At the beginning of last week, ironically International Epilepsy Awareness Day, My husband and I journeyed to the hospital for my Video EEG Monitoring Test (VEEG). This was my very first VEEG experience. Having done much research regarding the test and hearing many personal stories from friends encouraging me for the very day, many thoughts and questions swirled about within me along the somewhat silent car ride to the hospital and the check in process. Unsure of what I could expect during my stay.
What is VEEG Monitoring?
The Video EEG Monitoring Test is a more specialized form of an EEG test in which the patient is constantly monitored over a video screen. This allows doctors to observe brainwave activity during the time a seizure or spell is occurring.
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/neurologists determine the nature of a seizure as well as how to most effectively treat the condition.
How long does the test take?
This test requires an admission to the hospital.
Average stay is 3 to 5 days.
How is the test performed?
A soft, colored 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 can then simulate your everyday life as much as possible, moving wherever you are instructed/allowed to go.
A specially trained doctor will review your monitoring daily.
Test results will be discussed with you daily.
After the test
The electrodes are removed with acetone, which dissolves the glue and leaves your hair and skin intact.
You are able return to your hospital room, or go home, unless given other instructions from the doctor.
You may wash you hair if you would like.
A summary letter of test results will be sent to your personal physician.
Last week was an incredible week. A week that reached deep down within my soul and lifted me up tall and strong. I feel as though in a sense, I stepped into the ring with epilepsy facing it head on and I didn’t flinch. Not once. In reflecting back, I smile because it felt so good not to have feared epilepsy. More-so, epilepsy should fear me as I am whole-heartedly on a mission to put an end to this one way or another.
28 electrodes in total were placed upon my scalp in order to read my brain waves. From that moment on, I was ready to take on epilepsy. The very first night, medication was not taken away. However this did not stop complex partial seizures from introducing themselves to the world. Straight ahead was a camera monitoring my progress and in my hand was a button to press should I require help.
How compassionate and understanding the nurses and technicians were when either I or my husband would press the button should I seem a bit unlike myself. Never bothered. Never annoyed. Never frustrated to have to check on me. Always considerate. Always attentive. Always generous. Never judgmental. There were even brief moments I’d catch myself forgetting why I was even there at the hospital. Talking to the nurses and technicians about favorite music, favorite bands, hobbies and movies! I couldn’t ignore the sense that everything was going to be okay. I would get through this and everything would be just fine.
The next day came in which it was time to halt my medication. Even so, the feeling remained within that everything was going to be alright. Rock solid. Of course, I’m not a fan of seizures. Who is? Regardless, faith was the ground I stood on and God, I gave all the glory to in that very moment smiling ear to ear. Taking away my medication was like waiting for an earthquake to arrive. As minutes melted away and hours faded on, finally, we decided to play a hand of cards, my husband and I, and moments into the hand, I looked up into my husbands eyes and the first grand mal seizure arrived lasting two minutes.
My mother-in-law traveled to visit which I was so happy to have her with us! Together, we sent my husband home so that he could get a proper night’s rest and the two of us stayed awake catching up. In my heart, I didn’t want to have my mother-in-law witness me endure a grand mal seizure however, her heart was filled with pure compassion for my journey and in that moment she saw her daughter unafraid. Full of faith. I saw my mother-in-law ready to help me fight. I remember thinking to myself, “When was the last time we spoke like this? We need to have more conversations like this? I’m really enjoying this.” It wasn’t long into our conversation that the second grand mal seizure found its way onto center stage, however thankfully she knew just what to do from prior seizures experiences. As I began to lose consciousness, I remember feeling so proud of her bravery and her knowing exactly what to do. So thankful for the love of my family. So blessed. So humbled.
In its entirety, the VEEG experience was absolutely not what I thought it would be. I didn’t know what to expect. I simply prayed to God to go easy on me and that there would be some answers shown within this test. I was astounded at how wonderful the hospital staff was to not only myself but to my family as well. I felt the presence of God within my stay the entire time. I feared not a single thing not a single moment. I felt empowered, encouraged and inspired that we were on the right path towards putting an end to this very condition. My family and I were drawn even closer together than before and I am immensely grateful for that. It fueled my ambition to want to fight for a cure to epilepsy even more than before.
This was far beyond a VEEG Test. The way I see it, it was an advocates strengthening test and I believe I’d become strengthened on my journey to a cure thanks to the great support system around me. We’re headed in the right direction. We’ll get there soon. I know we will.
I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!