I Could Have Been a Neurologist

I’m not suggesting I want to change anything about my life. But if I knew my life was going to be what it is, I might have followed my natural interest in science and headed to med school to become a neurologist.

We had to see Catherine’s neurologist this week because she’s started having what we call “episodes.” That’s probably a euphemism for seizures, and we may just be in denial about it. I’m ok with that.

We showed our neurologist 4 videos of Catherine shaking. In some, she stops when you touch her. In one it’s rhythmic. In 2, it’s just hard to tell what’s going on because the nurse didn’t turn on the light. (OK, I’m still thankful we have nurses). But the neurologist didn’t really know. And we ended up determining she needs a sleep study. I’m skeptical, but we’ll try it. Here’s the interesting part (at least to me)…

When researching Catherine’s most recent EEG (the test they do where they hook little electrodes to your scalp that read your brain waves), she had more normal activity on the left side of her brain. I said, “Well that makes sense because she’s more active on the right side of her body, Delrey identified her right foot works the best for pushing switches and learning communication. But – her brain bleed was far worse on the left side! So much so that her VP shunt is placed on her right side because that was the better side according to her MRIs.

Maybe I’m the only one this fascinates, but it is completely contradictory. She should have better function of her body on the opposite side of the best side of her brain, meaning the left of her body. And she should have better brain waves on the less damaged side – wouldn’t you think? But she has better function via EEG waves in the worse side of her brain. And she controls her body best on the right. Wow!

A NICU doc told me they really only started learning about the brain in the 50’s. The territory is so new. I think it’s pretty amazing, and I can’t wait to see what we learn about the brain over Catherine’s lifetime. Maybe some of it will actually be helpful – not just interesting.

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