Thursday, June 27, 2013


Each time I have a seizure, it's really frustrating for me because it feels like I'm not making any progress with my Epilepsy. 

I watch my mom's reaction each time I have a seizure, and I can only imagine how she feels; they say whenever your child is in pain, you are too. 

During my last seizure, she was right there with me, holding my hand and saying it was going to be okay (she didn't leave until I fell asleep). My mom has been there for every Doctor's appointment, testing, MRI and procedure for the past two years. It's been rough, but she is amazing! I love you mom! :)

Monday, June 24, 2013


I just got back from vacationing at Lake Powell with my family. While I was there, I was focusing on the phone call from my doctor about surgery. Through this, I lost track of why I was on vacation: to have fun and relax. The stressing and constant phone monitoring was a waste of time. I told myself I would find out as soon as I got home; the timing didn’t matter.

I talked to my doctor this morning, and the results are in…I will be having brain surgery!! All of the tests that I have done this summer have aligned perfectly. The Neurosurgeon, my Epileptologist, as well as another Epileptologist were in attendance for this conference. They decided that: I am an excellent candidate for resective epilepsy surgery, no further testing be done, and that the planned procedure is to remove the malformation that has been causing my seizures completely. I meet with the Neurosurgeon next month, and we go from there! Words cannot express how happy I am! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Taking Chances

This has definitely been a whirlwind of a summer with numerous hospital visits, and a bit of traveling. 

I was sitting in the airport today waiting for my flight, and I saw the Air France portal. It was at that moment when I realized that I wasn't upset about not going to France anymore; I am at peace with the decision I've made; I am right where God wants me to be. Pursuing my health was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 

I've been able to find out more about my brain; it has been a rough road! I was nervous about the call next week to tell me if I can get surgery or not, but I'm not nervous anymore. I have a strong feeling of what is going to happen, and I've let God take control. 

I've let go a lot (which, if you know me, is not normal)! This has been my summer of taking chances, and not knowing what the outcome will be. I'm excited for what the rest of the summer holds! 

P. S. This post is from Seattle. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Phase 3: The WADA Test

I was up bright and early at 5:00AM this morning to go to the hospital for the last test to evaluate me for surgery: the WADA test.

The WADA test is named after Juhn Atsushi Wada, a Japanese Canadian Neurologist and Epileptologist. This test is for cerebral hemispheric language function, as well as a memory representation in each hemisphere.

Once I got there, they attached the EEG leads to my scalp like they had done previously on the first test I had back in May. The process took about 45 minutes or so to measure my head, mark it, and attach the electrodes to the scalp. Let’s just say that these are not the “extensions” girls want for their hair!

After that, an EEG Technician took me down to my recovery room to get me started. They put in an IV, drew labs, as well as attaching more electrodes, and doing the regular check-up (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and paper work). After about 30 minutes or so, they wheeled me down to the Angio Suite where the WADA test was to be performed.

The room was filled with staff to help with the test. It was a large white room with one small bed to lie on, as well as computer screens, x-ray like devices, and other equipment. After I got all set up, they cleaned the area where my right Femoral artery is, and prepped it for the procedure. The main person administering the test injected a numbing drug into the area where the catheter was to go through; it burned for about 15 seconds, and then I no longer had feeling there.

When the area was completely numb, he inserted a catheter that went all the way up to my brain; I felt pressure each time the catheter was moved. I glanced over every now and then, and could see an x-ray image of the electrodes attached to my scalp, as well as the blood vessels in my brain; I was blown away! It was something that not very many of us get to see!

Sodium Amobarbital (a drug to put one side of the brain to sleep) was injected through the catheter to put one side of my brain to sleep. I could feel a warm sensation at the site where the catheter was inserted, and one side of my body felt sleepy. My Neuropsychologist walked in to give me the memory tests for each hemisphere of the brain.

First, she asked me to raise both of my arms up and count to 20 out loud until one of my arms fell down (this shows the side of the brain that has been put to sleep); the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. I can’t remember which arm fell down first, but I know that it was really hard to stay awake and alert.

For one hemisphere, she showed me objects that she had shown me the day before to check my memory, and asked if I recognized these objects. I was a little more alert that time, and could hear her speaking; I tried really hard to remember. She also gave me a couple of sentences to read back to her; I had to hyper focus, because my vision was a bit blurry. I read the sentences when my vision wasn’t blurry. In between hemispheres, they take about a 30-minute or so break until the Sodium Amobarbital wares off, so they can start the other hemisphere.

As for the other hemisphere, I put both of my arms up and counted to twenty when my right arm dropped (which I believe is due to the dominance of the left hemisphere of my brain). This test was more difficult; I was really sleepy and the Neuropsychologist had to keep asking me to stay awake. I was shown pictures I had seen the day before, but it took me a while to wake up, focus, and remember the names of things she pointed to on the picture. I tried my hardest to speak, but I had a difficult time! It was like my brain was trying hard to respond, but what came out was a quiet mumble of an answer.

Once I came to, they removed the catheter, and cleaned and bandaged the site to prepare me to come home. I was wheeled back to my recovery room where my mom was waiting for me. It took a while to even get me to the state of being awake enough to remove the IV and other wires. I had an incredible nursing staff! I have to take it easy the next few days so that my artery won’t swell or bleed.

I have no clue how well I performed, and probably won’t until I get the call on the 20th if surgery is a go. It’s crazy that I have already gone through all of the tests for pre-surgical evaluation!

The journey continues!