An EEG is a daunting procedure for almost anyone, and you’d imagine that for a two-year-old with autism, it would be intolerable. Not so. John allowed 21 wires to be glued to his head while cradled in my arms. The first 3-4 gave him some anxiety but after he realized I wasn’t going anywhere he put his attention to more important things: Bear in the Big Blue House. Good thing I remembered to tuck along Tutter, Ojo, Bear, Doc Hog, and Shadow in our bag. He even allowed his head to be wrapped in gauze after all were duly attached. His look was one of profound boredom, Oh if you must, just let me watch my video.
Periodially, of course, he would remember that there were 21 wires attached to his head and I would jump up to give him a hug or a tickle to distract him.
We’re trying to rule out seizures as a cause of John’s recent sleep disturbances. The EEG was supposed to try to capture him asleep — this from a boy who hasn’t taken a nap in close to a year. But they can glean a lot of information, they said, from the three hours his brain was monitored. I worry, of course, how he did and did not notice the flashing strobe lights that twirled over him. How he looked forward without blinking.
The whole time, his brother was waiting in the Big Important Hospital’s lobby area. My phone kept beeping with cryptic (Sam hysterical) and not so cryptic (Need diaper) text messages from hubby. Big Important Hospital (or BIH) is close enough to be the obvious place for us to go, but it’s far enough that we tried to schedule as much into the one day as possible. Big mistake.
What were we thinking?
(Oh, did I mention the blood draws? The 4 nurses who had to hold each of them down?)
But we were there, and after the EEG we met with the developmental pediatrician for their follow-ups from last summer’s initial diagnosis. Predictably, Sam scored very well on his tests and was spelling the minute he walked into the room. John, I think, was tired from everything that preceded it and was stimming a lot. It was hard to get him to focus.
But troubling me more is the MRI he had last fall apparently shows a possible abnormality in the cerebellum that we’re just hearing about now. His doctors are sending it to a specialist in Chicago to check out.
A very long day. And two very tired little boys.
But Bear and Tutter saved a good part of it.