Let’s talk medical tests . . .

Dan had his EEG today. I was hoping we’d get results on the spot, but we have to wait for the doctor to review them. I REALLY hope he gets to them soon. Though we’ve ruled a lot of scary stuff out of the picture, Dan continues to faint and black out and freak me out on multiple occasions each and every day. I’d really like an explanation and a solution, if there is one. AND SOON! I miss sleeping.

The EEG was interesting. I think between Mike and the boys I’ve been a witness to nearly all of the major medical tests known to mankind. Lucky for them, I usually hold up well during the tests. As a rule, I’m not a small-talker. But, put me in a medical test situation and I’m all about stoopid questions and small talk. I’m sure it fools the medical professionals. It’s only once it’s all over that I tend to collapse and fall into a semi-coma for an hour or so. Hey, someone’s gotta do the worrying, right?

We arrived on time. A sweet little girl (4-5?) who had limited language skills and the most amazing smile glommed onto Dan the minute we walked into the office. In her case, I am certain it was love at first sight. I was filling out paperwork while she held Dan’s hand and showed him around the office, had him watch the movie on the waiting room tv from just about every pair of seats in the office and, every now and then, she’d glance back at me and smile triumphantly.

Dan, who had to arrive at the office in a sleep-deprived state, was more than happy to be led by this little girl. It was very sweet. The girl’s mom initially kept apologizing, but relaxed when she saw Dan was happy to entertain her daughter for 20 minutes. Me? I thank the mom and the little girl for keeping Dan awake! I have no idea why that little girl was at the pediatric neurologist’s office, but it obviously was not her first visit. I will have her and her family in my prayers for a long time, though. She was precious and her mom was really, really funny. More evidence that a sense of humor goes a long way when life gets weird and/or hard.

They eventually led Dan and me back through a maze of rooms to the EEG/Sleep Room. Gah! The bed he was supposed to sleep in was about 6″ longer than a toddler bed. The woman administering the test and I laughed at the juxtaposition of Dan’s 6′ frame and the wee bed with it’s race car comforter. The tech hooked Dan’s head to about 30 wires – no small feat, Dan has a LOT of longish curly hair – and had him lay down. I cannot imagine having to do the same procedure on a squirmy wee person. The woman is a saint in my book.

I kind of thought the EEG would be like the MRI. I would sit in the waiting room and read and/or knit(badly) while the test was done. Nope. I was to sit in the room during the test. I pulled out my book just as the tech turned out the lights. First, she asked Dan to blink in a couple of different patterns. Then, she had him close his eyes while she ran a strobe light in varying degrees of time and intensity. Ummm … this is where I flipped out.

So much for the Rock-of-Mom. The strobe lights made my skinny, too-big-for-the-bed kid look all horror-movie-ish. And they kept going and going. And THEN I noticed the wall mural of leaping dolphins. I love dolphins. These were not friendly dolphins!!!!! They were angry dolphins and the strobe lights didn’t help. At this point I was in a cold sweat and doing deep-breathing things (damn, I wish I’d paid more attention at our childbirth classes!). I knew if I totally freaked out and had to leave the room the test would have to start over. Gah!

Danny? He was fine through all of it. In fact, when the strobe lights stopped and she’d had him do hyperventilating breathing for a bit, he immediately fell dead asleep. I huddled in my stoopid doctor-waiting-room chair and willed myself to stop sweating and be calm. By the time I had pulled myself together and stopped looking at the scary dolphins hovering over my son’s sleeping body, the test was over, whew!

Now. We wait.

The ride home was funny. I was thirsty beyond belief, all that sweating and panic. Dan was dying for something with caffeine. I was so relieved when, as we filled up our Big Gulps at the hospital 7-11, Danny mentioned the scary dolphins! It’s not all in my head. My brave boy KNEW the dolphins were scary and hostile and he still went to sleep.

What does this say about us as parents? 1) We’re great at depriving our children of sleep and 2) Our kids will never be caught off-guard by a cute dolphin. So there.

7 thoughts on “Let’s talk medical tests . . .

  1. If ONLY my Gabe would sleep during EEGs!! He has to be wrapped mummy-style for his, otherwise he pulls the wires off. Fortunately, his seizures have been well-controlled for several years, and we've not had to endure strobe lights, scary dolphins, or Eygptian god burial clothing.
    I hope they figure out what's going on with your son soon!

  2. Oh, ugh. I have trouble watching James lie on the dentist's flat board thing for work – just something about seeing such a skinny kid splayed out among surgical tools. *shudder* The strobe light might have thrown me right the hell over the edge, too. And the dolphins? Plenty of laughing material for the drive home. Over Big Gulps.

    This is (one of many reasons) why you are a great Mom, and why Dan is going to be fine. At least he didn't cramp up on the bitty-bed and have to be hauled up and stretched back out before y'all could leave.

    Waiting anxiously with you! Call me if you need me!


  3. yeah. I'm enormously grateful that *I'm* the one that gets all the weird tests in this family. I hope you get a super easy answer soon. Maybe he needs a caviar-heavy diet and you'll get a fat gov't subsidy.

  4. Thanks everyone. My heart goes out to those of you who have been dealing with seizures for a long time. I cannot imagine what a nut-case I'd be if Dan were a little, little kid. Scary sh*t, that. At least with Dan, he's old enough to articulate what's going on for himself.

    The doctor did not read the results today, I called. :::sigh::: Waiting and waiting and waiting makes me cuh-razzy! We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

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