Last week Allie had an MRI and an EEG done. That was a pretty big deal. We've been trying to have these done for over six months. But Allie was always sick every time her appointment rolled around. One time we made the hour drive down to Hollywood only to be turned away by the MRI tech because she had reservations about the medicine Allie was given that morning. The nurse was okay with it, the doctor thought the tech was a little paranoid, but for some reason the tech got her way and we were sent home. Allie's appointment was postponed for six weeks.
Six more weeks went by but we had to cancel because Allie was sick again. We're told that happens often in your child's first year of school. Especially in a snotty, unsanitary environment and your child always has her hands in her mouth. Now she has a chronic ear infection and more appointments scheduled. Now she's too busy with doctors' visits with four different specialists to go to school. Finally she's healthy long enough to get the work done the neurologist orders so he can tell us how bad or good her brain damage is.
The last time she had an MRI and EEG was three years ago when she was in a coma. We were told then that our baby had moderate to severe brain damage.
Today we were told that the EEG showed that areas of her brain were emitting weak electrical signals.
It's weird to me that electricity flows through your brain and my brain.
But in Allie's brain the signals are weak because there are areas where her brain is damaged and the live healthy part of her brain where electricity is flowing is under a layer of damaged area that used to be healthy brain matter. That area of the brain emits weaker signals for the EEG. That is consistent with the picture the MRI, a kind of a full body x-ray, paints.
Her brain development, the doctor tells us, has plateaued. The vocabulary Allie has at almost four years old might not grow beyond the few words she currently employs.
Allie's favorite word is "good". She really knows how to use that word. She tells us when her food is "good" with every bite. She says "good" when she's happy or in a good mood which is often even when she's sick. When Mickey Mouse Club House or Handy Manny or the Imagination Movers comes on she says "good" indicating that this is children's programming she enjoys.
Allie says "hi" when she's happy to see me. She likes "hi" so much that she gives that word two syllables. "Hah-hi".
She also says "Oliver" which is our dog's name. He's not really a dog, though, because he's part Chihuahua. "Oliver" sounds like a complex word for someone with such a small vocabulary, I know. Allie being the creative thinker and problem solver that she is says this word with her fingers in her mouth. Well for part of the word. The first two syllables she has fingers in her mouth. "Ol-la". The last syllable she slides her fingers out of her mouth while pulling down on her lip: "vah".
The doctor says she has plateaued and that she should learn alternative ways of communication but I think Allie is already a step or two ahead of him.