Today was my EMG. I’ll get right to the good stuff and let you know that, as predicted by the neurologist a few months back, it was completely worthless. Okay, those might be my words. I distinctly remember him saying to me, “We can do an EMG, but it could be painful and I am 99.9% positive it won’t show anything.”
I didn’t originally schedule the test because 1) I am in so much medical debt right now, and 2) fuck more pain. Still, my primary doctor seemed to want that test checked off the list last time I complained about my predicament. So this morning I played the good little patient and let them shock me and stick needles in my muscles for no goddamn reason.
I’m not frustrated with either my primary physician or the neurologist, if that’s how I’m coming off. I truly believe they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got (unlike the rheumatologist from hell). I’m really just frustrated with my situation. With the 15 months of tests and labs that tell me as much about what’s going on with my body as the fortune cookies at China Wok.
I realize that I might one day be forced to accept the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, but I’m not there yet. Still so much to rule out. And most of those things have no straightforward path to diagnosis.
My EMG Experience
For anyone wondering what it’s like to sit through an EMG, here’s how my morning played out.
The test is basically conducted in two stages. First you get shocked with this wand thing by some kind of medical technician; then the doctor comes in and sticks needles in your muscles.
I was initially convinced that the needles would be the worst part of the test, but I was wrong. Couldn’t even feel those fuckers! The shocks were disconcerting at best and painful at worst. It depended on how high she cranked the juice. Right arm and hand, right leg and foot. It took a while to get through all of that, and then she went to get the doctor for the needle part of the test.
I wasn’t impressed with the doctor who did the testing (she was not the neurologist I originally saw, for the record). She walked in the room and ignored my “hello.” She continued talking with the tech like I wasn’t even there, “I know, but there’s no way. It’s just a false positive.”
“I know, but I tried until I turned blue.”
Perhaps I should’ve pressed what that was all about, but I really didn’t give a shit. She put needles in three different leg muscles and told me to move this way or that way with my leg after each placement. “Looks good. I don’t even need to do the arms. You’re fine.”
Sitting here now, I’m thinking to myself. Am I paying for you to do the fucking arm? Then do the fucking arm! But in the moment I was just as happy to put my shoes and socks back on and go outside. Today’s weather was gorgeous.
Eight Hours Later
Going to doctors’ offices and hospitals is stressful, so sitting here this evening I’ve got an insane headache and I’m physically exhausted. I feel some residual effects of the shocks in my right hand. It’s tingly, like my nerves are recalling the trauma from early in the day. That jibes. What’s odd is that I also feel it in my left hand, which was not tested.
But as I’ve been saying for some months now, my nerves are freaking whacked out, yo! Every last one of them sends frivolous pain signals to my brain, so why not a little tingling too?
That’s it for now. Until next time.