Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Amen Clinic - Day 2

On day two we came into the clinic to take pictures of Shannon's brain "at rest." Required for this to be successful was an other IV contrast and calm. Hmm? Yes, Shannon was required to sit in a calm, quiet room with sunlight as the major light source and a sound machine providing cricket ambiance. That's it. Do not talk, lay down, walk, or anything. Just sit on the couch quiet and rest. Okay, sure. Once the clinician left, within 5 seconds Shannon grabbed several stress balls and began juggling them. Then she tried to bounce them. Then she started bouncing her own leg so hard and fast I thought she was going to drill her leg straight through the floor. This was going to be very tough and uncomfortable for Shannon. In fact, the whole exercise proved to be painful. She wanted - almost needed - to jump up, open the office door and engage with another person. I was there with her through this but we were not supposed to talk or engage - just rest.

After a good 20 minutes or so, the clinician came back and was still in "quiet" mode. No talking just quietly follow her to begin taking the brain SPECTs. Shannon's body was twitching even more now because of all the pent up energy. I knew we were in for a difficult SPECT session. After several retries, we final got what we needed. We were then released (I think the clinician was happy to see us go) until tomorrow.

Obviously, laying still on a SPECT table that is very thin is difficult for folks with movement issues. However, the Amen Clinic offers sedation options out of the California location. We chose to get through this SPECT the best we could without sedation because that's another beast on its own for Shannon's issues. But I digress ...

We ended day 2 peacefully frustrated (oxymoron?) and on our way back to the local shopping areas. I treated Shannon to a new book each day she successfully completed the task presented. She purchased a new book and then we went home. I began to mental prepare for the final consult the next day. I don't think I slept very much this night. I was very apprehensive about the results.

For more on Dr. Amen and his clinics visit

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