Wednesday, September 22, 2010

i think some EEG leads would be helpful to have around the house [wink]

so, asher went for an EEG this afternoon. it was interesting.

i picked asher up from school. he'd had a great morning! he went to the gym with another little boy and they played with frizbees, and asher LOVED that! he was talking all afternoon, "i hab da red fizbee, mommy. also, da udder liddle boy hab a pink one. and we frew dem around. it was fun, mommy!" i have to say, i'm glad asher is still getting some phys ed-type activity. as much as he loves computers, i'd hate to think that they would simply replace phys ed with a desktop. so he got to run around and play in the gym with another child, and that was awesome. he also made a nice little craft this morning with yellow cardstock (that's my boy!) and some scissors (fine motor skills extraordinaire!) and glued the pieces together to make an "airplane" for himself and a "car" for me. as you might expect from a 3 yo, they looked nothing like an airplane or a car, but he was excited about his craft. he's doing so well in school, it's just wonderful to see how much he's maturing and growing up after even a couple weeks in school. honestly, it makes my heart go up. waaaaaay up!

and then we went to the hospital for the EEG. as he was sitting in his seat behind me in the truck, i checked in the mirror and he was staring out the window. so i reached back to tickle his leg (just ignore the bad driving habits and keep moving along in the story, people, there's nothing to see here). and his response? he stared out the window.  so i tickled him again. still staring. so i called his name. still staring. after several more seconds, he started playing with his pacer protector.

and that, dear reader, is how one describes an absence seizure, aka "petit mal" seizure.

now, i have to be honest here. i'm having trouble with this diagnosis. maybe it's that it's still so new, maybe it's that i don't know enough, maybe it's how powerless i feel when he has these seizures. and he's having so many. i've been noticing at least 2-3 a day now. and then that makes me wonder... how long has this actually been going on? i never really paid attention to it before, because i never knew to watch for it. but now that i recognize it, it happens so often... and there's nothing i can do about. i just have to roll with it, document it, watch for things like eye twitching, make sure he doesn't drown in the tub, but other than that, there's nothing i can do. i'll get past this, i know i will. i had the same fears in the early days, when asher was newly-diagnosed with HLHS. but i adapted and learned and i no longer feel helpless and guilty and powerless and afraid when it comes to asher's heart. but this is his brain, we're talking about. i guess i've always figured that the heart and brain are the two organs you want healthy, for some reason. not that the others aren't important, too, but i think i've always taken comfort in knowing, sure, his heart's pretty wonky, but hey, at least his brain is ok.

and now, his brain is not ok.

again, i will get past this. i know it's not his major health issue, so i take some comfort in that. meanwhile, please pray for me a bit that i can get past this.

ok, so on to the EEG. we arrived at the hospital and and asher handed the clerk his cards and we were registered. asher was pretty disappointed that they didn't have stickers to put on his hospital card. (he likes to collect stickers on there, and he only has one right now. his old card, which one clinic kept, had about seven!) and off we traipsed to the lab.

they took us straight in, and asher was delighted to see all the nemo and fish stickers on the wall. his faves were Dory and the dolphins jumping out of the "water." while the lady put all the leads (23 of them!!) on his head, he was quite the little chatterbox. it was so cute! he told her all about school, blivey and brammy, and smokey and the kittens. the tech asked me at one point, "is he always this well behaved?" "he's used to tests," i answered. and then the test started.

now, for those of you who have never experienced an EEG, you have to be very still and quiet. for the whole test. which should take about 40 minutes. and knowing asher and his energy levels, i was afraid we'd be there for hours. well, guess what!! the test took about 40 minutes!! he had to lie still, which he did, for the most part. we only had to tell him three times to stop moving and close his eyes, which surprised me... and didn't surprise me (see "he's used to tests" comment above). but his favourite part of the whole test was the strobe light. he was almost laughing out loud during that part! but he didn't, and it went well.

so now we just wait for the results. and a note about the results: if it's positive, it's positive, and they will know what's going on in that little brain of his. if, however, the results are negative... yeah, that means nothing. haha apparently, there's a 50% chance of a false negative with an EEG. the neuro told me about a patient of his with severe epilepsy, and it took eight (count 'em!) EEGs for anything to show up, even though they knew she was having seizures frequently. gosh, isn't that reassuring. haha know what's nice? tests with actual answers. i like those. they please me, on some weird level i don't fully understand. ok, i lie. i know exactly why i like answers. ready? here's why: because they're answers. and then we know what we're dealing with, and i can read up and watch for symptoms or whatever, and we can do something. ok, mostly it's because i get to learn new stuff. i like that. it's just so interesting!! sure, it's a bit horrifying and nauseating, but it's interesting, too. (which really just confirms what i've been saying about myself all along: i'm a nerd.)

so now, given how calm and quiet asher was during the test... do you think they'd give me some EEG leads - just the leads, not the whole, um, test-doing-contraption-thingy (where's a dictionary/thesaurus when i need one?!) - to have at home? you know, for when asher's all wound up and running around like the tasmanian devil/energizer bunny that he is... it might buy me 40 minutes of quiet... sigh... a mom can dream, right?

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