Stress and the Abnormal EEG


It has been a stressful week.

The picture above wasn't stressful at all -  it is from a month ago, when we were just "making sure."  It has been a busy month.  Nevin has had a couple fainting episodes, so our doctor ordered a whole battery of tests:  ECG's, bloodwork and an EEG.  We have a fantastic doctor - he is kind, thorough, and cautious.  The results started coming back: normal, normal, healthy.  Last Tuesday, I got a call from our family doctor: Nevin's EEG results were back, and they were abnormal.  Sure, I am science literate, but when it comes to this sort of thing, I haven't a clue.  That is when I got stressed.  I had no idea what "abnormal" could mean, and unfortunately, since its not his area of expertise, neither did our family doctor.  We would have to wait until Friday, and our appointment with the pediatrician from the city for more answers.  (Another huge applause for our family doctor: he referred us to a pediatrician long before the tests were in, to make sure nothing was missed).

So stressed.

Fortunately, on Friday we were calmed.  The pediatrician told us that yes, Nevin does have some abnormal patterns, but it is nothing to be concerned about.  It likely means that when he "fainted", it was actually seizures, but his risk of seizure is only slightly higher than an average person, and only when he has several stressors that would contribute.  He is a perfectly normal abnormal boy (which is probably how I would have described his mind long before any professional looked at the circuitry).  The best part was that the doctor took the time to walk us down every path possible, and was completely unambiguous.  He thought it was best to refer us to a neurologist and get an MRI to confirm what he believes to be true, but he was completely forthcoming about why, and explained to us why it wasn't likely epilepsy or a lesion.  When he took the time to describe the different scenarios, it made perfect sense and put our minds at ease.

So why share?  Have you Googled anything health-related recently?  I tried to stick to brushing up on my brain anatomy and seizure vocabulary in preparation for the appointment, but in the periphery there were a lot of unsettling stories.  Sometimes its nice to have a health-related story that says, "nope, there's nothing to worry about - abnormal can be normal and everything will be fine."

Folks, my boy had an abnormal test, and everything is fine.


  1. Well, that does put the mind at ease... Dr. Google can be a very overwhelming doctor, but it seems like yours is incredible. Here's hoping for a healthy summer!

  2. Thanks for the support Crystal! Missing your blog...


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