EEG’s, Abnormalities, and ‘Uneventful’ Days and Nights

EEG’s, Abnormalities, and ‘Uneventful’ Days and Nights April 2, 2022

I accompanied my son Christopher and his medical transport to the hospital this past Wednesday for an EEG. What is an EEG? I’m glad you asked. John Hopkins Medicine defines an EEG as follows:

An EEG is a test that detects abnormalities in your brain waves, or in the electrical activity of your brain. During the procedure, electrodes consisting of small metal discs with thin wires are pasted onto your scalp. The electrodes detect tiny electrical charges that result from the activity of your brain cells. The charges are amplified and appear as a graph on a computer screen, or as a recording that may be printed out on paper. Your healthcare provider then interprets the reading.

The neurologist with whom we met a few weeks back scheduled the EEG to make sure Christopher was no longer experiencing any seizure activity from the traumatic brain injury he suffered a year ago January. Sometimes Christopher will manifest spasms in his hand(s) and arm(s) and no one is sure why that is the case.

We do not yet know the results. Hopefully, the EEG results will rule out abnormalities, such as seizure activities due to the TBI. If Wednesday’s events were any indication, Christopher’s in good shape.

When I write “good shape,” I’m not speaking scientifically, but existentially. The entire process of check-in, test, check-out, and return to Christopher’s facility and room was so uneventful. There was no abnormal activity going on.

For the past fourteen months, most everything has been abnormal. So much sudden upheaval. It’s been so hard to rest.

But Christopher and I were resting Wednesday. My son gazed at me and I at him, as I stood by his stretcher in the waiting room, with his medical transport team looking on. I stroked my son’s arm and his hair and assured him that this was a routine visit in support of his care. The intuitive bond we shared was anything but normal. It was mysterious and comforting to Christopher and me.

As the technician placed the electrodes on Christopher’s head a few minutes later, I fell asleep in a nearby chair in the room. The technician could have placed the electrodes on my head while I slept. I was so tired that I would have been oblivious.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I had asked the technician when we arrived if she could perform an EEG on me, too. I joked that I was not sure anything was going on upstairs; and yet, I feared that the test results would confirm my suspicions were true. The technician seemed to resonate with me, so I’m not at all sure she knew I was joking. Hopefully, you know I was joking. Do you?

I did wake up a few times during the exam, only to fall back asleep. One time was when the strobe lights were blinking. Christopher gazed right at them, as did I. The pulsating lights were mesmerizing. To be quite honest, that was the most eventful aspect of the whole procedure and process.

I used to despise ‘uneventful’ events. They are so boring, and I hate boring! But in view of this most abnormal fourteen-month period with TBI, neuro-storming, and emotional upheaval, I will take ‘uneventful’ most any day or night of the week.

Have a good, uneventful night. Please turn off the strobe lights before calling it a day. And as my good old dad used to say when I was a kid, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Sleep well.

To read the various posts about this incomprehensible pilgrimage with TBI, please click on this link. Thank you for your prayers.

About Paul Louis Metzger
Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D., is Professor of Theology & Culture; Director of The Institute for Cultural Encounters: New Wine, New Wineskins; and Author and Editor of numerous works, including Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture. You can read more about the author here.
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