Yeah. It turns out that the tape in her hair wasn't what actually secured the sensors in place. No, that would be the glue.
After washing her hair for about an hour and using everything from clarifying shampoo to dishwashing soap, Schuyler still has a sticky, persistent mess in her hair, stuff that reminds me in its consistency of the glue we used to use to put together model airplanes when I was a kid. It's not coming out easily. A call to the unfriendly tech who put this crap in her hair in the first place was no help. ("Did you try running a comb through it?" Really? Really?) Helpful friends on Facebook and Twitter, many of whom have been through this themselves, have suggested conditioner, oil-based washes, fingernail polish remover, Goo Gone, peanut butter, rubbing alcohol, peppermint oil, vegetable oil, mineral oil, baby oil, tea tree oil and a concoction involving aspirin, shampoo and Seabreeze. All of which we'll no doubt end up trying before this is over.
I'm annoyed. I am, in fact, profoundly annoyed, because I cannot imagine that in the year 2009, the very best way to secure EEG leads to a child's head is with glue. (For that matter, is there really no other way to measure brain activity that this? Isn't this technology from the 1970s? Is my kid's brain activity being monitored by machinery that predates the 8 track player?) We're nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, popularly known as The Future. Really? Fucking glue?
The answer, I suspect, is of course they could develop something better, something with a bond that could be easily broken with a specific chemical compound design especially for the purpose. I wouldn't be one bit surprised to find that just such product already exists.
But why bother? Those of us who have been immersed in medical procedures for years learned long ago that while there are a lot of very caring doctors out there, the medical industry as a whole still struggles with the concept of the patient as a human being. This is especially true of pediatrics, where psychological and social development is particularly vulnerable.
Schuyler had her ambulatory EEG performed by pediatric neurologists, after all. You might think that this meant they were especially sensitive to the issues involved with children, including the social and psychological effects of the treatment and studies being undertaken. But when no one sees a problem with putting glue, and lots of it, in the pretty hair of a nine year-old girl and then sending her back into an ugly world that's already not very nice to a kid who is different, that's because no one's considering the psychological and social issues that might come as a result. Not even "pediatric" neurologists.
It's not a huge issue, not in the big scheme of things. We'll get all this crap out of her hair somehow, and if we don't, it'll work its way out, or it'll grow out. The larger issue for me is that once again, we are witness to yet another example of how Schuyler and her fellow broken children are marginalized by the medical industry.
It's one of the reasons I do what I do, and write what I write. Because Schuyler is more than a transportation unit for a scientifically interesting brain, and she's more than a case study to which an insurance payment claim may be attached. She's wondrous little girl, and putting glue in her hair because it's the easiest way to accomplish your medical task diminishes you and your industry, not her.
So yeah. I'm pissed. She's not too pleased, either.
Update: We went the all-natural route, working in coconut oil and peanut butter and letting it sit for a couple of hours. She's in the bathtub now, and it seems to have mostly worked. Her head smells weird but appears to be glue-free. So now we know.