Twelve days before Stony Mountain on Ice.
My first figure skating competition in 25 years.
And here I am. Sitting in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Watching my brainwaves on the screen in front of me. With picture-in-picture, 24/7 video surveillance. Gazing at pigeons out my window. What is Winnipeg feeding them? They’re frickin’ huge!
Cemented to my head and face are 37 EEG nodules. They’re irritating. It’s like a mosquito is gnawing on my scalp. My forehead is Sahara dry. When I smile, the nodule on my right cheek tugs. Those are my only complaints on day one. I’m sure on day five, I’ll be trying to rip the nodules off my head and screaming for lotion.
But right now, I’m good.
I have a cool black bag to carry my EEG wires – which are wrapped together with pink tape. In my room, I’m plugged into a wall – like a phone. The cord is long enough to reach the washroom. On my way, it wraps and slithers itself around chairs and my bed. And you can’t fix it by tugging at it – oh, no. You must pick up the wire (ew) from the floor (ew … ew) and ensure it’s neatly by your bedside so you don’t trip your roommate. A safety precaution, I get it. But I’m kind of running out of antibacterial wipes.
And I can unplug and leave the room, but the battery only has half-an-hour of power. With my luck, that’s when I’ll have an “event.”
That’s what seizures are called in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. An event.
“Attention everyone, please focus your attention to the brunette by the window. She’s having an event! Drop the balloons! Throw the confetti! And uncork that champagne!”
But it’s what the doctor’s want. And we wait for the event train. Will it arrive tomorrow? In 15 minutes? Oh, the excitement. Place bets with the doctors. Have an event race with your roommate. Or will it arrive while I write my book or listen to music? Watching Capote – or my brainwaves?
Because from what I hear, there isn’t a timeline on events.
All I know for sure is – I want these nodules off my head because they’re driving me mad.
And I have a competition to prepare for.
One thought on “I’d Rather Be Skating – But Here We Are”
Reblogged this on 29 then 40 and commented:
This is a post from five years ago today. It’s hard to believe that the adult unit is still in the orthopedic ward, and today there’s over a three-year wait. It’s hardly a state of the art facility, as I was expecting. The epileptologists, nurses, doctors, health care aids, kitchen staff (best carrot soup ever), janitorial staff, and everyone else in the EMU does the best with the situation. But they deserve better.
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