Greetings from inside the walls of Mass General (again).
I am writing from you from the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) hooked up to an obscene amount of electrodes (brain, cardiac, oxygen) and I am sporting an IV and a fabulous head wrap. Yesterday I started my day with an MRI/MRS and then waited outside with Ralph and Beast for 4 hours until my bed on the EMU was ready.
It took another 3-4 hours or so to get all the electrodes on, IV in, labs drawn, get acquainted with 3 sets of doctors, and get myself settled. They had me sign a consent form releasing them of liability if I get injured or something horrible happens if they do induce a seizure…and also a release to be videotaped 24/7 until discharge.
The plan is to keep me for 5 days – during which time they will try to elicit a seizure (good times I tell ya, good times). At that point they will decide whether or not to start medication (though they said Lamictil was the drug of choice) and they will make a plan from there. They will then decide if I can drive again or not – but it’s not sounding favorable – at least for now.
In the meantime, I get to spend the next few days confined to these 4 walls staring at the TV and the Zebra Sasha insisted I take with me. Yes folks, boredom has already set in.
See, I went to an appointment with the Epilepsy Clinic 2 weeks ago (it was scheduled by the neurology team at MGH from my stay at the end of June) and they decided they felt that I was likely having seizures given my symptoms. Since they were able to get me into the EMU so fast, they decided to hold off on starting seizure medications and restricted my driving until further notice (yes, it totally bites not being able to drive – I mean, even though I wasn’t really driving much at all, it’s different when you are told you CAN’T drive). They also wanted me to have an MRI/MRS done on the day of the admission just prior to coming up to the floor.
I wasn’t expecting any of this – but I must say, the Epilepsy team is pretty darn efficient. This unit team means business also – You have to have an IV (just in case), seizure pads on your bed, heart and O2 monitors, you can’t go to the bathroom without a nurse being there (there aren’t cameras in the bathroom so they have to be present). If you feel weird in any way, you push a special button and they all come running (I have yet to push the button so far). Needless to say, you hear a lot of running on this floor. I can only imagine what the job description for this unit was worded, “Must have athletic skills and be able to leap tall buildings in an entire bound.”
I haven’t lost my sense of humor though. I figured, NO ONE looks ‘awesome‘ in this get up – actually, we all look pretty ridiculous all wrapped up – so why not give people who are coming into contact with you a smile…and permission to giggle.
Last night was pretty rough – I kept setting off the cardiac alarms because my heart rate was going below 50 – and a few other things also. At 4 a.m. I woke gasping for air…no idea why, but it certainly wasn’t a seizure. I had the nurse come in and they paged the neurologist – they went back and looked at everything and, sure enough – I almost flew out of the bed. Guess that sleep study needs to come sooner than later – maybe it was apnea or something. Whatever it was, it was NOT fun. This happens about once or twice a week. This is the second time this week. Can’t wait to get to the bottom of that!
So, for now – I am going to end this post. Sorry it’s not my typical blog post – but I am working on about 8 hours sleep since Wednesday and my head is screaming.
I will write another blog post tomorrow, so stay tuned. I’ve got a lot of things to share with you!
In the meantime, please take a moment to check out this link. My friend’s 14 year old son is starting chemo tomorrow in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Today, a central line was placed. I know how much it means to me when my friends reach out and support us when times are tough – so I want to do the same for this family. If you can share this with other people you know and also say a prayer for them, that would be wonderful.
Love and Light – Catch you tomorrow…..