Above: This is the hospital where I go for my care. They’re building a new building across the street from it, too!
You’re probably wondering right now, as you stare at the computer screen,, “What’s an EEG?” Most people don’t know what in the world an EEG is. I told my friend that I was having an EEG, and she asked what it was. So I wanted to write this post to tell you what exactly an EEG is.
Why I Needed an EEG
I was diagnosed with petit mal when I was really little. I think I was about 5. It’s when you start having seizures and stare off into space. It’s actually like you’re in a different world. But lately, I’m finding my triggers for the seizures, so I can learn to control them.
My petit mal went away a couple of years ago, but then it came back. So I had to go back on medication. I have to take medicine as part of my morning routine and evening routine currently, only twice a day. We went for appointments with the neurologist every so often when I was little, but we’ve only gone once since they came back. We’re going again soon, I think in a couple of weeks, then she’ll tell us the results of the EEG.
My EEG was on Monday. It was fine with me, because I’ve done it a few times before, so it’s like I’m an expert. I was sleep deprived from the night before, like you’re supposed to be. I was supposed to sleep at 12:00 a.m. and be awakened at 5:00 a.m. I know, right? I was so tired, and it was the day of daylight savings. Yawn! I think I needed coffee or something. Anyway, I had a dentist’s appointment BEFORE that – can you even imagine me, so tired that day, in the dentist’s chair? And then I left and went for my EEG.
We waited for about 15 minutes in the waiting room. Some of it my dad was signing in with the person at the front. Then a lady came to get me. She’s the EEG technician. She asked if I had to go bathroom first because it is a long procedure.
My dad and sister went on a date while I had my EEG.
What Happens During an EEG Appointment
Next, only Mommy and I went in to the EEG room, because they let a small amount of people in. Only less than two. So, we walked into a private room, then the technician told me to sit down on a chair. Pretty much, the first things you’re going to notice if you walk into any EEG room (and you’re going to have to believe me, because, remember, I’ve done this multiple times) is the “bed” which is just like a doctor’s exam table. And the machine above it. And there is a desk across from it. Every EEG room has this. There is always: 1) a bed for the patient to sleep in, in this case, me, 2) a machine with cords sticking out of it (I’ll explain this later), 3) a desk where the technician sat to do her work while I slept. So that’s it.
After I sat down, she gave me a tablet – kids, you’re going to like this part – and told me I could watch a movie! Any movie! I scrolled past Lilo and Stitch (I had watched that in the dentist office earlier) and The Incredibles. Then I settled on Wall•E. I skipped over a few parts during the time in the chair. My mom told me it was about 30 minutes later, which was surprising. When I was in the chair, she attached all the cords in the machine, that were in the wall, onto my head with a special paste that had sand in it. This is where the fun part begins. When you go to sleep, the brain waves from your head somehow go from your head into the computer on the desk across the room. Cool, right? There are multiple kinds of brain waves. I looked them up the night before my EEG. Anyway, I went to sleep after that. My mom told me afterwards that I took about 5 minutes to sleep. The entire 5 minutes I was thinking. So, I woke up after awhile, and below is a picture of me in the hospital halls after the EEG.
Both the inside and the outside of the hospital are very colorful and kid-friendly. Here are some cool pictures engraved into the walls of the hospital. I kind of like that.
Melody’s Top 5 Tips for if YOU ever get an EEG:
- Be prepared. I don’t know if you saw in the photo, but I had a bag with me. You can bring a pillow or a favorite stuffed animal.
- Clean your hair. Remember: Wash your hair before and after the EEG. The paste gets stuck after, so your hair gets dirty. In the photo above, my hair was REALLY dirty!
- Eat healthy. Before your EEG, remember to eat a healthy breakfast so you don’t get hungry or go on an empty stomach.
- Rest well! A reminder: I was sleep deprived, so the best choice would be to get lots of sleep after, too. I took a nap. Maybe I should, now, too! Zzzz…..
- Go to the bathroom. I forgot about that one. Oops! Before you leave for your EEG, don’t forget, you’re going to be sleeping for a long time. I was there for a long time, too. Whether you need to go or not, go to the bathroom.
Have you been to a children’s hospital before? Or any hospital? What was your experience like?
You are so brave Melody. Thanks for letting me know how it is like to get an EEG. Love you!