Yesterday, I had an EEG. To test for what, I don’t know, as I don’t have seizures.
For about a year I’ve been fighting to have nerve testing done. I decided to talk to my EEG technician about it, who responded to why I wanted nerve testing.
We began a conversation about symptom swap, and she revealed she was diagnosed with Autoimmune disease about my age. She name dropped about four rheumatologists in the area she approved of. Ultimately, when I told her about my lupus antibodies, she said I must have an autoimmune component, but perhaps, in a long shot, had some neurologic component.
My rheumatologist has run out of ideas and admitted it. He’s told me countless times by now that he does not believe I have an autoimmune problem anymore when a month ago he was sure, although I do have lupus markers, and has urged me to get nerve testing done by a neurologist. In the past month I have experienced memory loss three times and other scary instances, and because of that I do know that I have some neurological problem. But getting the doctors to listen is another issue.
It’s interesting that so often in medicine you find other people with chronic conditions working in the field. I’ve called doctor’s offices to complain about my chronic pain to be answered with a sympathetic “I have fibromyalgia too.” Lately I’ve been thinking about turning my technical writing career into medical writing, so I can make a difference there.
It seems to me when you’ve been touched by the devil, you know how best to make the devil flee.
Going back to my EEG experience, I was sitting in a nice, cushy recliner. I was exhausted from insomnia and very badly wanted to sleep, but my eyes kept opening and I kept moving around because I had electric shock pain coming from my feet; this meant a 30 minute test took an hour because of redoing parts. In an EEG one has to lie perfectly still with their eyes closed.
I hope that didn’t mess the results up, but I really couldn’t help it. It’s safe to say my EEG experience was helpful, funky and uncomfortable. In order to make this useful for those about to have an EEG, here’s a list of things you should know:
- In an EEG, you are taken to a dark room and electrodes are glued to your head.
- The electrodes do not hurt, you will not feel them, nor will you feel them when they are taken off.
- Your scalp will be scrubbed clean by the technician. Do not wear any product in your hair, not even conditioner. Just shampoo your scalp before you get there. Make sure your hair is dry.
- EEGs are really boring. Try to sleep if you can. It might be easy if you aren’t in pain that day.
- If you are in pain, try counting Mississippis with your eyes shut and breathing deeply. I eventually resorted to this and it worked.
All in all, EEGs are not scary or mildly unpleasant compared to most things a person can go through. If you have one this week, I hope you have a nice nap, and may the spoons be with you.