A MUCH better 2nd EMG experience!

So, I’d like to take the time to write about my most recent doctor’s office experience; more specifically, the neuromuscular specialist. And, of course my second EMG. And after this, I hope to never have to write about another EMG experience. Lol.

Overall, my appointment went well. The neuromuscular specialist, and the neurologist who was there helping, were very thorough; which I appreciated very much. I felt heard, listened to, and respected. Already a win!

It felt like the entire hour was just a bunch of push against my arm, now pull. Raise your leg. Extend your leg. Walk on your heels. Walk on your toes. Sit back down. Lay back. Lift your head off the pillow (this is excruciating for me). Turn on your side. Raise your leg. Sit up. Push again. Pull.

Aaaand repeat.

After the physical exam was done, the neuromuscular specialist had me do a second EMG, which based on my last EMG experience, I was dreading. But this experience was very different. Like, VERY different.

Once I laid down, I saw that they had this beautiful decoration on the ceiling. It was lit up from the ceiling light. The images were of a blue sky with fluffy, white clouds. There was a rainbow. And cherry blossom trees. It was very calming and I felt relaxed just looking at it.

Once I was settled in, the young woman did the zappy part of the test. She put heated bags on both of my feet and my right hand (which felt great considering that I was freezing and my Raynauds was in full effect). It was also relaxing. She told me everything she was going to be doing. Her zapping compared to the first test I had, was much milder. I was surprised by this.

Then the neurologist came in. He was very nice and calming. Again, he told me everything he was going to be doing, every movement to do when we are ready to contract the muscle, etc. He even used a cold spray before putting the needle in, which I think helped. When he put the needles in, it didn’t even hurt. I could feel him moving the needle around, but it was nothing to flinch over. I contracted my muscles when he told me to. He got a read on the machine, and that was it.

I was most concerned about my back being done because of my last experience. During that appointment, the woman who did it went so fast, it was painful, and I didn’t even have a chance to catch my breath. And it was so bad I started crying half way through. I also know she didn’t take my scoliosis into account, because one of the spots she put the needle in was right over my spine. Sigh.

This appointment, however, was nothing like that. He went slow and took his time. He told me movements to do to contract my muscles. Cold spray on, needle in, boom, we’re done.

I didn’t flinch once. I didn’t grip onto anything in pain. I was in control of my breathing at all times. I didn’t clench my jaw once. I didn’t cry. I didn’t yell in pain. I was completely relaxed. I continued to have conversations with the neurologist and assistant throughout the exam. I literally could have done another 5 tests in a row based on how they did it during this appointment.

My biggest takeaway? That the first EMG experience I had…that woman BUTCHERED me!!! BUTCHERED! This second EMG experience, oh my goodness, so much better. What a difference!

When I see my rheumatologist tomorrow, I am going to insist that when he recommends anyone to have an EMG, to please please please send them to where I just went instead of the other place. It’s the very least I can do if I can help save someone from experiencing what I did the first time.

But back to my neuromuscular appointment. The doctor reviewed everything and was able to rule more things out and suggest what he thinks I have going on. Tomorrow at my rheumatologist appointment, we are going to talk more about it. So my next post will be about a finalized diagnosis. *fingers crossed.* So more to come on that.

I continue to wait.

It’s been a little while since I’ve written on here. Life’s been happening. It’s been hectic, non-stop, and I’m feeling it; the fatigue, that is.

As an update, I’m still waiting. Still waiting for my upcoming appointment with a neuromuscular specialist and still waiting for this second EMG, which will be that same day. I really can’t stress how much I dislike this waiting game. It really does seem to take forever when scheduling appointments. Two months here, three months there, a month or so here, etc.

My entire 2016 has been appointments. The entire year, tests. Blood tests. MRIs. Xrays. More blood tests. More MRIs. EMG. Specialists here. Specialists there. Heck, specialists everywhere!! Lol.

An entire year of tests. I’m very grateful for these tests, and that my rheumatologist has allowed me to have all of these done. He’s the only doctor to tell me yes, I do have a problem going on here, and that we will find answers as to what’s going on. It’s so rare to come across doctors/specialists who communicate to you that they hear you, they believe you, they want to help you, and that they’ll do everything they can to make sure we find an answer. They are like hidden gems!

It’s my hope that 2017 will be a better year and that I will finally be able to know everything that’s been going on with my body. Throughout these tests, we have been able to find out some things. But there are still pieces to the puzzle that are missing. It is my hope that the new year will bring a new round of answers, so that I can fully know what’s going on and how I can move forward.

Until then, I continue to wait.

A Second EMG.

I’m just going take this time to write a brief post about an upcoming doctor appointment.

The next step in my journey involves me going to see a neuromuscular specialist. I’m glad this is my next step. I’m grateful for it. I think this is the logical next step to be able to talk with a neuromuscular specialist considering my symptoms.

So my appointment has been made.

The good news is, that when I spoke with the secretary, my appointment was made for about a month and a half out from now. Considering that the last time I made an appointment with a neurosurgeon the wait was about 3 months or so, I consider this appointment scheduling a win. And of course, I asked to be placed on a cancellation list in case anything opens up sooner. But overall, I’m glad this is the next step and I trust I will be placed with a good specialist. It feels good.

The bad news. Oh, there’s bad news.

She said along with this appointment, they also need to schedule me a tentative appointment. For what you ask? A second EMG.

This was the cloud over my moment of celebrating the fact that I was able to schedule an appointment to see a neuromuscular specialist.

A second EMG.

Sigh.

What have I done to deserve a second EMG?

She said that during my appointment, the doctor will determine if they want to have me do another EMG to compare with the results (that was done at another facility, I might add, outside of their network). It is my sincere hope that the doctor will be fine with the first EMG and the results. But I also have a feeling that it’s possible they may want me to do it using their facility, equipment, and doctors.

The thought alone of doing a second EMG makes me cringe. My chest tighten. My jaw clench. My breathing pause. I think of my last EMG and me saying, “I never want to have this done ever again!”

Even if they decide not to do it during my appointment, I still need to go in there prepared for the procedure in case they do, because I won’t know for sure until that day. But either way, both of the appointments are made.

A Simple Task.

Today has been a day of constant muscle pain in my upper back, shoulders, traps, and neck. It’s gnawing and it is constant; for days. I’ve also been experiencing chronic fatigue for the past couple of days, but that’s for another time.

When I reached into the refrigerator after dinner this evening, there was a dish that was on top of something I was reaching for, and it felt onto the top shelf (nothing spilled), but the clank of the glass dish on the shelf was enough to startle me and my upper body/right arm jolted back involuntarily. Needless to say, this was enough to flare up my upper right back muscles for hours now.

I just need to repeat this again. The unexpected sound was enough to jolt me and jolt my back. Involuntarily. I want to break this down here, because, for anyone who doesn’t experience chronic pain, this simple, simple task and simple moment of being startled, wouldn’t cross their mind for one second. Nope. It just wouldn’t. They’d be on to the next thing without a flinch.

But for someone who has chronic pain, and sensitivities of all kinds, this involuntary movement was like, a monumental and pivotal moment for me in regards to how my night is now going to go.

A simple task.

In one moment, it triggered me to feel frustration and anger. Not anger that something fell and startled me; but anger because of how my body and muscles respond. Anger that in one stinkin’ moment, it triggered more pain that I now have to deal with.

A simple task.

I also feel this way when I’m trying to do a normal task and I can’t look down. It’s been almost two years now that I’ve been able to look down. If I do want to look down, I have to back up at least a few steps and overcompensate with my upper body in order to do it.

A simple task.

It’s enough to put me in a bad mood because I just want to be able to do a simple task. And I physically can’t.