|Shaken, not cured.|
|Flailing, flailing, over the bounding main!|
"You're having seizures, but the EEG didn't show anything so it's not epilepsy. Goodbye!"
"Wait, wait! How can that be?"
"Well, you don't have a brain tumor and you don't show unusual EEG activity, so you're just having seizures. Pseudo-seizures, actually. Goodbye!!"
Pseudo-seizures, we've since learned, is an archaic and (theoretically) disused diagnostic term owing to the fact that A) it's inaccurate (it suggests the seizures aren't real - but they are), and B) that it's insulting to the patient...essentially blaming them for having a condition which neurologists don't understand and, therefore, can't make any money out of trying to cure.
The more proper term for what we've got is PNES (which would be a lot funnier if it were pronounced "penis" and we could declare ourself to be the 2018 PNES poster boy). Boringly, it actually stands for Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures.
And "Psychogenic" gives you a big hint about how medical science views this unusual and violent phenomenon and its close (albeit still hypothetical) relationship to having an overabundance of night-flying leather-winged mammals in your belfry.
"You might get relief by seeking extensive psychotherapy," the neurologist hinted while hiding all the sharp objects in the exam room.
"Try relaxing more," she said while backing towards the door. "Listen to music. Learn to paint. Take up gardening!"
You know, pretty much the same advice they gave Lou Gehrig before things went south on him.
Before we could ask another question, our neurologist had fled the room with enough speed you'd think we'd actually flashed our PNES at her.
Fortunately, the intensity of our nightly seizure activity tends to run in cycles, and we're currently enjoying a nice run of some pretty calm nights (anything less than 10 seizures is considered a wobbly walk in the park). Our days are somewhat less calm, because that's when we discover atrocities like the $8,500 bill for questionable services leading to a non-diagnosis.
Theoretically, Medicare will rip that money from the hands of my fellow taxpayers (thanks, guys and gals!) but it's another example of how getting the government involved causes prices to skyrocket WAY beyond what market forces would have charged for all this. Seriously, we could BUY the damn miniature EEG machine and wear it 24/7 for the rest of our life for less than what they're charging for a 2-day rental!
And don't tell us that we wouldn't be able to read the results. Ha! Following our brain scan when all this started, we couldn't get a straight answer out of anybody about what the results showed, so we went to Fiverr.com and hired a radiologist in Chile to review our scans (actual price, $35 including a $10 "rush fee.") He assured us that we had no brain tumors, lesions, or aneurysms, and just a little bit of brain atrophy "which is about normal for someone of your age." Especially if they lived through 8 freaking years of Obama.
Anyway, the good news is that this may all just go away on its own (there's genuinely no need for anyone to worry) and it's unlikely to do any damage other than disrupting some sleep. To that end, we just placed an Amazon order for a 25-pound weighted blanket which is said to not only help keep people calm, but also helps keep arms and legs from escaping their confines at night, sneaking out the window, and joining violent street gangs.
Additionally, we will be redoubling our stress-fighting activities, increasing both our daily meditation sessions ("Think of a calm and relaxing place. A long and sandy beach. You hear only the rush of waves, the cry of a seagull, and the occasional "melp! melp!" from the progressives buried several feet under the warm, nurturing sands..."). We'll also be doubling our intake of Clan MacGregor scotch, which could easily cost us an additional $7.50 a week.
Unhappily, the doctor's order to reduce stress also means that we must sadly withdraw our name from further review for President Trump's Supreme Court nomination. But it was an honor and delusion just to be considered.
It's time for PNES sufferers to come out of the closets!
BONUS: SUPPORT THE CAUSE & OFFEND EVERYONE!
Because we're certifiably not right in the head, we just made this handsome t-shirt available on our Amazon store. Sure to fill your days with exciting and passionately confused comments from complete strangers!