“To pray is to let go and let God take over.” Philippians 4:6-7
Eight days. The calender page has been turned and we have stepped upon a brand new road called February in the year 2015. Eight days until I walk into the halls of the Memorial Hospital for my Video EEG Monitoring Test (VEEG).
A few months prior, I had undergone a 3-Tesla MRI of my brain in order to have a closer look at my entire brain and the Cavernous Angioma within the left side of my brain in hopes that it might explain in greater detail about my seizure activity. After what seemed like quite a lengthy waiting period, we were finally called in to hear the results of the 3-Tesla MRI. I could feel my heart beating lightly on the walls of my chest as my neurologist reviewed the results as I darted my eyes to my husband and back to my neurologist waiting patiently with my hands in my lap. You could hear a pin drop along with the ticking of the wall clock in that room, the silence was so deafening. Finally, when the silence was broken with a clearing of the throat by my neurologist, he informed me that he couldn’t be certain if the seizure activity was caused by the Cavernous Angioma or seizure activity within the left area of my brain. More testing would need to be done to be certain. It was clear that there was without a doubt, seizure activity evident in the left area of my brain and something needed to be done to put a stop to it.
Our next plan of action, VEEG ASAP.
Video EEG Monitoring Test (VEEG)
The Video EEG Monitoring Test is a more specialized form of an EEG test which the patient is constantly monitored over a video screen. This test allows doctors to observe brainwave activity during the time a seizure is happening.
What Is VEEG Testing?
- It is a more specialized form of an EEG test.
- It allows the study of your brainwave activity at the same time that a seizure is happening.
- It helps doctors determine the possible cause/nature of a seizure as well as how to most effectively treat the condition.
How Long Does VEEG Testing Take?
- VEEG testing requires an admission to the hospital.
- Average stay is 3 to 5 days.
Why is VEEG Testing Performed?
To diagnose seizure activity (those which happen from time to time). These occurrences may be, but are not limited to:
- fainting or black-out spells
- Events of unknown origin
- Hallucinations or behavior problems
Does VEEG Testing Hurt?
- No. You will not experience any pain or discomfort at any time.
Where Is The Test Conducted?
- The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
What Should You Do To Prepare For The Test?
- Wash your hair. Do NOT use any sprays, oils, or dressings of any kind.
- Eat normal meals.
- Continue taking prescribed medicine unless your doctor gives other instructions.
- Bring a complete list of all your medications and dosages with you.
- Hospital gowns and pants are available for your use.
- Bring a one-week supply of button-down shirts, sweat pants and/or shorts and underclothing.
- Bring things-to-do items, like: books, sketchbooks, whatever it is you like to do and are permitted to bring along with you.
What Type Of Room Will You Be In?
- A regular patient room.
- You will be allowed to move freely around the room. Ask about TV, VCR’s DVD players etc.
Can Family Attend?
- Recliners are available for one family member or guest who wants to stay.
- Family members/guests must stay off and away from the bed.
- The person must be familiar with your seizures and able to assist when you have a seizure.
How Is The VEEG Performed?
- A soft, red pencil will be used to mark areas where electrodes will be glued on your scalp.
- Some special jelly is applied to each electrode.
- Each electrode is checked with a meter to ensure proper functioning.
- You will then be monitored for the next three to five days.
- You may simulate your everyday life as much as possible, moving freely around your room and wherever the hospital encourages you to visit, doing things that you enjoy.
- A specially trained doctor will review your monitoring daily.
- Test results will be discussed with you daily.
Will You Be Allowed To Wash While You Are Monitored?
- You will not be able to shower or wash your hair.
- You will be able to sponge bathe daily.
After The Test
- The electrodes are removed with acetone, which dissolves the glue and leaves your hair and skin in good condition.
- You can return to your hospital room, or go home, unless the doctor gives other instructions.
- You can wash you hair.
- A summary letter of test results will be sent to your neurologist/doctor
In eight days, my husband and I hand in hand, courageously go forth to take on this test. In complete and total faith. I have had EEG’s in the past. This will be my first VEEG. I have been asked, “Are you scared?” Sitting in the neurologists office as he was preparing me for this very test, looking him directly in the eye, I told him, “I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t like Grand Mal seizures. I don’t like the idea of having them. They make me nervous but if this is what needs to be done to find a way to put an end to this, I’m ready. Let’s do this. I am not afraid.” And so the deal was done.
I’m so thankful and so blessed that I will have my husband at my side for these three to five days. I pray that they will not be as grueling. That they will be quick and easy. That my spirit will be strong and motivated each day.
Interestingly enough, the very first day of the test is International Epilepsy Day which I hope to talk about with family friends and colleagues from the hospital room.
If you’ve had a VEEG, tell me about your experience! Your advice! Your tips and opinions! What did you do to pass the time?