Therapy 101: The Seizure

Last Friday, we had a mini fright from school.

At 11 a.m., Meimei’s teacher called to say she blacked out when doing Math. Her eyes turned left, roved around and was unresponsive to calls. It lasted about a min, and after that she was ok, but a little shaken. The teacher felt it was important and urgent to bring her for a check up, and so we brought her to a Pediatric Neurologist. (it’s either that or a Cardiologist)

Well, I will spare everyone the details of the check-up and the many questions the doctor asked (and I asked!) First up, she had to do a electroencephalogram (EEG) test. Layman Terms: A Brain Wave test to to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.

eeg-test

I was so proud of her when the nurses prepared her head for the probes. She sat very still, allowed them to draw on her head to mark out the points for the 22 probes.

Then she laid still and followed instructions as they recorded the activities. These instructions included, “Open eyes wide”, then “take deep breaths”, “Blow into the air for 3 min”, “Look at the shiny light”… it went on for about 20-30 min.

eeg-bandage

Thereafter, we did hospital admissions to activate our insurance. Get hospitalised and full coverage. More about insurance later! Alas I didn’t see a friend’s post on preparing kids for Medical Tests & MRI until much later!

Anyway, we had a jolly good time in the hospital on Friday. This was her 2nd stay in the hospital, so she knew perfectly how the bed moved, how to adjust the TV remote, and how often she can eat on the bed! Her siblings came by to spend time with her, it was super fun, looking at their faces, to squeeze on that one single bed and watch TV together!

Sibling Love

The next day, the doctor came by to explain the results. The EEG test showed that she has excessive brain waves, and these caused the partial seizure on Friday morning. She needs to be on medication to regulate these seizures but thank God it is not life threatening! And her mental capacity is not affected, and she can still go about life normally. The cause is inconclusive, according to the doctor’s memo, although underlying structural abnormality cannot be excluded.

Immediately, I realised, no wonder she was struggling with cognitive development! Now I understood a bit of the science behind her slow visual processing, and language ability.

How am I taking it? It did affect me on Sat night. After a nice Dim Sum dinner with my parents, when the kids were in bed, it started to hit me. It was hard not to blame myself for something I ate or didn’t do during pregnancy. I remember that evening, I was on Google Alert to search all the foreign sounding words in the Doctor’s memo, Mayo Clinic was my bookmark page and Wiki was on the other. Everything pointed to a child’s brain formation during gestation.

Did I get too complacent in my 3rd pregnancy? Was I too greedy trying and pushing boundaries with the forbidden food? Did I run around too much with work and the two other kids? Did I? Was I? 

Then one of my close friends reminded me of this familiar verse, and it immediately assured me of how God created all of us personally, while we were still in mummy’s womb. Another very dear family friend came by to visit us, just to spend time with us to show her love and support for us. Along the way, we received texts and phone calls from various ones who prayed with us and cheered us on.

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As we start this new journey as a family to cope with this, I can’t help but remain so grateful for God’s hands on Meimei. There are many unanswered questions and many unknowns. But God is good, and His workmanship is still perfect and marvelous. There are many things to thank God for despite it all:

  • Imagine if the teacher didn’t pick up that Friday morning black-out? It wasn’t a full-blown, twitching and jerking seizure, so it could have been easily missed out!
  • We got to see one of the best Pediatric Neurologist in the city before he closed the clinic for the day!
  • She was so compliant to go thru all the tests without any sedation
  • There’s nothing wrong with her neuro functions

As always, there’s many things to thank God for. The healing miracle is out there, and till then, it’s a journey of faith and trust for our family.

I’ll tell you the wonders of insurance in my next post!

Therapy 101

This is part of a series I’ve started – Ther­apy 101, to doc­u­ment Nadine’s devel­op­men­tal strug­gles and vic­to­ries, and to jour­nal my own learn­ing expe­ri­ences as she goes through hers.

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