Rhema had a 24-hour ambulatory EEG last week instead of a sleep deprived EEG. (That means we all got to sleep – Woohoo!) I took her to the hospital on Thursday to get the leads put on, we came home, she slept, and then we went back to the hospital the next day.
It’s usually the husband’s job to go with her when she gets her leads on. The whole process is usually torture for everyone, including the technician. Rhema is incredibly strong, and in the past it’s taken at least 2 adults to hold her down.
This time around I wondered how I was going to hold her all by myself. But the technician didn’t waste time; she promptly brought out the straight jacket. (I’m sure it has a more PC name, but I don’t know what it is.)
Rhema still managed to put up a fight from the neck up, moving her head back and forth as fast as she could. That’s my girl!
First her head had to be measured and marked. This took an excruciatingly long time, and as I stroked her cheek, Rhema tried to calm herself. She whimpered and babbled and hummed. At one point, she even chuckled. And I couldn’t help it, I kissed her face a million times.
Then it was time to glue the leads on. This is worst part. The adhesive gel is cold and smelly, and Rhema is usually terrified of the small suction tool that is used to dry the gel and guaze on her head. The technician turned on the suction thingy and its hiss filled the room.
Rhema stopped humming.
“Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh,” she sang.
Even though I knew she was frightened, I loved the appropriateness of her language. I thought it was adorable, and she seemed to get over her fear quickly.
After one side of her head was done, I could tell that she was getting restless and frustrated.
“Huht, huht, huht, huht.” She kept saying over and over.
Hat? I wondered. Is she saying hat?
She looked me in the eye, straight on, and repeated, “Huht.”
Then I knew.
Hurt. She’s saying it hurts.
It just blew me away. Spontaneous and unprompted, she found a way to tell me what she was feeling. I’ve never taught her that word before, never really had a way to make her understand a non-tangible idea like ‘hurt.’
EEG’s are said to be pain-free… uncomfortable, but pain-free. But my girl said it hurt, and of course, Mommy wanted to take the hurt away. Tear off that straight jacket, pick my baby up and walk out of there.
But the EEG was necessary. And honestly, I was too excited over the fact that she actually told me it hurt!
Later, I doubted the whole thing. Did that really happen or did I just imagine it?
The next day, my friend Kristin came with us to the hospital and she went into the room with Rhema to get the leads removed while I stayed with Hope. When it was over, Kristin remarked that Rhema had given her great eye contact. “And she kept saying ‘Hurt.’”
Well, that settles it then. EEGs hurt.
All in all, the testing went smoothly, and Rhema was the best she’s ever been.