I got my first birthday present a day early. I had been dreading that EMG test for the whole month of June. All I knew was, it involved needles. I’d rather birth my three children all over again than endure a needle.
About an hour before I was supposed to leave for my test, I made the brilliant move of consulting my good friend Google about what to expect with the EMG. This is what I read:
A needle is inserted through the skin into the muscle. The electrical activity is detected by this needle (which serves as an electrode). The activity is displayed visually on an oscilloscope and may also be displayed audibly through a microphone.
Since skeletal muscles are often large, several needle electrodes may need to be placed at various locations to obtain an informative EMG.
I am serious, I immediately started sweating and hyperventilating. To make matters worse, I read that the test should take 30-45 minutes. THIRTY to FORTY-FIVE minutes of sticking needles into my arms!????? I knew I’d never survive.
I immediately called my husband and, drama queen that I am, wailed into the phone that I was having an anxiety attack and I just couldn’t do this. He quietly and calmly reassured me that these things are never as bad as they sound and that I should just go and get it over with.
After we went back and forth for about 15 minutes (keep in mind, he’s at work, trying to keep a huge computer network up and running, and his hysterical wife is on the other end of the line going “NEEDLES! CAN’T DO IT! THREE KIDS! NEED MED’CINE! NEED SEDATIVES. NOW!”), he finally convinced me to just go and get it over with.
I was met with several roadblocks, each of which would have made the normal me give up and stay home. But for some reason, I was determined to see this through. First I realized that I didn’t have the third row seat in the minivan, which I needed in order to chauffeur my kids’ friends home from their play date at my house. It occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to give up on the EMG for the day, but I called their dad, and fortunately he was able to come get them at moment’s notice, giving me time to still get to my appointment.
Then I got in the car and drove to the doctor’s office, but upon arrival, discovered the main entrance to be locked. Again, I was tempted to say that I must have the wrong day and go home, but I got out my trusty cell phone and called upstairs, where they informed me that they thought I was a no-show because my referral hadn’t come through.
I almost offered to reschedule, but I didn’t, and they finally came down to let me in, which is when I discovered that I was at the wrong entrance. DUH. If directions can possibly be misinterpreted, I’ll be the one to do it.
After we entered the office, the receptionist called and got my referral and even got my kids a bunch of toys to play with while they waited. She informed me AGAIN that she thought I was a no-show, and they had called the next appointment and told him to come in early. Naturally he arrived five minutes after I did and got the privilege of sharing the waiting room with my three rambunctious children while I was led into the torture chamber.
I found myself apologizing for my inconvenience, although I don’t know why. I HAD called for my referral, and I was ONLY five minutes late, and although I did have three kids in tow, they are generally well-behaved if they don’t have to wait too long.
I immediately informed the doctor that I was very nervous about the needle portion of the test. I might have even whimpered a bit. He assured me that I would get through it. Somehow that did nothing to calm my nerves.
He started with the electrical shock section of the test (Yes, I said Electrical Shock) and he said it was the most uncomfortable part, but frankly, I’ll take electrical shock over needles ANY. DAY. OF. THE. WEEK. And I told him so.
By the end of that portion, either he took pity on me or he was just anxious to get to his next appointment or he feared for the well-being of his waiting room with my three children out there unattended, but for whatever reason, he told me that he had enough information from the electrical shocks and there was no need to do the needles.
I immediately stood up on the examining table and broke into the Hallelujah Chorus with my arms lifted to the heavens. Or maybe I just imagined that part. At any rate, I thanked him profusely for my early birthday gift and climbed down from the table, ready to gather my kids and take them home, far away from needles and electric shocks.
Oh, do you want to hear the diagnosis?
Evidently I have moderate carpal tunnel in my right hand and mild carpal tunnel in my left. At this point, no invasive measures are necessary. The best thing I can do is avoid the movement that causes the problems (uh-huh, suuuuuuuure) and keep the brace on at all times, particularly at night, for some reason.
Anyone know if they make keyboards with built in track pads? I really do believe it is using the mouse that is the culprit. I don’t suppose Apple would let me trade in my iMac for a laptop, now would they…