Sunday, October 23, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board...

Okay, so it's not Lyme's disease, but I learned a new skill, I could inject antibiotics into a central line... and who knows when that may come in handy?

We met with the neurologist again, and he explained that he had some ideas about what was going on, but he would need to perform one more test to confirm his suspicions. He could perform the test himself, in his office.

So on December 9, 2010 we returned to his office for an EMG, short for Electromyogram. After careful consideration, I can report without hesitation, that an EMG is even more painful than a Spinal Tap, save the week long aftermath. This uncomfortable procedure involves placing electrodes in several strategic locations on your body: arms, legs, feet, and spine, while the doctor performs tests to evaluate the health of your nerves and muscles.

He begins with something called a Nerve Conduction Study, in which he measures nerve function by stimulating them with small electric shocks, not too bad, similar to the Evoked Potentials testing, only more extensive, but it doesn't end there...

In part two, he inserts a needle equipped with a microscopic electrode into your muscles, and as if that's not painful enough, he moves it around while you flex the muscle being tested. Did I say "OUCH"? When he stuck the needle in my back, my body jumped so high it left the table! For Pete's Sake...what did I do to deserve this kind of torture? Okay, I did accidentally kill my brother's gerbil when I was eleven, but he bit me; and it was not intentional; it was self defense!

When it was over and the doctor left the room, I could see by the look on my husband's face that it was just as painful to watch, as it was to actually be the pin cushion. I dressed and we waited for the doctor to return with his diagnosis.

It was surreal, like a scene from one of those medical TV shows you've watched. I could see his lips moving but the words hung in the air as if I could just refuse to accept them into my reality. ALS meant nothing to me...Lou Gehrig's disease? He was a baseball player, he died, but that was a long time ago... Two to five years... Seriously? I looked over at my husband and saw his eyes filled with tears but I held out, surely this can't be right...

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