Sudden Turn of Events: Epilepsy Monitoring Unit/Worst Staycay Ever (Days 1 and 2 Complete!)

How quickly things change. One minute I’m blogging about a pesky tooth infection; the next, I’m lounging in a hospital bed in my moose PJs hoping for as many seizures in as short a time as possible so that I can rejoin the outside world and become a productive member of society again (it’s all relative). Life’s funny like that, sometimes.

New digs.
New digs.

On Friday morning, I was admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (henceforth EMU) in a local hospital. I got the call offering me a bed the previous day as I was getting ready to leave our apartment for a root canal.

I’ve been putting off this visit for a while now. As in, for almost a year. In any case, I’d used up all of my delaying tactics, and in my heart of hearts, I knew that I had to suck it up and get ‘er done. YOLO. (I’m pretty sure that was an inappropriate use of the acronym, but it felt so so right.)

Before continuing to moan about the details, let me (re)address the “why” of this hospital stay, which I mentioned in a post last year that I don’t have the energy to find in order to link to at the moment (sorry: it’s been a long few days). In sum, I’m being evaluated to see if I’m a candidate for epilepsy surgery. This primarily involves a twenty-four/seven video EEG and neuropsychological tests, the results of which supposedly provide information about where my seizures originate. Seems implausibly cool, but mostly, right now, just implausible that all this could lead to me being seizure-free, but there you go. There are lots of things that I don’t understand but just accept without questioning—you probably don’t need a list. For the time being, I’ll embrace the possibility that the brain experts—technical term—know what they’re doing.

I’ll likely be here for two weeks or so, and I have to spend all but fifteen minutes three times a day in my room, meaning that I’ll have ample time to blog. I’ll also have ample time to come up with excuses as to why I haven’t kept up with the frequent entries that I plan to write; we’ll see what happens.

With that preamble out of the way, I’ll begin! Here’s a summary of Thursday and Friday. Brief because I’ve already tired myself out. Boy, do I tire easily lately. Good thing I have no choice but to lie around all day.

Thursday:

  • I receive a call from the EMU telling me that they have a bed and asking if I can be there the next morning at 9:30. I try desperately to think of a legitimate reason why I can’t be there the next morning at 9:30. (Key word: legitimate.) I say yes. I attempt to get as much packing in before my dentist appointment.
  • Frazzled blur.

Friday:

  • I wake up exhausted before but also kind of excited because hey, let’s get this over with and find out more about why my brain’s so weird!
  • My husband and I wait twenty-five minutes for a cab that was supposed to come in ten because something’s wrong with the taxi company’s dispatch system. I panic because there are few things that I hate more than being late. Seriously: being late is the worst.
  • I go to admissions and get my hospital band etc. then head to the neurology ward/EMU area and discover that I have a PRIVATE ROOM, complete with a bathroom and view of the CN tower!!!! Suddenly life is amazing.
View from my hospital bed. Ain't too shabby.
View from my hospital bed. Ain’t too shabby.
  • I fill out some paperwork with my nurse, my husband leaves, and I wait around a little while before going to have my electrodes glued on. This is a two-hour process, during which I make small talk with the male technician about women’s hairstyles, listen to podcasts, and try to ignore the strong chemical smell wafting from my scalp. Life is suddenly a little less awesome.
  • I learn how to hook myself up to the machines in my swanky hospital-suite-of-a-hospital room and reality suddenly hits, not that it had ever strayed very far: this is not a staycation, nice as my accommodations may be compared to previous hospital experiences.
  • Faced with a few hours alone with nothing to do, I work on my thesis. That’s how I roll. Every spare minute, people.
  • I’m reunited with one of my friends from the epilepsy advocacy group I belong to, who, by a crazy coincidence, happens to be a patient here at the same time as I am! A familiar face/relief. What a roller coaster ride of emotions.
  • I meet with the doctor, an encounter that merits a separate post.
  • My lovely friends arrive! But our visit is cut short because I have an unplanned session with someone working with the neuropsychologist. She administers 2.5 hours of mostly memory-based tests during which I realize that remembering things for more than five seconds is beyond my capabilities. I’m probably just getting old.
  • Another friend comes to see me! I ❤ visitors (hint, hint).
  • My husband returns! And another friend! I feel so loved. And, now, exhausted.

That’s more or less it, so far. Well, not really, but the doctors have started reducing my medication, which is messing me up, and continuing to write will, likely, lead to embarrassing typos and other unfortunate errors that I’ll be mortified about later when I’m clearer-headed.

More soon (maybe)!

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