Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So.........today was "Back to Mary Bridge" day. Oh goody. (I remember a time not-so-long-ago when the place sort of fascinated me. Now that I finally have the parking down, and have a clue where to go, its lost its luster. Go figure.)

Today was the day that we got to meet with Dr. Sleep-and-Seizure. I won't bore you with the long version.......Jennica qualified for study. But she qualified for MORE than what I had hoped for. There is both good and bad in this scenario. The good? We should get some really true answers one way or the other, which will bring solutions either way. Either treatment, or a "clear-sailing" on this part of the brain function. The bad? These are some really brutal test procedures. I had convinced myself that, if she qualified, this would be a one-night show. I have friends that have endured sleep studies and know the basics from them. Or so I thought. Heh.

Test #1 will consist of us keeping Jennica up until midnight the night before her testing, and waking her up again at 4 a.m. The goal (or so the doctor says) is to make her sleep-deprived and, therefore, stress her neuro-system. We are then to accompany her, still awake, to Mary Bridge, where they will perform roughly two hours of electric readings on various areas of her brain, while she completes certain activities and tasks. The activities are all pretty basic, but designed to stimulate different areas of the brain, so that they can view the electrical activities. Just my opinion.........but I have seen my daughter sleep-deprived. It ain't pretty. The level of participation that they are going to get is probably going to involve whining, screaming at them, and lying on the floor. As her visual and auditory processing systems are the first to begin to struggle in sleep-need mode, she will quickly switch to her tactile processing system for input on her environment. Which means that she will CRAVE touch for everything. From the floor, the ceiling, from us, and she's going to be extremely sensitive to hunger, thirst, cold, heat, etc. And the mood swings? Watch out! Of course, in all honesty, these are neurologists that test similar children all day long in similar situations. I'm sure they've seen it before. But those kids are not MY kid. UGH! Can we just drop her off at the door and pick her up when its over? No.......I wouldn't really do that to her, but its hard to think positively about this.

Test #2 will involve the basic wire-you-up-and-tell-you-to-sleep thing. We check in during the evening, and check out in the morning. This was the test that I knew about and thought it was probably going to be difficult, but I could "buck up" and get through it. Now........it sounds like a cake-walk compared to Test #1. Plus.......they've said we can use our regular bedtime routine, including melatonin, which will really help here!! I'm a little concerned that she's going to detach the wires as fast as they attach them, but once again, these people are experts. They must have that down to a science. Right?

Test #3 is performed during the day immediately following Test #2. They are going to try to get her to nap all day, at two-hour intervals. She has 20 minutes to fall asleep. If she's not asleep, they quit and she "plays" for another two hours. If she falls asleep, they let her sleep. Okay............we can do this. It will go better if she's slept fairly well during Test #2, but either way, this one is survive-able.

After meeting with the neurologist today, I honestly have no expectations for our outcomes on any of these tests. I think its hysterical that they sit there and explain all this to you like its as simple as boiling a hot dog, but whatever. I generally have some pre-conceived notions going into testing, and I knew that her symptoms were very likely going to be enough to qualify her for study, but I guess I didn't expect them to take us quite THIS seriously. I have no idea whether we're going to come away with the common sleep or seizure disorders that accompany SPD, or if we're going to walk away with simply another box checked off, and another option that has been explored.

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