A trip to the neurophysiology department
August 17, 2009
Last week I had an EEG (electroencephalogram) which is a test that detects abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. It is the first step in trying to work out the cause of my olfactory hallucinations. If it is due to seizures, it will show up in this test, and seizures mean I might have to go back on anti-convulsants, which I DO NOT want to do. I categorically hate drugs and how they make me feel.
It’s a bizarre test, that doesn’t hurt or have any side effects but it’s boring and time consuming. When lying on a bed, the technician applied 30 electrodes to my head using a huge amount of goopy paste to make them stick. They were all through my scalp, on my forehead and temples, and under my chin. I wanted to take a picture of myself but she woudn’t let me as it is against hospital policy. It would have made for an excellent photo!
During the test you just lie there, and follow instructions to open your eyes, close your eyes, open your eyes, close your eyes, open your eyes, concentrate on a spot on the wall… thrilling I know. Then while your eyes are closed they flash lights at you at an ever increasing rate. This was the most uncomfortable part of the test as normally you would be able to cover your eyes or look away, instead you have to lie motionless and endure. The technician then turned off all the lights and I had to lie there for an exorbitant amount of time – motionless and with with my eyes closed. It was maybe 20 minutes, but could equally have been just 10, all I know was that my head started to itch and I couldn’t do anything about it!
I get the results at the end of October when I next see my neurologist again. Fingers crossed – even though I don’t believe in this, what’d done is done and it’s not in my control to change it.