Thursday, December 6, 2012

that fantastic day i had wires sticking out of my head. during hell week.

aaaaand we're live at procrastination station!

aka my carrel that's not really my carrel. i'm treating it like it is my own. which means i left a huge pile of my books there during lunch where i shouldn't have had those two cups of dr. pepper.

it's the week before finals, which brings to mind my list of LAST year's week before finals when i was furiously writing a five page paper in spanish.

right now i'm writing a five page paper in chicago style formatting, which is almost as painful.

because it's the week before finals, i obviously had to blog about it for student life, and you can find that here.

so here's a list, because all of my blogs have a list.


1. finishing her five page paper on hemophilia, rasputin, and the fall of the romanovs.
2. writing her seven page paper on beowulf.

both of these papers are due tomorrow. in the morning.


1. drinking a really delicious vitamin water.
2. blogging. obviously.
3. wearing a cute dress.
4. having too much fun with her iphone.
5. listening to fun. their old album. before they were cool.

here's another list of acceptable things to do during the week before finals, and it will actually get to the point of this blog.


1. drink wine alone in your room and cry.
2. watch spiderman too many times and want to marry andrew garfield.
3. make your residents goodie bags and wish you had an RA to make one for you but you can't because you're the RA and you're afraid of eating all the candy yourself alone in your room.
4. take showers three times a day and cry in them.
5. have awkward wires sticking out of your head.

number five is the premise of this blog.

right. so we all know the routine of "emily's been having seizures but they're not actually seizures we don't think but seizure is so much easier to say than convulsions, so emily's been having seizures and nobody knows why", right? of course we do.

so my bloodwork is clean, i don't have lupus or AIDS or some scary autoimmune disease, so what's the next step?

a 24 hour EEG, of course.

an EEG is where they hook wires up all of your head and watch your brainwaves. i had one in the hospital, but it was only for an hour. this was for twenty-four.

i had specific instructions i had to follow before the procedure, which happened on tuesday, the day that i was planning on being ultra productive and writing at least one of my two papers that's due tomorrow morning. instead i slept in, was extremely nervous, and spent a lot of lunch time whimpering. instructions: i wasn't allowed to put anything weird in my hair, such as hairspray. or bows.

i wear hairspray every single day of my life. i also wear a bow every single day of my life.

it was awkward.

i drove to mount pleasant where i didn't have quite as much gas as i thought, and i found my neurologist's office, which is in the middle of nowhere but down the street from target. i was wearing a comfortable t-shirt like they instructed and my hair was woefully undone and bow-less. i brought my careworn copy of the order of the phoenix, i announced my presence, and read about harry putting his terribly aching hand in a bowl of essence of murtlap tentacles.

sounds spiffy.

every single person in the waiting room of my neurologist's office was a sad, overweight, older woman. apparently spry young college girls don't often see my neurologist.

a nice lady took me back into a special room with a special chair with a special towel on it. she told me her name, but i quickly forgot it, which made me feel bad, because she was super nice and we spent the next two hours together bonding.

have you ever had somebody draw on you with crayon? it doesn't show up unless you really dig that crayon in there.

i hope you haven't had somebody do this to you. it's really painful.

so this nice lady is taking this marker and she's rubbing it hard into my head, and it feels like she's trying to draw on me with crayon. she's parting my hair in different directions and really scrubbing it in there, and i figure if we're going to be here for a while, i might as well tell her half of my life story, so i start talking. then she's sticking glue over the spots that she's marked, including the giant red line going right down the middle of my forehead to my nose.

then she starts to tell me about this stuff called colodian. i'm not sure if it's spelled like that, but it's pronounced "cul-load-eon" so i figure i'll just spell it colodian and deal with the consequences of misspellings.

it smells horrible. she's putting it all over my scalp and in my hair. we're talking about how shitty the education system is and why i want to be a teacher and live in england, all that jazz. the colodian is cold. smelly. unhappy. my hair is sticking up in odd places. this lady is super nice and letting me talk her ear off.

then she's telling me that the colodian is this extra special glue so that the electrodes won't fall off my head when i'm having a seizure or when i'm sleeping. it takes forever to dry, so she's going to dry each electrode site with an air compressor.

it was a like a loud, scary dental instrument that puffed freezing air at my head. totally normal stuff.

the whole ordeal of sticking twenty-eight wires to my head with scary glue and an air compressor took two hours. and it wasn't done after that.

all twenty-eight wires, which were easter colored (pink, blue, purple, yellow, green) came together at the back of my neck, where they were funneled into an awkward fabric tube. that tube then ran into a heart monitor, which was held onto me by a shoulder harness. to keep the shoulder harness on, it connected to  a strap that went around my waist.

basically, i was wearing a giant seatbelt/guitar strap covered in wires.

after that, a cord leading from the heart monitor attached to the brainwave monitor, which was about the size of a video camera, like, the old ones from the nineties. THAT was put in a puffy fanny pack that sat around my hips.

all the cool kids wear fanny packs.

i was less than thrilled, but i figured hey, i've been through a lot worse than walking around campus with wires sticking out of my head and an awkward shoulder harness and a fanny pack. i was pretty chillax about the whole thing. the lady who stuck all the wires to my head and set me up in my straps told me that i was the most positive person she'd ever encountered that had a 24 hour EEG. she said that most people hid in their houses and didn't come out.

well, i have a life. and classes. and sorority sisters and stuff. i can't hide in my room. i have shit to do.

she gave me the basic rules of the EEG.

1. no showering.
2. no taking off any of the harnesses.
3. don't wear hats that are too tight.
4. no chewing gum or having hard candy.
5. no making out with the boyfriend. (honestly. this was a thing.)
6. if you have a seizure, press the button on the brain recorder.
7. fill out your event diary.

the event diary was pretty basic. i ate lunch at noon. i had a seizure at seven. i took my antidepressants at midnight. i took a nap at two.

basic stuff.

when i left the office with my head covered in wires and my shoulder harness and fanny pack secure, i distinctly heard the nice lady say to the nurse, "poor girl."

i'm not poor. i just have seizures and stuff.

of course, i have to have a picture of my harness, fanny pack, and a single wire sticking out of my hair.

holy 24 EEG, batman!

doesn't look too bad, right? that's because you can't see the gigantic electrodes on my forehead that are covered in gauze and the eighteen wires that are tucked neatly behind my ears.

it's also astonishing my large my nose ring is. i should probably downgrade.

it was weird, but i was excited to have a seizure, because it meant that i could push the happy button and then they'd actually know something about why i'm having awkward convulsions. so when i had a convulsion at midnight, i was like, PRAISE THE GOOD LORD I'M HAVING A CONVULSION and i pressed the happy button and when it was over, i fell asleep. which was awkward with the wires, the fanny pack, and the shoulder harness and heart montior.

so the next day i wake up for my eight thirty class and my hair is a hot mess. i have about twenty alfalfas chillin' on the top of my head. my bangs no longer have the capacity to hide the gigantic electrodes pasted to my forehead. and those wire bundles behind my ears have been freed and are sticking out and making a huge halo around my head. i'm not allowed to brush my hair or get it wet. i don't have a suitable hat.

i venture out into the real world wearing a shirt that i wore the day before and then slept in with my hair and my electrodes a hot mess. it was pretty glorious.

i wish i had taken a picture of the extraordinary bad hair day. i feel like it tops most of the bad hair days you've ever had. unless you woke up one day with the biggest afro in the world, and if you did that, then you're not having a bad hair day, you're just awesome.

finally, after three classes and a whole bunch of people staring at me and feeling gross, i drove like a maniac back to the office, where another lady that was nowhere near as nice started to take off all twenty-eight electrodes and all of the wires. she told me that colodian remover wasn't as smelly as colodian, but she lied.

that shit was disgusting.

it was also runny. it ran all down the sides of my face and she had to cover my eyes in a washcloth to prevent it from getting in my eyes. 

when i was electrode free, she patted my hair down with a wet towel and collected my event diary and told me i'd get my results back in january. i touched my hair, which was now spiked in strange directions. it was slimy. very slimy.

the whole drive back to alma, the terrible smell of the colodian remover filled up my car and i was extremely unhappy.

i got back to campus at five o'clock and the first thing i did was lock my door and jump in the shower. i could feel glue all over my head and my scalp and i scrubbed and scrubbed. did you know that you get can get sore behind your ears? it gets very tender there, especially when you scrape glue out from behind there with your fingernails. 

i washed my hair three times. when i dried my hair and went to go do it before dinner, i still found gigantic chunks of glue hiding all over my scalp. 

i spent most of my night class finding glue deposits with my hands and pulling it out. soon i was covered in little pieces of glue, which got all over my sweatshirt and my desk. one of my sisters asked me if it was snowing outside and i had gotten it in my hair.

nah, just pulling glue out of my hair.

i washed my hair twice this morning. i am still pulling glue out of my hair.

every girl's dream, especially during the week before finals, is to have wires glued to her head, be unable to wear cute hats to cover it up, and then be covered in sticky smelling goop that doesn't actually do its job when you finally get in the shower to get clean. i mean, this has to be everybody's dream.

right? right?

it certainly wasn't mine.

now you know a little bit of something about my adventurous life with my newfound convulsions and my week before finals.

until then, i get back to this.

so. much. rasputin.


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