Yesterday Jonathan was booked for an EEG test at Kingston General Hospital. It has been a long time since he's had one. When he first started having seizures at 10 months of age, he had an EEG then, and I nursed him to sleep so they could perform the test. He had one again at about age three; that time they gave him a sedative which put him to sleep for the entire time. But Dr. MacDonald, the pediatric neurologist who's been following him these past ten years, wanted to try to get one with no sedation so that it would provide a more accurate look at what his brain is doing.
Unfortunately we were unsuccessful. Jonathan just couldn't relax and lie still. The technician, whose name was Mike, was barely able to measure Jonathan's head and do the markings; Jonathan kept turning his head, trying to sit up, wiggling down the bed, and just not cooperating. It became clear after about twenty minutes that there was no way he would accept having electrodes stuck to his head and then lie still for half an hour to get a good reading.
Mike was apologetic, and so was I. "Don't worry," he said, "I've seen adults walk out of here without being able to get the test done."
"Maybe Dr. MacDonald will decide to order one with sedative," I said.
"Tell her to prescribe a double dose," he said, "One for Jonathan and one for me."
Jonathan accepted a "Nemo" sticker; then when he realized it was too big to fit on his hand, he dropped it in the garbage; then he marched out of the room with a wave, calling back, "Bye, Mike."
So much for that.
So, it didn't work out. But I couldn't help looking on the positive side of the whole situation: Jonathan was so well-behaved the entire time. I'd been a bit anxious about the logistics of getting him to the appointment on my own. I had to take him out of school at mid-day, and we had to go to a different hospital from the one where he visits Dr. MacDonald. But going in a different direction didn't faze him at all. He walked enthusiastically the whole way, going confidently in the main hospital doors and down the hallways and into the elevator without hesitation. (He met a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair and said, "Hello, wheelchair!" with a big friendly smile.) He sat patiently and read books with me for the 20 minutes we had to wait to be seen. He didn't yell, cry, fuss, or try to run away; he acted like a big boy -- well, until it came time to have his head measured and marked.
All things considered, it was not a total failure. Jonathan seemed to view it all as an interesting adventure rather than a stressful change of routine, and he handled it much better than he would have a year or two ago. In that sense, even though we couldn't get the actual information we were seeking, there's still something good that we can take away from the experience.