Are You Still Awake? Our EEG Story

We felt like we had planned and prepared for the EEG pretty well. We were wrong. It wasn’t terrible, but it could have gone much, much better. They told us that he needed to be sleep deprived to get the best readings. No more than 4-5 hours of sleep the night before the test. But we know our kid, and he is pretty unstoppable in the face of things that slow other kids: sickness, sleep deprivation, whatever. So, we decided we’d sleep deprive him for TWO nights to be sure. First night 7 hours of sleep, no nap, second night 5 hours. We had planned on keeping it under 4 hours the second night, and he could have done it, but we caved under the pressure of sleep deprivation.

When we were led into the neurology lab and to the little room where the test would be done, I began to feel like the psychiatrist had been wise in advising us to go to Dallas to the pediatric neurologist. But to save time and money and to reduce the risk of sleep deprivation induced reckless driving, we chose to go with the regular neurologist here in town who does see children on occasion. Won’t make that mistake again. The technician was not not nice, but he certainly could use some lessons on easing the anxiety of children and being sensitive to special needs issues. So, if you are a neurology technician, which I’m sure many of my readers are, listen carefully. While you are cryptically measuring and coloring all over kid’s heads, say reassuring things and keep ’em talking. When you realize that the child was not prepared for electrodes to be placed on his face, ears, and arms as well, and that he is freaking out about this revelation, stop your poking and prodding and pinching for a second and talk to him about it. Offer him more than a sheet to lay on and a rolled up towel under his head for a pillow. When the lights go out and it’s time for the falling asleep part of the test, click your mouse quietly and stop opening that squeaky drawer, for goodness sakes! And ask the parents questions about medications and such before this part of the test. Duh!

I do accept full responsibility for my child not being prepared for the electrodes on the face and ears. I should have researched it better because I know how much better he does when he is properly prepared for uncomfortable situations. At some point, I had even intended to look up pictures or a Youtube video explaining the procedure, but I guess I forgot about that somewhere along the way.

Oh, and just FYI, he is still awake!


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