Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The EEG Experience

Imagine my relief when out through the doors walked a familiar face…the same technician we had 3 years ago when Riley had the ambulatory EEG done. She was wonderful back then and even wonderfuller (yes I know that’s not a real word) now.

She remembered us. Now this could be taken as a good sign or…not?!? I am going to go with the positive. Humour me. She remembered that Riley liked Winnie the Pooh DVDs the last time we were there. (Yes I know it too was in R’s file…she is still wonderful in my books!)  She had 2 DVDs on the counter ready to go. Being well versed in social etiquette R responded with a “No thanks. I don’t like that.” At least he’s polite. *sigh*  Off she took him to pick out something else. Did I mention how wonderful she was? 

When we finally got settled the technician began to ask the usual routine questions. She started with Riley. “How old are you Riley?”  “I’m 18 years old Leanna.” Wait. What? Who is he talking about?  

She continues. “What grade are you in?” Meanwhile I am frantically looking at her to see how she reacts to being called Leanna. “I’m in grade 12 Leanna (again with emphasis on the name).” That’s when I notice the nametag.

I am not sure how long it had been at that point. Maybe 5 minutes. Possibly 10. Probably somewhere in between. Regardless of how long, for all that time I spent talking with her; looking at her; I was too stressed to notice she was wearing a nametag. Riley noticed. What I am able to “filter” out when I am stressed, Riley takes in. This part (sensory processing) of Riley World is a part that can make it difficult for him to be able to cope at times.

Here is an example of how I can only assume it might feel to be in sensory overload. I remember a memory game I used to play. A tray with a number of items would be brought out. You would look at the tray for a set amount of time then the tray would be taken away. You would then have to try and remember as many items as you could. I feel my shoulders reaching for my ears thinking about it. Now imagine playing that game in a dark, dingy basement with poor lighting; there may be a slightly unpleasant odour in the air; rap music (ugh) playing loudly in the background; oh and just for added need to remember at least 90% of the items. How are your shoulders feeling now???  A little stressed???  This feeling?  I can only imagine to some degree is how it is in Riley World every. single. moment of every. day. I digress. Back to the EEG.

Lovely Leanna. I heart professionals like Leanna. She started by making marks on Riley’s head.  

“Ouch! That hurts!” Lovely Leanna would apologize. R would immediately reply in his sweet voice “That’s OK Leanna.” followed by “Shut up you stupid pencil!”  Replace 'pencil' with other objects in the room. Rewind and repeat multiple times.

Next came attaching the wires.

“Hey! You’re hurting me!” Lovely Leanna would apologize. “Oh it’s OK Leanna.” “Shut up you stupid glue!”  Again…replace, rewind and repeat.

Once again we have come to a new fork in the road. At 18 when Riley is stressed he does not want to be comforted by me holding his hand any more.  He does not want me to cuddle with him any more.  He does not want me to lie down with him any more.  Yes this is a good thing in so many ways (he is, after all, 'physically' a young man) yet I am struggling with how to try and make him feel better? I tried to redirect his attention to the video store and McDonalds (his choice of incentives picked beforehand). When this stopped working I tried saying nothing. I sat beside the bed with my hand on top of the blanket over his hand. It is always a crap shoot with chances of hitting the "meltdown button" getting higher and higher as time goes on. Thankfully we were almost done.

“I’m tired.”  Lovely Leanna would say “I know you’re tired. You can go to sleep in a few minutes.” R came back with “NO! I’m NOT tired anymore.”  Oi-vay.

A few tests to make sure everything was working then it was time to dim the lights and hope that R would fall asleep.

“Shut up you stupid!  That’s stupid!  I don’t want to go to sleep anymore.  This is stupid!”  Again...rewind and repeat. 

In the end Riley did fall asleep. He was more than happy to have everything taken off and head to the video store and McDonald's for a job well done! A small price to pay for a stressful afternoon. I, on the other hand, had a nap and an adult beverage or two when we got home. Results due tomorrow. 


  1. Glad it went so well! And I am SURE that was the stupidest pencil ever-- it BETTER shut up! LOL :)

    1. Haaahaaa! Got THAT right!!! I will take stupid over bastard any day. :D

  2. lmao!!! I miss stupid. And shut up. lol How great that went!!! I'm amazed he allowed it to happen. Tommy would have launched Lovely Leanna out of the room lol Gosh him and Tommy are so very similar though. R is much more polite. Tommy has no filter 50% of the time lol

    1. Haaahaaa...Ri & Tommy really are very similar. R has very poor muscle tone so "launching lovely Leanna" is highly unlikely. ;P

      I was pretty amazed at how well it went too! I can definitely handle him using his "outside" voice and muttering away as opposed to the yelling and banging walls like he's done in the past. Oish.