“It’s really humbling to be shown a picture of a spoon,” Ben explained to me, “and not be able to say the word.”
Today we learned that Ben’s language skills are located in the left hemisphere of his brain (where Meg is standing in the picture above). Ben took the Wada Test today, a fascinating procedure where a catheter was inserted into his femoral artery and then short-acting anesthetic was injected into each hemisphere of his brain. The doctors then gave Ben a series of tests involving language and memory to see how each side of his brain would function.
“When my left side was put to sleep, I couldn’t talk at all,” Ben said. “I could make a motor noise when I saw a picture of a car, and I was able to swing an imaginary tennis racket when I saw that picture. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the words to come out of my mouth.”
Ben’s neurologist talked to me after the test and told me that Ben’s language skills are in his left hemisphere…and that the doctors have some indication that his seizures may be originating in his right hemisphere. This is the exact outcome that we have been praying for. We won’t know for sure until Ben has several seizures in the hospital next week (the electrodes will be implanted on May 27). But if it turns out that the majority of his seizures begin on the right side of his brain, the doctors may be able to perform a temporal lobe resection: surgery where they would “remove the brain tissue that contains the seizure focus without causing damage to areas of the brain responsible for vital functions, such as movement, sensation, language, and memory.”
This will continue to be a long process for us as we wait to learn if surgery is an option to control Ben’s seizures.
Would you please pray with us: we are praying that when Ben goes into the hospital next week we will discover that all of his seizures originate from the right temporal lobe, and that we would quickly learn that Ben is a candidate for resection surgery.
So thankful for each of you!