Sleep Deprived EEG

Update: Rhema is sick with the flu. EEG cancelled!

Rhema will have a sleep deprived EEG Tuesday morning.

That means I have to keep her up all night tonight and then drive her into Boston for her EEG, during which time they expect her to sleep.

A couple years ago when Rhema did her first BEAM study at Children’s Hospital, a technician sat us down and told us everything that would happen. It was 12:30 in the afternoon when he explained that he expected Rhema to sleep during the 4-hour study. Brandon and I stared at him for a moment and then, as politely as we could, laughed in his face.

“Oh, she won’t sleep.”
“Oh, yes she will.”
“Oh, no she won’t.”

He explained that he had been doing this for a billion years and was a master at getting the kids to sleep during the test. He said that once the leads are on, he lays the child down with mom or dad, turns down the lights, turns on music or a video, and the kid always sleeps.

We bet him a pizza our kid would not.

Needless to say, I have a handful of reports from BEAMs and EEGs performed over the past couple years that say, “Unfortunately, we could not achieve sleep.”

In fairness to our BEAM friend, I must admit that one particular day, Rhema was off her game and did actually sleep for a few minutes. She was quite disgusted with herself when she woke up.


But back to this week’s sleep deprived EEG. I called the kind folks over at Children’s and explained that Rhema is quite used to being up all night and then going through a full day of school (including an hour long bus ride each way) and after-school therapy without so much as a yawn.

It would be better to do the standard 24- or 48- hour EEG in the hospital – this is what we usually do – because she will sleep at some point in that period of time.

But the epilepsy floor is currently filled and we’d have to wait several more weeks for a bed to free up.

“I understand. I’m just worried she won’t sleep for the EEG Tuesday morning.” I said.

“We’ll try our best,” the woman on the phone said.

So there it is. All-nighter tonight. EEG in the morn.

As my blogging buddy Tiredmama would say, To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question.

(We actually really need her to sleep during the EEG, so that her doctor can determine whether her anti-seizure med is still working. Ideally, those beautiful brown eyes will close once the 32nd electrode is glued to her scalp.)

Anyone wanna bet me a pizza?

34 thoughts on “Sleep Deprived EEG

  1. Wish I had a pizza-winning strategy. I’m guessing sedation doesnt work. How about you send Rhema to the neurologist’s house for a day or two. He/she can sleep-deprive your angel for you! I’m betting you’d get a hospital bed for Rhema right quick after that.

    Seriously, just once I’d like the doctors to know what they’re asking of us when they have us keep our kids up all night long. Oy.

    Wish I could help you. Maybe one of your church friends could take a shift so you could catch some zzzzs.

  2. I like the idea of friends taking shifts to keep her up. When I went in for my last EEG about 10 of my friends gathered at a neighbors house and we had a all night party(most people came for a couple of hours throughout the night). What a gift if I was home alone in a dark house I would have curled up and slept. I was surprised how quickly I feel asleep in a strange place with things glued all over my head.

    I hope they can get her to sleep, but I am not letting anyone pizza! We tend to know our kids better than anyone.

    • Wonderful friends, Christine! I do have plenty of offers for help, and it looks like a couple of 2-hr shifts will be covered by friends and family. We’ll see what happens!

  3. It is especially hard to fall asleep when you have to lay in that uncomfortable chair with all those wires and stuff on you! Do they put them up her nose? DO they make her take nasty medicine ahead of time? I hate that!

  4. The tihings we do for love!! Thinking of you all night…and the next day. Wish I could take a shift on California time…can you skype Brandon in for a shift? How bout memorizing Bible verses?on sleeping (or staying alert) Which one has more? …the God who never slumbers nor sleeps, the disciples staying alert, Adam sleeping for the rib to be removed, …

  5. No bets, here. I’ve got a nonsleeper here, too. I love pizza, but I know for sure he wouldn’t sleep in a strange place with wires and emotions running on high. You have my thoughts – and I’ll with you (and probably awake) in spirit. Big hugs.

  6. Too bad we don’t live closer, I could bring Christian over for an overnight shift! 😉
    Christian has a hard time falling asleep elsewhere, too, especially when it is not a place that we frequent often.
    My prayers are with you and Rhema, my friend.

  7. Maybe they could just do a study on you…you’re sure to pass out after your own sleep deprivation! 😉 I will pray that those beautiful eyes will surrender to sleep and that they will be able to get some clear and accurate data!

  8. In my travels all over Kuwait and Iraq (planes, buses, vans so far…UH60/CH47 is next) today on my way to my new home for the next year, I’ve been able to pray lots for my girls.

    I know it is not easy and I so wish I could be there, but I put you all in the Lord’s Hands.

  9. That EEG master technician makes me laugh. I find it comical when they are so positive that our kids will sleep within 20 minutes. We have almost always spent 3 hours trying to get her to sleep, but to no avail. Then we have to reschedule because Sleep study was not acheived. Good luck in the future. Mother always knows best!

  10. Nope. I know all too well, she won’t.

    Just read this to the hubs. He was laughing. We laughed. We would have politely laughed too.

    It’s so hard that you have to get her to do that. It’s bad enough when it happens without your push, and even harder when you have to make the push. But, necessary.

    How did it go? BTW, thinking of coming up to Boston for our son. Researched that Boston Children’s is #1 for neurology in the Nation…

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