M was back in the ER. The events mirrored what had happened two days ago: M was pale. Eyes open, but vacant. Awake, but unresponsive. A deep sleep followed.
We were in a different ER this time. The hospital staff agreed with the school nurse and felt M had been having seizures. For several hours, they attempted to get in touch with M's neurologist. The pages and phone calls went unanswered. We were discharged with a card with the name of a new neurologist.
We had our follow up appointment with Dr. Brain and immediately liked him. He carefully reviewed notes. He spoke directly to me, and to M. He took his time. He asked and answered questions. He was considerate. He was kind.
His first step was to order a four hour eeg. For the test, we were instructed to deprive M of sleep and keep him awake for as much of the night as possible. He was to come to the hospital the next day where leads would be attached to his head and brain wave measured for a period of four hours. They would study M's brain waves and hopefully catch a seizure as it was happening. M's brainwaves were measured while he was awake, as he slept and as a strobe light was flashed in his eyes for several minutes.
The results of the test only showed "background slowing." It was a common finding in people with developmental delays. Diagnostically it meant little.
At that moment, we had no idea what had caused M's seizures.
It didn't take long to find out.
Before long, we were back in the hospital for an entirely different reason.
This new diagnosis was likely the explanation for the seizures.
The Mothership was calling again.