Functional MRI

On Thursday, January 25th, I went back to Stanford for another test.

It’s what they call a Functional MRI, basically what they told me, to find out just what part of the brain works more to answer the questions they are asking. The questions were very simple. Any five year old could answer them.
First they had me watch a 15 minute video, so that I would understand just what I would be going through, very simple, and of course, very noisy, as an MRI usually is. When I went in, I was greeted by two very nice young men who helped me prepared. Of course I couldn’t wear my own glasses, so they gave me a pair of plastic one as, as many know, I am practically blind without them. Their glasses made me see double, so I had to close one eye to see the screen at some points.
Unlike my past MRI’s, they situated my head into a frame with a small screen above for me to watch during the few tests that they did. The instructions for this test were to not speak the answers, but to think about what I was seeing on the screen.
The ‘questions’ were pretty easy and included drawings to identify. They showed three items, one at a time, with a 15 seconds between. Say, the first sketches were an airplane, an apple, and a boat. Fifteen second of a blank screen, then the next three were a house, a bicycle, and a car, etc. After five of these, they’d start then next group. Where I had to not only define them, but also explain what they do or what they were for. Say, the airplane was to fly in, the apple was to eat, the boat was to ride in or go fishing in. There was not right or wrong answer, they just wanted to know just where these answers were coming from in the brain. The next was for me to identify what the object that they were describing. Say on the screen was ‘something that you drive’. They answer would be a car. “A big pink bird”. Answer being a bird, etc.
In another test, they asked me to move my fingers in a specific way. I had to touch my fingers with my thumb in a particular order. Forefinger, middle, ring, little, then back. Did that a number of times, then the screen told me to rest. Then again. Then rest. After that was done a few times, they went on to the next test.
All this while the machine was going between each of these tests for certain amounts of time. Each time, one of the guys would tell me, ‘you’ll hear the noise for one minute’, or for six minutes. What ever the time was, he would tell me before turning it on.
The entire test took about two hours. I had to lay still in this machine for the whole time, and you all know just how hard it is for me to sit or lie still for even more than 15 minutes. lol Someone will call me soon with a report.
The next scheduled appointment I have is in March, but they may call me to come up beforehand for more. Who knows, I just need to sit here and wait for it. Once they can find out just what side is more active and just where those seizures may be coming from, they’ll know just where to concentrate on during the surgery.
The test was very draining, my body and mind were and still are very tired, and I woke up this morning with a mean headache and ringing in my ears. I took one of my migraine pills and hopefully, that will help me out today.
I am sooooo looking forward to being seizure free, and like the doctor said after my EEG, to be “off the poisons”!!

Stanford Hospital

(I thought I had posted this earlier, but it came up as a draft)

On October 16, I checked into Stanford Hospital to be hooked up to an EEG machine for longer than the few minutes at my local care facility. In the past, my tests didn’t show anything as I did not have any seizures during the time when I was hooked up.

When we arrived (my husband was driving) the front of the hospital was super busy with what looked like valet parking, something we didn’t need for just a drop off. I got out of the car and he drove away. I entered the hospital and found my way around the hustle bustle, as I had directions to where I was going. In the neurological section, I was greeted by a young man who knew who I was, as I had called before leaving Monterey and told him that I was on my way.

Although I was set up in a room with another woman, we had to wait until one was available. I had no problem with that. The only reason I wanted a separate room was so that my mother could stay with me. Luckily, she had in-laws she could stay with in the meantime.

Shortly after I arrived, I was set up in bed with 24 electrode pasted to my head. The doctors came to visit me, and my mother arrived, as she had flown from Maui to be with me throughout. She and I have been through so much with my epilepsy and this was just another step for us. We both wanted her to be there. That night, they took me off one of my meds to try and encourage a seizure to hit. The gave me a button to push if I should ever feel a seizure coming on. They had a 24 hour/day monitor on me so they could keep an eye on me in case I needed some extra help.