Hands down the most difficult thing I have ever done as a mom is to watch Apollo suffer through painful medical tests and procedures. I am sure that comes as no surprise to you. What may surprise you is that some tests are designed specifically, it seems, to torture the parents.
Take a sleep-deprived EEG for example. Apollo is scheduled to have one Monday. My directions include: not allowing him have more than six hours of sleep the night before, then keeping him awake for a 20 minute drive to the office where his EEG takes place. He is then supposed to stay awake for the first part of the procedure, fall asleep for the second part so they can see what his brain does while he’s sleeping. If he manages to fall asleep, they will then wake him up when they’re finished and send us home.
How do I know this test is designed to test my stamina as a parent? Because I’ve been through it before. Enoch had an EEG at the age of four. He was exhibiting some very odd behaviors and a neurologist ordered an EEG to rule out seizures. He suspected they were actually rather complicated tics (which, as it turns out, they were). All of this happened pre-blog, so those stories aren’t recorded here.
Here, for the sake of history, it is:
The year was 2004. Four year old Enoch (who is a bit of a naughty-tyrant type anyway) was to be sleep-deprived for the EEG. We were not “allowed” to put him to bed before twelve or one AM. Chuck (much more of a night person than I) volunteered to keep Enoch awake. He dragged his old iMac (the one he bought for $100 at a garage sale) upstairs and set up his Civilization game. After watching for a few minutes, Enoch asked if he could go sit on the couch. Chuck agreed. A few minutes later he decided to check and make sure Enoch was still awake. Unfortunately he was nowhere to be seen. Enoch had sneaked off to his room and gone back to bed! This went on for a few hours until Enoch was finally allowed to sleep…Then we had to wake him up at o’dark thirty and keep him awake as we drove to the doctor’s office. The nurse took us to a room with a hospital bed, turned on a movie and proceeded to glue dozens of electrodes to his head. The procedure began and at some point she had enough information and let us know it was time for him to go to sleep. That’s right, we the parents were expected to simply wave our magic wand at precisely the right moment and have Enoch fall sleep. Miraculously he did and as soon the technician had enough information about his sleep, Enoch was unceremoniously awakened while the tech ripped the dozens of electrodes out of his hair. We were then sent home, alone (no nanny, au pair or valium – for us or him).
So yeah, you might say I’m dreading Apollo’s EEG Tuesday afternoon…