Being Tasered

I’ve been noticeably absent. Busy, in part, finishing up Christmas stuff (8 kinds of chocolates – done), but also because I’ve been having terrible pain in my hands and wrists. Numbness, too, which is scary. Numbness in one foot as well. I have enough acquaintances suffering from Multiple Sclerosis that I wasted no time in heading to the doctor.

The foot things seems to be my flat feet catching up with me. I had been seeing a chiropodist for ingrown toenails a couple of years ago, and she kept pressuring me to get orthotics, and I think I’m going to have to break down and do it.

The hands confounded the MD though, since one was numb and the other just hurt like a mofo at the wrist. They got me into the neurologists for an EMG pretty quickly, and Wednesday morning I lied around on a hospital bed while a nice lady zapped me with a mini-taser.

After taping electrodes to my hand in various spots, she used a dual-pronged thingie (what? How am I supposed to know what it’s called?) to send a current through my muscles. The fingers of the hand that was experiencing the numbness got little wire loops wrapped around them. And then more electrical current.

It didn’t hurt exactly – it was fast, and felt like getting snapped with an elastic. Apparently some people are really bothered by the whole procedure, but I personally found it kind of cool.

Once the tests were done I was left to wait for 35 minutes for the doctor to come in. I was about to get up and walk out, in fact, when I stuck my head out the door to find someone and tell them I was leaving. There was a man in the room across the hall eating lunch. I told the technician that I had been waiting for over half an hour, and she said the doctor would be right in. Turns out my doctor was the guy I had seen having lunch. Ah, the Ontario health care system in all its glory.

He did some more brief tests and then checked the readouts of my EMG. I’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand, probably from leaning on my left elbow while watching TV. Oops.

The right wrist, which is the one that is considerably more painful, shows no nerve damage conducive to carpal tunnel syndrome. And because this injury no longer fell into his area of expertise, he offered no solution, no suggestion or no referral to another doctor who might be able to tell me why my hand feels like it’s about to fall off.

Instead, I’ve got it strapped into a wrist brace while working at the computer, am power-dosing on anti-inflammatories (as per my MD’s instructions) and am oiling up for a daily arm massage that I learned when I worked at the massage school about 15 years ago. It’s bearable if I don’t overwork it.

The left arm gets braced at night while sleeping, and if I can remember to stop leaning on it (a hard habit to break), it should heal in a few weeks.

All of this has made me feel particularly old and creaky. I’ve rearranged some schedule stuff and bailed on some other jobs that were taking up a lot of time and were causing me wrist strain, so hopefully I can find some time to exercise my creaky wrists and ankles and stop hurting.

A cessation to the hurting would be very, very good.