Confessions of a Florentine Pet Sitter


What? No Frontal Lobe activity????

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain. Special sensors (electrodes camera.gif) are attached to your head and hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain‘s electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be seen by the changes in the normal pattern of the brain’s electrical activity.

 Yesterday I had an EEG test.  It took about 30 minutes of setup-time – including malfunctions of the wiring and electrodes. The electrodes were placed all over my head, in my hair, on my ears and my cheeks using a sticky gel. For some reason, the computer was not reading the electrical impulses from the electrodes on my forehead. After some minutes went by and the two technicians were still trying to solve the problem, I dropped a hint: I said, maybe that means the frontal lobe of my brain was dead, flat, nada? They laughed.

I asked if they could read my mind by looking at the brain waves. Unfortunately, Nah, they said. What a relief!

I asked if they could tell I had been dreaming, they said no. Which is good. They wouldn’t like my nightmares.

So what can they see? Or learn?

Basically, they see wavy lines indicating specific patterns of Alpha and Beta, Delta, Theta. They’re looking to see if both sides of the brain are the same;  looking for bursts of activity in parts or all of the brain; looking for the signs of epilepsy, brain tumor, stroke, infection, and injuries and the non-functioning indications of a flat line. My neurologist is looking to see what damage occurred during my experience this year of several TIAs.

So what did they find with my brain?  I don’t know…yet. Will find out when I see the neurologist again.

The whole process took 2 hours, and during that time I had to sleep. They call it a sleep-deprived test because they want you to get less sleep the night before so you can sleep in the Sleep Center for an hour. I managed to accomplish that because I was extremely tired, and my eyelids wanted to close. What they don’t know is that I never get a good night’s sleep. Yet, for the test, I couldn’t fall a sleep.

He soon set up the strobe light facing directly in my eyes. Many kaleidoscopic bright colors moving towards my closed eyes, swirling around on the inside of my eyelids, like an abstract expressionist painting from the 1950s…and just then that dreaded sensation began that I needed to run to the loo…quickly, or else. I could feel my bladder filling. No way I’m going to sleep if I’m worried about peeing in my pants!

 The technician let me get up with all the electrodes and wires still attached to my head, but no longer attached to the machine. That might have been interesting – what was my brain doing when in the loo? if anything?

 I saw myself in the mirror of horrors. I had transformed into a  female Frankenstein. I only wish I had had my little camera – would have made a great selfie shot. I’m still finding little bits and pieces of that sticky gel on my head, stuck to my hair, my earlobes and my cheeks!

 After my trip to the loo, he set the strobe light up again and I managed to fall asleep very quickly. Or it seemed quickly because before I knew it, I heard him calling my name, shaking me out of a bad dream. I didn’t want to wake up. I became combative. He had to hold my arms down to keep me from hitting him and/or falling off the bed. A wild one-hour night of sleep? You betcha.

So I’m thinking as I write this, sixty-eight years ago born from my mother’s womb it must have been a slippery combative struggle into the world, and that feisty fighting spirit has stuck with me! My way of making entrance to the real world, and into each waking day with my heart thumping painfully fast and furious in my chest.

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: