You know the kind. The calls that make you stop breathing for a second, and go spookily calm. The calls where the discomfort of the person on the other end is palpable, as they arrange a procedure as efficiently as possible. The calls that make you Google, when you really, really should not.
This week, I got one of those calls.
Billy started having seizures in late January of this year. He had one atypical tonic-clonic seizure, followed by an intense (thankfully lessening) period of absence events and tics. They seem to have reduced to almost nothing now, but they’ve left behind some significant focus/attention issues.
We went to the ER immediately after the first one. A couple of weeks after that, he had a short EEG. We saw the neurologist armed with videos of the absence type events, and his call was… atypical seizures. Unlikely to be epilepsy, more likely to have another cause. Potentially, given his history (he had Transverse Myelitis when he was almost four), some kind of neurological inflammation. He ordered an MRI, a six-hour EEG and a short drug trial.
We did the MRI, under the guidance of Dr Ridiculously Photogenic. He called himself an Anaesthetic Doctor, so I didn’t have to try and say ‘anaesthetist’ while being distracted by his chiselled soap opera good looks. I thanked him for the articulation free kick, and wondered whether it would be OK if I took a photograph of myself swooning next to him.
The MRI took a long time, and Billy took a long time to recover. There was a lot of vomit afterwards, which is unusual for Billy and anaesthetic. I had asked Dr Ridiculously Handsome to avoid nitrous oxide (and the whole gas mask descending on me experience), so he used propofol, which was scarily swift. This makes me think Michael Jackson must have done a lot of vomiting.
Anyway, we schedule the mid-length EEG and get on with life.
Then we get the phone call.
In reality, it probably means nothing. They may well be being meticulously cautious. They are probably just ruling out as much as possible. The phone call was necessary to ensure that happened, right?
The phone call was to extend the second EEG to a 24 hour one. I asked why? The person on the phone said, I am not sure, but it’s changed because of his MRI results and relates to the neurologists previous concerns.
I put the phone down, updated the diary and started Googling (I know, I know…)
Nothing? Something? Alien invasion in his head? Who knows?
These phone calls are my least favourite part of this game.
They throw you for a loop, with very little logic behind that loop. They scramble your brain, and I doubt I need to be clear about how little I need additional brain scrambling. They flip you out, and make you wait weeks until you know whether you should be genuinely flipped out or not.
I would really like more phone calls to tell me I had won something. I would take calls to remind me to have a mammogram. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’d prefer calls from people pretending to live in my country offering me a great deal on a holiday or lower energy bills.
Actually, now that I mention it, if you hang on the line, I can give you some solar panels at a really good rate.
Valerie's increasingly random ravings can be found at Jump on the Rollercoaster.