In one of my most recent posts, ‘Should I Worry? Blood blisters & Epilepsy,’ I talked about how I found a blood blister in my mouth. How did that turn out?
I was waiting in some anxiety after hearing on the internet that this innocent blood blister could be the bearer of bad news. My neurologist responded to the message that I sent after only 3 hours, which seems somewhat miraculous. That led me to believe that either I got super lucky and sent the message at the right time or she responded immediately out of concern.
Anyway, the bad news is that I may have to have an ambulatory eeg. What is an ambulatory eeg? According to the Epilepsy Foundation:
The brain’s electrical activity fluctuates from second to second, but routine EEGs provide only a 20- to 40-minute sample of this activity. If epilepsy waves occur in your brain only once every 3 or 4 hours, or if they only happen at certain times of day, a regular EEG might not record them.
To record seizure activity, a longer EEG recording with times that you are both awake and asleep may be needed. When this test is done at home, it’s called an ambulatory EEG.
What is the test like? According to the Epilepsy Foundation:
An ambulatory EEG test makes a recording of your brain’s activity over a number of hours or days.
- EEG wires are placed on your scalp, like in a routine EEG, then attached to a special recorder that is slightly larger than a portable cassette player.
- You can wear the recorder on your waist, with the wires running either under your shirt or outside of it.
- The electrodes on your head are covered with a cap or gauze dressing.
- During the test, you can go about your normal routine for up to 24- 72 hours.
- During the test, keep a diary of what you do during the day and if you’ve had any seizures or other symptoms. This will help the doctor identify the cause of activity on the recording. For instance, the electrodes may make your head itchy, and if you scratch it, that may appear as abnormal activity on the EEG.
- Because the electrodes must stay on your head longer than for a regular EEG, the technologist will probably use a special glue called “collodion” to keep them in place. After the test, acetone (like nail polish removal) or a similar solution is used to remove the glue at the end of the test.
I have had one done before. The getup described above is extremely unattractive. Especially if I need to wear it on public transportation. I think I was allergic to the glue because it made my head itch badly. When they took off the electrodes, I could see red circles on my head. 😦 I don’t really want to go through this again, but if it helps nail down the cause of the blood blisters than it would be worth it.