When they told me that Abbie needed to be awake for six hours prior to yesterday’s EEG test, I promptly scheduled an afternoon appointment. I figured it would be a lot easier (on me) to keep her awake between 7am and 1 pm than between 3 and 9 am. We had a few moments of close-calls, but managed to keep her eyes open until we arrived at the hospital at 1:30.

They needed to hook her up, get some readings while she was awake, and then some after she’d fallen asleep. Piece of cake — or not. We finally unhooked her at 4pm, without her ever having shut her eyes! That girl….every little sound from the hallway caught her attention. Water running through the pipes, a door closing, the boy next door in Xray wailing because he had a broken arm.

I asked the tech if we would need to come back to redo it to get sleep readings, and she said she didn’t think so. Her answer basically told me the results of the test, but I thought I’d have to wait at least a week to hear the official results from the neurologist.

After returning home from my taxi-mom duties later that evening, there was already a message on the machine from Dr. Y, the neurologist, explaining that there was seizure activity noted on the EEG, and that we should not move forward with weaning Abbie off of her medication.

A couple years ago this news would have crushed me. From the beginning of this journey, getting off of medications, or not needing new ones, was a sign of progress, a way for Abbie to show she is worthy of the investment of time, energy, and yes – -money, that it takes to help a brain-injured person recover. She has many more ways to make her case now!

Every time she looked around to find the source of the sleep-stealing noise, as I watched her brows furrow in concern and empathy for the injured boy, and as I watched her grin at the tech who took the leads off her head I realized that THESE were the EEG results I was truly interested in. We hadn’t been in that room for 3 years, and Abbie is a much different girl now. I can accept the seizure activity as new circuits in her brain bump up against the scarring that protected her brain after the injury. I can live with giving her a medication twice a day, and I will stomach writing its name on every medical document, if in exchange I get a happy, bright, smiley engaged girl. I think we’ve gotten a good deal.

To quote a dear friend: “Onward and Upward!!”