Monday, January 29, 2007

Still Numb, and Wishing For a Tricorder

You'd never guess that my blog is world-famous for it's discussion of "numb fingertips". Really. Just check my blog stats, and you'd find that, on average, 20-30% of people who Google their way to my blog use the terms "numb fingertips".

Nevermind, I've discussed the topic all of twice.

But, to satisfy the masses, I'm providing entry number three. Why? Because, quite simply, I have numb fingertips. On my right hand. My ring and pinkie fingers.

The last time I had numb fingertips, it was because of a weird sleeping position. Problem went away in a few days. But several months back, I started experiencing on-going numbness in my two fingers. I spent time looking up the issue, including Googling "numb fingertips" and running across this blog entry by one Ryan Bruner.

Okay, so I ignored that one. But I did discover some possible causes. I tried to take the recommended remedies, but nothing really helped. So, I finally consulted an Orthopedic doctor a few weeks ago and had an EMG on Friday.

The next time a doctor recommends I need some kind of test, I think I'm to decline. First, there was the MRI. You can read about that in my blog. But EMG sounds harmless. Something electrical, so I figured they just tape some sensors to my hand and record the results.

Not quite the case. Sure, the doctor taped some sensors. He also drew little lines all over my hand, wrist, and arm, measured distances, and then repeatedly zapped me with electricity. Basically, it feels like you're being electrocuted. Probably because you're being electrocuted.

Not fun. It was mostly annoying, but at times it really hurt, and my screaming just resulted in the doctor saying, "Sorry about that, but I didn't get a measurement. Gotta do it again."

Apparently, the test measures how long it takes for various nerves to transmit the electrical impulse.

After the shocking part was over, there was part two. It involved placing needles into various places and taking some electrical measurements. I wasn't too worried. After all, I've give myself shots since I was 9. I could handle it.

Except insulin shots don't actually go into the muscle. These needles do. And so, once again, I was yelping in pain.

The positive from all this was that the doc did determine that I had a slowing of nerve impulses across my Ulnar nerve...which is exactly what the Ortho doc figured was the case. I go back for my revisit in a few days, and will likely be fitted with something to keep my elbow straight and protected while I sleep at night in an attempt to relieve pressure on the nerve.

But after the MRI experience and now an EMG, I'm really thinking it is time for someone to invent the Tricorder, a la Star Trek.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Sounds like no fun man - but at least they were able to figure out what's going on!

I hope the brace does the trick.

RyanBruner said...

Yeah. Me too!