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Friday, June 20, 2008

Needles and Shock

Know what's fun?

Yes? No? Maybe?

I can tell you what is not fun. And it happened to me earlier this week in a doctor's office. But first, I need to give you a bit of background story.

You see, since October, I've had this pain in both of my arms. I wouldn't describe it as a sharp pain. More like a dull ache that runs from my elbows to my forearms. The pain increases when I lift something or when I straighten my arms. You're most likely thinking the same thing I thought for awhile. Tennis elbow. And that's what my orthopedist said at first. He gave me some anti-inflammatory/pain medication and a set of instructions which explained how to do these arm exercises that would help heal my arms.

Neither worked. For several months, I used the medication, tried the exercises and put heating pads and cold packs on my arms. All of which offered small comfort.

So I go back to the orthopedist. He tells me I may have damaged nerves in my arms that may be the problem. He tells me that I need to see a certain neurologist. I tell him that's fine. I just want to get this resolved. I have enough health problems as it is with my diabetes, high blood pressure, heel spurs, chronic sinusitis and- well, let's put it this way- I need a new body. If anybody out there knows where I can pick one up, drop me a line.

Earlier this week, my wife and I went to Dr. Biddiqui's (not his real name) office for the appointment, regarding my arms. Biddiqui is a neurologist, around fifty years old and Indian, in descent. The only reason I mention he is Indian is because of his heavy accent. He's hard to understand. Granted, I'm deaf in one ear (another body part I need replacing) but his accent was so damn thick, even my wife could hardly understand him. And my wife can hear an ant fart.

After signing in, the nurse soon calls out my name and we're taken back to the patient waiting room. While we sit in the room, waiting for the doctor, the nurse comes in. She asks why I'm there. I tell her it's for an examination for my arms. The nurse glances down at her clipboard, then gives me a puzzled look. She asks, "You mean you don't know that you are here for an EMG and a NVC?" I inquired, "A what and a what?" Obviously annoyed, she hurriedly explains what the abbreviations stand for. When she tells me, it still doesn't help. But since I've been suffering with this situation for far too long, I agree to do go on with the show. The nurse tells me to take off my shirt and lay down on the table.

The fun begins when Dr. Biddiqui enters the room, mumbles something incomprehensible and slowly strokes my arms and my hands. If I were someplace else, I'd think he was trying to put some moves on me. Then I'd punch him in the mouth. Anyway, noticing I haven't understood a word he's said, he repeats his question a couple more times. With my wife's assistance, I finally understand that he is asking if I can feel it when he touches me in this area or another. So I go on to tell him, in regards to the parts of my arms and hands he is touching, what I feel.

Then he tells me to relax as he brings over the testing machinery. I can discern that electricity will be involved in this examination. When he places the electrodes on my arms and hands, my sphincter tightens. He says, "You will relax now." I close my eyes. A lightning bolt suddenly hits at one point in my arm. I give a little yelp. With a racing heart, I shout, "Wow!" He nods his head, studying his analysis monitor on the side. "It will be okay", he mutters, "Just relax." More shocks to my arm continue. Zap. Zap. Zap. Zap. At least nine or ten electrocutions are generously zapped along my arm and hand, one at a time. I arch my back and shudder with each zap, letting out an "Uhhhhnnn" noise. Of course, each time, the good doctor advises me to relax while I, at different moments, wonder if I've shit my pants a tiny bit.

After pulling the electrodes off my arm and hand, Dr. Biddiqui says, "Now we're done with the shocking." A sense of relief washes over me. The neurologist instructs me to lay on my side towards the wall. "Lie still," he orders. I waited for what was to come in gleeful anticipation. Yeah, right. A few anguish-free moments pass. Then, one at a time, he pushes needles directly into the muscles of my arm. With each poke and push, he turns to study the graph and spikes on his monitor. I let out a squeal each time he pushes down on the needles. By this time, my wife looks around the corner to get a better angle of the show. At least, that what she told me later. Personally, I think she might have been covering her eyes with her hands the whole time.

Dr. Biddiqui asked how I was doing at one point. I answered, "Good times." Then I thought I had better rephrase that. I stated, "I'm doing alright." I didn't want him to believe I was enjoying myself. He might have tried ramming a letter opener into my eye.

When both procedures were over, I almost fell off the table while getting down. Most likely due to the exhaustion and pain experienced from the hour long examination. Thankfully, my wife was there to drive my sorry ass home. Before leaving, I asked the doctor what he found out. He told me he couldn't tell me. Biddiqui said he had to send the report of his findings to my orthopedic doctor because he was the one who ordered the procedures. He continued to explain that the orthopedic doctor would go over the results with me. I would have argued with this logic but I was too tired and sore. I just wanted to go home, go to bed and not dream of being a human pin cushion.

Click http://millercenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/evaluation/neuroexam/index.shtmlf for a brief summary of the diagnostic tests (torture) I endured.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

@kelly oh this really happened, I thought you were talking figuratively the other day, when I mentioned my shocking experience... I hope the reports come out okay and it's nothing serious.

Kelly said...

Thank you. I should know something Monday when I see the orthopedic doctor.

By the way, is this Julya?

Lisa said...

Oh my word...I have such a bad case of nervous laughter right now! Laughter because your account of events was priceless - and nervous because I feel your pain, LITERALLY! Replace the Indian doctor with a angry old man who repeatedly stops, looks at you like a disapproving grandfather and says "do you want to get through this?" "Then SIT STILL and stop jerking!"
(Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was suppose to deactivate my pain sensory system before coming in today. My bad!! :/ )

Best of luck to you!

Kelly said...

Thank you, Lisa, for the kind comments. Yeah, it is a tragicomic story. I had to interject some humor into it or I'd never stop crying.

Boo Hoo and Hee Ho!

Claire said...

Its nice to read about other peoples medical horrors, well not nice that you were in pain, I am not that mean :)

My mum has been through this procedure and many more, I cant remember how many times I have wanted to hurt the doctors when they say 'I cant tell you the results, your mums specialist will be informed' even though they have the results right there, buggers.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading all the comments... LOL! no pain no gain!

@Kelly it's me! Thank you for the comment on my blog, I didnt want to go back there to comment so I'm here. As soon as i break "free" from various things, I'll be back. I definitely be back here to keep up with your awesome blog! Your pic is the best! You remind me of my dad, a more gregarious one. He too has diabetes. KELLY, NO POP NO SUGAR NO CANDY FOR YOU!!!! Oh, are you taking shots or taking oral medication? My dad had some problems with the oral pills, something with the liver...

Blah blah, anyway, I'll think of you on monday, and hope and pray for the best!

Kelly said...

That's great! I'm glad you'll be keeping up with PC. You're right... no pop, sugar, candy or yummy Dairy Queen Blizzards for me. I take oral medications. Metformin and Glipizide. Thanks for praying for me, Julya. I hope you can "free" yourself from all your troubles. I'll be praying for you, too. Hope to see you blooging again. Drop by as often as possible, my friend. You can email me if ya want, too.

Kelly said...

Claire, thanks for commenting. I feel for your mom if she went through this procedure and "many more." God, I bet she's gone through hell and back. And yeah, I don't know why they withhold information from you when its your body.

Anne said...

Dude. I had this done twice on my hands/arms because of carpal tunnel. I also have tendinitis in forearm/bicep/rotator cuff and it sounds kind of like what you're describing.

My husband had this done on his BACK and leg --GAG.

I felt so sick during that test--they made me sit up BOTH times! I almost fainted. Gross, and I am so glad I never have to have it done again!

wigwam2theorem said...

What a horrible experience... I'm glad to see that you can bring your unique brand of humor to that experience.

I hope you get good news from the orthopedic doctor.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

I didn't get the needles, but experienced the shock treatment.

Actually, I didn't. Not the way you did. By the time I went in to diagnose what turned out to be after-effects of carpal tunnel stuff, I'd lost sensation in a pretty good percentage of my hands.

The stabbing pains came months later, as nerves started regenerating in that area.

Hope your situation improves.

Kelly said...

Anne: Wow! Your husband fell 3 stories and went through the same procedure I went through? He's been to hell and back, hasn't he? Well I feel for you, as well, in regards to you going through the same thing. Hopefully, you won't have to go through with it again.

Kelly said...

Hey King Al, I try to get something humorous out of every experience. It's the only way I can keep sane.

Kelly said...

Norski: I found out today that my injuries are carpal tunnel related.
Thanks for your concern and telling me about your experience.

Claire said...

I am glad they have told you what the score is, what is next? More torture?

Anonymous said...

Kelly -STOP BEING SUCH A PUSSY!!!
It's not like you had a brain anuerysm rupture!

GUESS WHO!!!

p.s. GET WELL SOON!!!

Kelly said...

Well this must be my sweet Aunty Kay. Someone who has had an actual brain anuerysm. You're right! I need to stop whinin'. Heh heh.

Claire said...

Lol if that was your sweet aunt, hah!

Kelly said...

Yes, Claire, it really is my sweet OLD Aunty Kay. Now she's going to open a can of whoopass on me since I called her old.... which is funny since she's only 4 years older than me. Anyway, the good news is.... I can outrun her. :)

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