It's Just an EEG, so Why the Tears?

The night before the EEG was such a long night.

We were given directions that our son could only sleep three to four hours before showing up for the test the next morning. Those doctors have no idea what they are asking of us keeping up most the night.

Yaakov, our eleven year old son, is in bed at eight and fast asleep not much after and wakes up at 6:30 with me just saying it is time to get up.

We kept him up at until 2 am. I say we because I was awake for most the time except for when my husband turned off the TV in our room and I took a 15 minute nap. We got up at 6 the morning of the test and allowed him to play video games so he wouldn’t fall back to sleep.

I had explained to Yaakov what the EEG does and they were going to take some pictures and see if he was going to have seizures. I told him he had a similar test when he was nine months old called an EKG and it wasn’t bad at all.

Checking in at the appointment I verified that there wasn’t any flashing lights or anything to do with noises, because I wanted to give him a heads up. The kid suffers from sensory intergradation and then migraines, so flashing lights will just put a damper on the whole test.

They told me no. They were wrong.

We get back there and Yaakov was thrilled to see a big black chair that he could relax on after having such a long night. The technician started measuring his head and marking him with a green marker to know where to place the wires. After the measurements were done she placed 22 wires on his headed. I couldn’t help, but smile because when I told him what they were going to do he said, “I will look like a robot.”

The technician moves over to the computer and my husband moves to sit next to Yaakov offering to hold his hand. He refuses and as he opens his eyes I can see tears filling up his eyes and my heart starts to break. The strobe light starts and the tears start to fall down his sweet little face.

My heart is being torn; this test is nothing compared to the others he has had why is he crying?

Two tears run down my face, I knew they had escaped because I could see the torture look written all over his face. The next two that fell I was trying to fight it, because I am supposed to be strong for him. Yet tear three and four only fell because I cannot help but wonder how much he has suffered over his short little life, and tear five, six, and seven came because I couldn’t control them any longer but finally pulling it together.

I sang our go to song off key, Jesus Loves Me. Making me flash back to the adventure in the hospital when his older brother was kind enough to share a bottle of Tylenol with him and at the emergency room they had to give him chalk or the first IV he had at nine months started this, because me telling him I loved him never seemed like enough. Even when I whisper in his ear, “I love you to the moon and back.” They don’t seem to calm him and I watch feeling helpless and that I am failing as his mother.  

The feelings aren’t of self-pity but fear that he doesn’t know I would do anything to take him away from all the doctor’s appointments and stresses of school if I could.

It is allowing him to see me as a human, as a mother, and showing him I don’t have all the answers but the faith that will carry us through.

As we leave he asked about the strobe light, “why did they do that?”

I said, “they were trying to stress your brain out to see if you would have seizure.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Because the doctors need to know if that is what is going on with you. If it is see if they can help you in anyway.”

I guess I didn’t explain what the EEG was for when I explained what they will do when they run the test.

Now the waiting game to find out does he have seizures?  It has been a long couple of weeks waiting for the test, but now that it is over I can breathe again.

I am grateful that my sons have a father who is there through medical issues and IEP not just for them, but for me too. I cannot imagine going through this being the strong one that my child depends on and not having someone to lean on myself.

I am truly grateful for a father’s love.