Menininho had an EEG on Saturday to check for seizures. Silent seizures can be hard to detect, but he’s had some symptoms (periods of staring off into space where he can’t be interrupted, loss of skills) so Dr. Awesome thought we should get the test run just to be safe. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, an EEG on a toddler requires them to go a long time without sleep, then have electrodes glued to their head and a series of tests done. Menininho, not quite 18 months, was only allowed to sleep from 11 pm to 4 am Friday night. The EEG wasn’t scheduled till 1:30.
He was a trooper. He did start to cry on the way there, because I had to shake keys, sing, and poke him to stay awake, but he was a star. I was really proud of him! That said, I’m never making him do this again unless there is total proof he’s having seizures. Allow me to tell you what happened.
I realized that traffic was so bad that we’d be late, so I called the doctor’s office to let them know. I started to leave a message when I got called back, and the woman who answered the phone told me it was fine that we’d be about 15 minutes late. However, when we arrived at the office, we were greeted with: “You’re lucky I answered the phone! I never answer the phone, I just give people 20 minutes and then I leave. I would have left you.” When I replied that we were only 10 minutes late, she responded “still would have left you.”
Um, given the nature of preparation for this test, shouldn’t she be giving people benefit of the doubt? Maybe answer the phone if it rings? Wait 30 minutes in case they got the time wrong, got lost, or stuck in traffic?
We were given little information about the EEG itself. The tech told us she would be administering it, that electrodes would be glued to M’s head, if he took them off she’d end the test and send us home, that there would be a strobe light, and he’d have to sleep for 10 minutes. That was it. Apparently we were supposed to keep him awake while she measured and placed the electrodes and she was upset that we didn’t. Sorry we can’t read minds.
Her cell phone kept going off. Yes, she had her personal cell phone on vibrate in her pocket. It was very loud.
The tech suggested she tape the already glued electrodes to Menininho’s head so that he didn’t tear them off. We were so worried about her stopping the test if one fell off that we agreed, even though she told us it would be more painful for him. Too bad she didn’t also tell us that she was going to wrap his head in gauze like a mummy too. The tape was overkill and I believe she knew that.
During the sleeping portion of the test, her cell phone went off AGAIN.
Then, she started asking random questions: Am I pregnant? Were we tired? Why were we here?
I kind of expected that if she didn’t know why were having the test run, that should have been one of the FIRST things to find out. But, I explained that one of the specialists was worried about seizures and why. Mark added that it potentially made sense, given that seizure disorders tend to be comorbid with autism, and Menininho is suspected of having autism. She asked rather rudely why we thought he has autism. So, I responded rudely back (because really, I’m tired of us being second guessed): “Because he has the symptoms!” And here’s the gem:
“So what’s he do? Sit around and flap his hands?” And then she flapped her hands to mimic a child who stims.
That’s completely inappropriate. On SO many levels. I was speechless.
When I got my voice back and started to list symptoms, she cut me off and told me now wasn’t the time to tell her because she wasn’t able to record it. So what is it? She’s making small talk or she’s taking a history…can’t be both. Only one of those requires me to answer anything.
Then, the tech told Mark to keep the baby awake. Menininho flipped out, as I’m sure anyone can understand. Upon being awakened, he screamed, threw his body around, began to grab at the gauze wrap around his head. The tech just watched us try to soothe and restrain him for about 3 minutes before remarking “Oh, you didn’t have to KEEP him awake. I just wanted to see if he seized upon waking up. He can go back to sleep now.” I was livid. Of course there was no calming him down at this point. We had to just try to keep him still while she watched. And, just as it was time to undo the dressing and take off the electrodes, her phone rang again. AND SHE TOOK THE CALL! Yes, with my son screaming in the background, waiting to be unhooked, she took a couple minutes to talk with her son.
THEN, she had the gall to chide Mark and my baby for pulling off the electrodes themselves. She said doing that would hurt Menininho. We had to go to another room for her to wash them off, while telling me she was in a hurry to get home, and that maybe the doctor would look over the results and get back to us this week…whenever he “had time.”
Why, yes. I will be sending a written complaint to the office.