Thursday, August 21, 2014

EEG Test/Update

Day 1: August 6

I was admitted to the hospital for an EEG test at 8:00 AM and got my 4th or fifth hospital bracelet (I guess you could say that I am a collector of hospital bracelets ;)). My medications were cut in half the day before and were then decreased again. I was shown to my room, and after 20 minutes the leads were attached to my scalp; I immediately had a seizure. This is going to be a quick stay at the hospital, I thought. By the end of the day I had 7 seizures which all had the same symptoms: an aura, a tingling sensation on the right side of my face, my stomach dropped and exhaustion set in. This type of seizure was not normal for me because my seizures changed after surgery; it is the same kind of simple partial seizure that I had been having before surgery last year. 

Day 2: August 7

After a rough night's sleep, I woke up to my nurse coming in to check my vitals and see how I was feeling. It was a long day being stuck in bed with wires attached to a bag, and a chord that only let me walk a small distance around my room. Netflix, The Fault in Our Stars, and my French grammar book only entertained me for so long. I envied the other patients who were able to walk around the halls. I had 3 seizures that day. My doctor came in to discuss the results of my EEG so far, and to my dismay, the seizures were in the tissue around the resection site in the right temporal lobe; the seizures were not strong enough to reach the skull. He decided to take me off medications completely to have bigger seizures and monitor my brain activity overnight. Later that night my aunt and uncle visited which was a nice surprise. I am not going to lie, it was a frustrating day that made me break down and cry.

Day 3: August 8

I had one seizure which made it a total of 11 seizures. After two days in the hospital, I hoped this was going to be the day that I was to be released from the hospital. My doctor visited me that morning during his rounds and confirmed that the seizures were coming from the same area where the removed the malformation last year. It is not certain, but he suspects that my surgeon will remove the middle part of the right temporal lobe. My speech and memory are in the left hemisphere of my brain,  so there will be no deficits in those functions. I do not know if there will be possible deficits, but brain surgery is a gamble, you have to trust and accept the outcome. I was released from the hospital that night and could not be happier to have the leads and IV removed.


In the weeks after my EEG, I was emotional and on the verge of tears all the time. I had anxiety that I had never experienced before in my life. It felt as if there was pressure on my chest, difficulty breathing, and feeling as if I could run for miles. My doctor said that it comes from the emotions and fear that I have been pushing aside; it slowly builds up in time, and I had reached my tipping point. I have been so focused on my senior year of college and finishing in four years. I realized that I need to acknowledge the fear that I am feeling rather than letting it fester. I cannot do this on my own, and it was not until last Sunday at church that I realized that I need to give it to God because it is the only way that I can get through the fear and anxiety. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Very Long and Overdue Update!

I just returned from a study abroad in La Rochelle, France. I spent a week in Paris sightseeing, and took a train to La Rochelle where I studied at a local university. I stayed with a wonderful family who showed me what it is truly like to be French. It was an amazing experience!

Before leaving for France, I decided to go back on the previous medication to avoid side effects. While I was in France, my seizure activity increased dramatically; I had nine seizures in July alone. My doctors have scheduled an inpatient Video EEG this Wednesday, which is one of the same tests that I had in May of last year. They will be decreasing my medications starting Monday to encourage seizure activity that they will monitor in the hospital. I was only in the hospital for three days last year with my first Video EEG, so I do not know how long this process will take. After being released from the hospital, the doctors will slowly increase my medications. The purpose of this test is to find out where my seizures are coming from. Part one of surgery is scheduled for September 9, 2014.