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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Our Visit to CHEO for an EEG

On Wednesday we had to take Josie to CHEO for a scheduled EEG.  Nothing serious - the doctors just want to make sure she isn't having absent seizures when she does her "staring off into space" thing.  I spent the week before this appointment worrying and worrying and worrying...  I was so concerned about how we were going to manage to get this test done.  I mean, I'm sure it's hard enough with an neurotypical two year old...  throw autism into the mix and I just didn't see how it could be done!

I've written a companion post outling exactly what happens during an EEG.  You can find that here.

We got to CHEO, the parking lot was full, had to wait for a spot to open up.  Then we had to find Unit C9...  which it seems to me is tucked into the furthest, most difficult to find location in the hospital!  Found it eventually.  Registered.  10:31 AM...  Sweet, right on time!

Only had to wait five minutes in the waiting room...  but that was all it took for Josie to start getting agitated.  Not too bad though, I mean she is two, she doesn't have much patience.  Little bit of whining and crying, whatever.

Of course she immediately started crying when we got in the room.  She's not too fond of new situations.  The technician explained what was going to happen and said that with our permission he could swaddle her.  Boo-Ya!  He left the room to let Josie acclimatise a bit. 

He came back a few minutes later, Josie had calmed down.  The moment that it was time to start though...  well, all hell broke loose!  Crying, screaming, freaking out, going crazy....  You know, the whole meltdown nine yards.  So I told the technician that maybe he should wrap her up.  (Remember, deep pressure therapy is something that Josie responds really well to.)

She was very worked up while he wrapped her.  We got her comfy on the bed, he started marking her scalp.  She was still crying, but you could feel the tension leaving her body, she was calming down slowly but surely.  Then I came up with a brilliant idea, and started stimming for her.  One of Josie's favorite ways to stim is to rub one of her rubber ducks against her lip, which she couldn't do with her arms swaddled.  So I rubbed the duck on her mouth for her.  It took all of maybe a minute for her to stop crying completely and become relaxed.

From there it was easy!  She was calm and quiet through the whole test, loved the blinking lights, and didn't even complain when I had to close her eyes with a towel. 

When it came time to unswaddle her, she got mad and kept pointing back at the blanket and bed!  That was how comfortable and happy she became.  The technician was very surprised at how well she did - he said that he thought there was no way they were going to be able to complete the test at the beginning!

What I thought was going to be a completely horrible experience (and did in fact start out as one!) turned into a great experience.  If we can manage to get her calm and comfortable in that kind of a situation, we can do anything!  

May Josie continue to surprise us every day!

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