Tuesday, July 26, 2005

mh and her terrible, horrible, very bad day


Today I endured an emg, or an exam that tested the nerves in my legs. I've had a foot problem since February and the recent hypothesis was nerve damage, causing pain, burning, and weakening in my leg and foot. So off MH went to the neurologist.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't come across as a wimpy, whiney person. But really, I'm a wimp. I hate physical pain and I'm a hypochondriac. Mostly I dramatize my physical ailments to irritate my friends and family or to elicit a laugh. However, I must admit I've been to the clinic a time or two convinced I had mono (I accidently drank from my friend's cup when he was getting over it; I felt constantly exhausted), a disgusting scare with scabies (my dirty, nasty roommate gave me a shirt and later told me her friend had scabies when she wore it. This prompted a freak-out and run to the clinic. You simply can't talk to a hypochrondriac about small bugs that nest in the crevices of the body), and for the countless ear infections that never were. I would like to add that I never make my friends or family go with me to the doctor...partly because I don't tell them I'm going because they'll make fun of me or try to convince me not to go. It's best to share the event after the fact. So, after confessing all of this, I have to admit that I'm a freak when it comes to ailments and I abhor and fear physical pain.

Today I felt pain like I've never known. My threshold for pain is about a negative 23409 and I endured a test that applies electricity directly to your nerves. Repeatedly. Feel sorry for me people. It was awful.

The only hilarious part was the nurse. She was this older lady with kind eyes who very gently helped me on to the bench. I began my spiel in a very soft voice, "I just want to let you know that I don't handle pain very well and uh, I noticed that machine is rather um..uh..." But she wasn't having it. "Look," she said, her eyes narrowing, "I'm a 67 yr. old grandmother and I don't have time for this. We're not doing any of this 'poor me, I don't like pain' stuff (in a mimicking voice). You don't have to be here. If you can't take this test you can walk out. But when you're in here I want your cooperation and I want you to be brave." "Oh shit," I thought. "I've got the drill sergeant here to get me through this." But really, I understood the Sergeant. She had business on her mind.

And so it went. Electric shocks, me grimacing for some and squealing for others. After 45 minutes of shocking the shit out of me the doctor came in. Little did I know, the second round was to begin. This involved sticking needles in my muscles to make sure the muscles were healthy. Apparently muscles have pulses, which makes sense if you remember the heart is a muscle. Anyway, the doctor was really excited about my pulsing activity on this antique looking contraption. "Look! This is really beautiful. What healthy muscles you have! I can't believe you aren't looking!" she exclaimed. I'm sorry. I have a huge needle digging into my muscle and literally stimulating the muscle to move. It's gross and it hurts. I don't give a shit about the pulsing, although I admit it's endearing that you are so interested. Now, get this damn needle out of my leg. This nice girl is about to get nasty.

So I don't have nerve damage. Went through the pain for nothing. Some people apparently don't have a problem with this test. I am obviously not one of those people and thus I'd like to commend myself for my trooper attitude. The Sergeant was proud, as was my doctor. I think I get an A plus for a pretty miserable experience.


Blogger Megan said...

Awww, poor Madhatter. You poor thing. (Did you like that sympathy?) So, does this mean you still don't know what is wrong with your leg?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

thank you for your support. i'll survive. somehow. :)

they don't really know what's wrong with it. probably a bad sprain or slight tear made worse by me walking around on it like a fool. i'm in physical therapy and it's gaining strength.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Ouch! Electrodes! No fun! You poor thing!

I've never even heard of such a test. I would've been crying.

Hang tough!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Pigs said...

Argh! Oh! Ahh! That sounds awful! Are your muscles sore now? I had a trigger point injection in a muscle one time and it was horribly sore for a few days. But then it made all the other pain better, so it was worth it. So now what are they going to do for you since that's not it?

3:42 PM  

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