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December 8th, 2009 - Hook Me Up

Today I went down to school with my wife Sharon to get wired up for an EEG - to help her practice her electrode placement and measurements.
She's already a partially-certified EEG tech, and now she's moving on to the letters beyond EEG, I think she gets four letters when she passes the next test.
This was to be a 'bedridden' hookup, where I played the comatose patient, that is, I was to be "obtunded", in EEG lingo. Hey, I'm a shoe-in for this part, I thought.
So I lounged on the bed while Shar glued 23 electrodes to my head and plugged me into a jackbox. We didn't really do a EEG recording this time, (sort of like karaoke, but with brainwaves) although I've had a couple on previous sessions. It was determined then that I have fairly 'low-alpha' (i.e. 'dog brain') so I didn't have to relive that again. Not that it isn't interesting to see what your brain is doing when people are flashing strobe lights into your eyes at close range and telling you to blink while you are loosing brain cells at an alarming rate due to the heavy acetone layer wafting through the room. It is. What was I talking about again?
Oh yeah. Here's my brain after they took it out. They like to keep it on the teacher's desk as a paperweight.
Anyway, I did my best to be unconscious, which is a struggle for me, due to the continual want to make wise-ass comments.

Here Sharon and her instructor Sandra are putting me in curlers as they inject electrolyte gel into little holes in the electrodes. The gel doesn't actually have anything to do with keeping the electrodes on your head, it's the response you make as they are ripping them off that they are after.
You can see it as large spikes on the chart recorder if everything is going okay inside of your head, and if you haven't sucked down too much acetone.

Here, Sharon is flicking a bug off my head.

Then comes the fun part, lots of acetone to loosen the glue and make your hair prematurely gray.
It's really not so bad, but not so enjoyable that I would want to have it done every day either, don't get me wrong.

That is why Sharon has a little friend that lives in the Nerve Conduction Lab...

Hilda here.

Say Hi! Hilda.

Nice. Hilda really doesn't say much, but she sure has an expressive countenance.
Kind of that "old lady on a rampage" look.

She would be whacking someone with a purse if she could reach one.

No! I don't want a Nerve Conduction Study, lady...!!!
Let go of my arm, you're going to pull it off! Nurse! Nurrrrrrrse!!!
Where's my purse!
Talk about a laser beam stare.
I suppose I would look like that if I had to have Nerve Conduction done on me every day too.

She is definitely a trooper, and my personal role model.
Admittedly, it is a little hard to concentrate when you're in the Nerve Conduction lab and Hilda is peering over your shoulder.
She's got something to say about everything, but can't quite get it out.
And a leetle too much whites of the eyes showing to let your blood-pressure go down too far.
It appears that someone put something in Hilda's nose that left a bit of a booger and no one has told her yet. I wanted to help her out but got chastised for taking too many photos in the Nerve Conduction Lab as it was. Maybe one of the other manikins will get it.
AND, to cap the day off, a bit of coincidence, or irony, if you will...

You may remember me blathering on the other day about my old place on Laurel Avenue downtown and it's killer Minneapolis skyline view.
Well, as we passed the window leading into the lab this morning, what do I see but my old apartment, from above and across the street, from inside the school. It was weird seeing it from that perspective, having only seen it only from below when none of the buildings we were now in even existed.
I couldn't help but wonder who lived there now and what the old place looked like.
I was tempted to go over and see if I could slip through the front door and just climb right up to the fourth floor, knock on the door, and say "Hi, I used to live here, and..."
Maybe some day.

Here's the view they have now. Looks as gloomy as some December days when I lived there, in the shadow of Gotham. Not like it was like that all the time, just some December days.
I wonder if they can even see over the new condo across the street. I would have to bring some old pictures with me. Hmmm.

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