Computer is back
On the medical front, I took Emma to the neurologist on Monday, and he diagnosed her as having general epilepsy. Well, we sort of already figured that was the case, so it wasn't really a shock. He says this is the variety that is the easiest to treat, and is not the result of brain damage. She'll be starting medication next week, after she goes for a 4-hour EEG. The previous one did confirm that flashing lights can cause her unusual brain activity, but not much else. This time, she's supposed to be a bit sleep-deprived, so they can get a better look at what's going on. She has two different kinds of attacks, and the worst sort comes at night, with a lot of jerking and loss of muscle control. Apparently, fatigue can bring that on, which may be why we noticed that they seemed to be more frequent on weekends: she would stay up later, since she didn't have to get up for school the next day.
The other kind can come from flashing lights or staring too long at a computer image, and the symptoms are more of a sort of "zoning out" or trance, sometimes with strange mental image flashes that she afterwards can't recall. I thought that computer use might be causing the nighttime attacks, but the doctor said no; if it's related to computer use or flashing lights, it happens right on the spot, not hours later when she's sleeping. So it looks like there are two separate triggers for the epilepsy.
In another medical development, when Emma was in Victoria this summer, my Auntie May fell out of a cherry tree and severely injured her back! She was climbing the tree to pick the cherries, but at 73, that sort of injury can take a long time to recover from. In a perfect picture of the state of our medical care, she went to Emergency in an ambulance, they X-rayed her, saw no broken bones, and sent her home. The next day she couldn't move and was vomiting with the pain. She went back and this time was admitted, and they found she had compression fractures in her spine! She spent 10 days in hospital, but is at home now on Oxycontin. Physiotherapy will be next, but I think she needs to heal a few more weeks before they can start that.
Both Thomas and James had oral surgery this past month, Thomas to take out his wisdom teeth, and James just because that's the only way you can do fillings on him. All in all, it's been a rather unpleasant summer. I hope I don't have another one like it soon.