Thursday, May 21, 2009


Okay, so this morning I had two tests done at the neurologist's office to try and find out what is happening with my hands. For those of you who don't know, they've been swollen since late March, and painful since April 8th. The pain started in just one finger, and within days, had spread to all fingers on that hand. Within 10 days, it had started in the other hand. Now, it's rather annoying, any way you look at it.

Haven't worn my wedding ring in 2 months; haven't worn my other rings, which are a little bigger (my "just for fun" rings) in weeks & weeks.

Initial bloodwork showed all normal levels (we were looking for low thyroid as a possibility - wouldn't that have been nice? having a GOOD REASON for gaining weight AND having puffy fingers that hurt?! but NO, it wasn't to be).

So my migraine specialist sent me to his associate to do nerve & muscle testing on my hands and arms (since the nerves that serve your hands, start in your arms - imagine that!). After you read this, you will understand WHY I am so darn happy that those nerves don't go any further UP the body.

HOLY CRAPPY COW, the shock part -- to test the nerves -- was a wee bit shocking (pun intended) and a little uncomfortable. But I got through that, and all was normal.

Then the doc comes in - we chat, he says "needles are involved", and offers me a lie-down while he does his testing. HECK YEAH, I'm lying down for this. (me, I hate needles)

I ask "will it be kind of like acupuncture needles?" (naive me). He says, after a quite pregnant pause, "well, sooooooooort of. not exactly, though." I thanked him for his honesty and closed my eyes.

First needle -- upper left arm -- you know, one has more fatty tissue up there, and it seemed to absorb the needle prick a lot. Then the little shock wave runs into the needle and I cringed, then he had me attempt something easy, like 'push against my hand'. I hear the machine buzzing and recording data.

Second needle -- further down my upper left arm -- OUCH -- and yes, I said it out loud. Then apologized. I usually don't verbalize like that when it comes to pain.

Third needle -- close to the inside of my elbow -- HOLY CRAP -- and YES, I said that out loud, too. Loud. Then apologized.

Fourth needle -- down in the tender skin near my wrist -- by now, I'm gritting my teeth so no words will come out. I made it without saying anything.

Fifth needle -- right in the tender skin on my hand, somewhere. By this time, I was A LITTLE FREAKED that he might stick a needle in my eye or something -- :-) -- and again, I said OUCH out loud. And gave a big sigh.

"Good", he says. "Now move the pillows to the other end of the table and we'll do the other side."

Yes, they have to check both sides. I wonder if only one had was in trouble, if they would have had to check the other one? Doesn't matter, 'cause both hands are messed up these days.

Now I'm thinking, 'okay, I know what to expect - I can do this. I can let him do this to me (again).'

RIIIIIGGGGGGHHHHTTT. That stinking first needle in my upper arm - hurt more than the first one on the other arm. But not SO bad.

It was downhill from there.

There were more "OUCH"es voiced, and a really loud "HOLY CRAP" (again). And then I apologized, and told the nice Doctor that I hope their other patients didn't think I was in a torture chamber or anything. He just laughed and said "oh, we've had worse.".

That made me feel SO MUCH BETTER. (yeah, sure; whatever you say, Doc).

And then -- all done. The results: ALL NORMAL. Hmmm. Cool beans; yet, frustrating. Not having an answer (yet). You know?

We chatted about our mutual problem with migraines -- he told me I should read the book MIGRAINE by Oliver Sacks (Sachs?) - they guy who wrote AWAKENINGS (which Robin Williams starred in, playing Dr. Sacks/Sachs). I plan to get that book at the library, MIGRAINE. It sounds good. My very nice doctor studied under Dr. Sacks, a neurologist of some renown on the East Coast.

Yup, I'll find that book.

Just as soon as my bee-sting-feeling arms recover from this morning's adventure.

That, and after I get done at the LAB this afternoon, where they'll take MORE BLOOD to look for charming things like "all things rheumatological" ... you know, like arthritis. And rheumatoid arthritis. And lupus.

Oh, yeah, and after I have my acrylic nails REMOVED this afternoon. Yup, they have to go - we have to rule out ANY and ALL possibilities for this malady. But when one's hands are so fat you can't wear your rings - who the freak cares if you have pretty nails? I mean, without rings, who's going to gaze at my hands anyway? Right? Right.

:-) but I'm still smiling. And I'm still here.

-- Davielle


corin said...

I AM sure he's heard some REAL swearing. Sounds like you did great under the circumstances. Good luck getting to the bottom of things...hopefully with less needle sticks!

squarepegperson said...

oh, Davi - that sounds sooo awful! If I'd been a fly on the wall (and that's gross to think about..WHY would the dr. have flies in his office??)..i'd have said "DAvielle, scream LOUD and use naughty words!!"..jeeezzzzz..that sounded like it was soooo hard! hope they get some info for you soon - and..for the record..i bet people will look at your hands even without the rings..and even if they're puffy right now..someone who has acrylic nails done and wears rings would probably have very beautiful, expressive hands..(i'm always drawn -somewhat enviously - sad to say - to hands like that - mine look like i chewed my nails til I was 17 - because i did..and like i grew up doing farmwork..which i didnt'