Monday, July 30, 2012

Neurotic over Neurology

Not looking forward to an EMG, but less thrilled that a consultation is required first. The test is by request of my hand specialist. 

This year I'm having probs with my right hand, the drawing & typing hand.  In fact I'm breaking frequently while typing this during my commute to shake away the numbness.  This morning when I awoke I couldn't hold an iPod in my hand.

I just looked up & someone across from me is fingering thru their newspaper with - no lie - curved orange 4" nails.  Anyway I digress...

Throughout the years on occasion - like when playing Bejeweled for too long - my hand would start to tingle.  I'd shake it off like I'm doing for this session and it would wake back up.  Except a couple of months ago it happened from more things and whenever I went to bed.  Well that was no good! A pricey brace thing from Walgreens has comfortably kept my wrist in a good position and now I seldom get this anymore when I sleep. 

An appointment with a neurologist was pushed back over working on the RFL campsite w/discomfort now kept to a minimum thanks to the brace thingie.

Well well... Ever since relay weekend I have more trouble.  Seems holding down keys for long periods aggravated the area, which already had a mild tendonitis developing and chronic arthritis.  Now that's a strong tendonitis in addition to arthritis and alleged carpal tunnel.

I'm due for that neurology consultation today. Wish it were the damn test. 

I understand why they have to do it. There's another story to go with this story:

~ ~ ~ ~

About 11 years ago I developed shooting pain through my two outer fingers on the right hand. I was sent to a neurologist for the EMG and nobody would tell me what the test was like. "I can't explain it," they'd say.  Well the neurologist who looked at me first pressed down on my forearm. "OW!" He knew exactly why I had the shooting pain in my fingers... but we took the EMG anyway. 

Basically an EMG tests the bioelectrical impulses in your arm by jabbing you with a needle while you hold onto an metal bar and listen to the sound. They also clip something on your finger and run current to see if your fingers twitch. Kinda like putting your hands into a socket on a mild level, and making your fingers twitch like frogs legs in biology class.  A bit disconcerting.

In the end of course the source of the tendonitis was my changing to a trackball from a mouse, so switching back solved everything.

I had a friend at the same time with shooting pains in her arm, and she too had an EMG. But the cause took an MRI to locate: a tumor in the neck. It was benign but that's relative.  Long, terrible operations and the pain became tingles, but being in ICU for 2 weeks required her to re-learn to walk. She wasn't very keen on the work required, because a bigger problem had arisen from the procedures... breathing. Pneumonia.. and what I eventually learned was a damaged diaphragm (did she cough while lying prone at any time?).  Not half a year later she was gone.

~ ~ ~ ~

They want to rule out a tumor or similar.

It haunts me that this problem I have could be anything other than local (I doubt that it could really). Also I've been spoiled by being awake for my other hand procedures. I don't do well with anesthesia.  I had ether once as a teen when having teeth pulled and heard everything in a strange distorted way which gave me nightmares for years. My autoimmune problems bring into question whether I'd get a reaction to the heavy stuff and never wake up. Or my chronic respiratory annoyances bring on pneumonia for lying unconscious for too long etc... I don't like any of this. It's no longer a question of just getting treated when there's something needing a fix - something else can happen now.

So that's where I am: an artist slowly losing the use of my right hand and unable to hold a bottle of juice in the morning, open a can of soda at work without difficulty, or use nail clippers whenever.

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