Tuesday, June 16, 2009

12 Units of the "B" Word

Eeek!! I finally went in to have my labs done this morning. I've been procrastinating because I knew they were going to take a lot of units (or tubes). I was right, at 7:30am they took 10 units. At approximately 7:35am, and I believe we were at unit number 8, I was awaken by smelling salts. I warned the lady, I am the passing out type when it comes to getting my blood drawn.

One hour later, around 8:40am, I had one more unit drawn and a conversation with the same nurse about my passing out. She said, "I can't believe you really passed out. I've had children wiggling all over the place, adults pulling the needle out, but I've never had a fainter. Even when I worked at the hospital, tons of things happened but never a fainting. You're my first." I am so proud. :)

The 8:40am unit was done with zero injury or sliding out of the chair. Then I had my final draw at 9:40am. No problems there either.

That was part 1 of my day. I expect part 2 to be worse.

Part 2 includes a Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Study (EMG/NCS). Or, pure torture. Any test that states, "Please take a pain pill 30 minutes before the test", is not a test to look forward to.

Educational Portion: This study is usually performed as a workup for pain, numbness or tingling in an arm or leg. It tests the condition of the nerves from the spine into the extremity to the foot or hand. There are two parts to the test, the nerve conduction study and the needle EMG Study. Eeeekkkk!!!

I am having this test done because I have been experiencing tingling (like pins & needles) in my hands and feet. Unexplained. It's a different feeling from when your hand or foot falls asleep. I've been dreading this test for weeks. It was actually pushed back a week by the doctor and I was more then happy to change my schedule around.

I can handle the NCS part, where recording electrodes are attached to my skin. (Note to Self: Shave Legs.) But it's the EMG part that has me a little nervous. Wouldn't you be if you read this description...

1. You lie down or sit in a comfortable and relaxed position. Certain areas of your skin may be cleaned. No problemo!

2. One or more NEEDLE electrodes are gently INSERTED into the muscle. (God help me) You may feel some pain, a dull ache or pressure as the electrode is inserted (Breathe Sarah, Breathe).

3. The muscle is tested at rest-normally there is no electrical activity in a resting muscle. The electrodes may be MOVED to get readings from different sections of the muscle.

WHAT?! Yes, they are going to move needles around under my skin. (Insert deep breath here)

This sucks! Wish me luck, and bravery.


Katie said...

My father is the number one EMG specialist in the tri-state area- and I used to ork in the EMG lab. If your doctor does it correctly, it shouldn't be that bad. It could be worse- sometimes they have to do EMG on your sphincter muscle, now that sucks!

I hope your doing well, or as well as you can be :)

Lisa Lou Hoo said...

You poor thing- this is torture for the needle phobic! I wish you much luck and even more bravery!

I know you have a lot going on right now but when you get a chance will you send me your new address?

I'm thinking about you and all you are enduring. Hang in there and give me a call when you can!

Mom E said...

You poor thing. I don't think I could have gone through all of that. My hat is off to you. You know I am around if you need me. You are in my prayers always. Hang in there. I know you can do it.