliff – treat everything from hemophilia to vascular malformations to leukemia. Fortunately, cure is a word used today in the area of childhood cancer, but these physicians are committed to living up to the survivorship statistics in pediatric cancer and studying a multitude of diseases to further improve treatment.

From a new pediatric dialysis unit at UofL designed specifically for children to UK’s Long-Term Follow Up Clinic for pediatric cancer patients, Kentucky’s state universities are creating medical homes to better care for children with complicated, chronic, life-threatening issues.

Remembering my children’s infant days always leads me to a fond recollection of those early zombie days, operating on just a few hours (sometimes minutes) of sleep.

Our special section this month is dedicated to Sleep Medicine. The sleep medicine specialists in this issue remind us how important sleep is to overall health. Dr. John Dineen of the Lexington Clinic and Dr. Satish Rao of Floyd Memorial agree that sleep has become a front-and-center issue in the discussion of good health.

From Southern Indiana to Lexington to Owensboro to Georgetown, the geography of the sleep medicine specialists represented here underline that sleep disorders are a widespread problem in every area of the Commonwealth and beyond. Dr. Robert Pope with the Kentucky Sleep Society is hard at work advocating for sleep issues in a legislative level, and Dr. Ron Shashy at Georgetown Community Hospital promotes the most efficient, cost-effective treatments, along with healthy lifestyle factors.

On another note, our Digital Media Publisher and Creative Director Megan Campbell Smith, has been making great progress with our new digital platform – INSIDE HEALTH. You will soon see the fruits of her labor. Stay tuned!

All the best,Jennifer S. NewtonEditor-in-Chief