Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nuts & Volts

I closed my eyes and winced as another wave of electricity surged up my leg.

Stay with me!” Max, the medical assistant, shouted.

Stay with you? Where the hell could I go? I had wires attached to my legs and feet, so if I made for the door, I’d probably be zotzed into a pile of ashes.

And what was this “stay with me” crap, anyway? I was the one getting zapped here, not Max. But he was making it sound like we were Siamese twins.

The strangest part of it all was that I had agreed to this punishment.

I went to a pain management specialist this week to set up a cortisone shot for my aching back and I had managed to receive a lot more pain than I had expected.

After a routine examination, the doctor asked me if I had ever had a nerve conduction study. While I’ve often been told that I have a lot of nerve, no one’s ever made a study of it.

“You don’t have to do it,” she said. “But if you do, it will tell me more about your condition.”

That was a warning right there. If anyone ever tells you that you don’t have to do something, that’s your cue to run like hell because whatever it is you’re signing up for, it’s going to suck.

But I couldn’t turn her down. I’m so desperate for relief that I was hoping more knowledge would result in less agony.

Maybe she’d find something that would help reduce this hideous pain I’ve been enduring for two weeks now and perhaps even avoid further outbreaks in the future.

Then she handed me over to Max.

The Wire

“I don’t want to tell you it won’t hurt,” Max said, as he wired me up. “But I had a 90-year lady in here the other day and she got through it.”

Well, I wasn’t about to be shown up by some walking fossil, so I told Max to do his worst. And he did.

Like other forms of torture, the nerve conduction study starts off mildly. You get a few moments to think, hey, this ain’t so bad. Then the wattage increases.

“It’s getting stronger now,” Max said, stating the incredibly obvious.

My foot started flapping around as if it were possessed. An arc of pain surged up my calf, followed by an even more powerful blast. Damn you, Thomas Edison!

I started to think about prisoners in Abu Ghraib and the detainees in Gitmo. Who the hell was that 90-year-old lady who had supposedly sailed through this torment—Mr. T’s grandmother?

“I confess!” I told Max, though I hadn’t been accused of anything.

“There’s going to be seven quick ones in a row,” Max, sporting fellow that he was, informed me just before seven little lightning bolts rocketed up my leg. Yes, I counted.

I started to wonder if this was an actual examination or some field training for Max when he applies for a job with the CIA.

I got the treatment in both legs and then a few more shots at the base of my spine. Max finally unhooked me and told me to have a nice weekend, which seemed rather implausible. Unless someone needed me to jump-start their car.

After Max left the room, the doctor came back in to perform another test, this time sinking a needle into various points on my leg in some kind of sound wave exam. It wasn’t pleasant, but after the electro-shock treatment it didn’t seem so bad.

I’m scheduled to get a cortisone shot on Friday. If the pain comes back in a month, the doctor says “we’ll have to talk.” This could mean surgery, which I dread, but right now I think I’d take that over another round with Max.

I crawled out of the doctor’s office and limped toward the subway. If there’s a 90-year-old lady in this town who could take this kind of abuse, I hope I never meet her.

8 comments:

Ron said...

YIKES, Rob....yes, that SOUNDED painful!

Hell, just the name of the medical assistant (MAX) sounds PAINFUL.

Hopefully, this study will give your doctor more insight as to WHAT'S going on so that they don't have to do surgery.

I know this has to be HUGELY frustrating and annoying for you, on TOP of the pain.

Just know that whenever I share Reiki on myself each day, I'm sending a lot of energy to you as well.

You take care, and know that you're being thought of.

And hey, I LOVE the "Adams Family" photos you used for this post. I LOVED Uncle Fester!

Wishing you a painless week, buddy!


Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, you're right--Max IS a painful-sounding name!

He made me cry Uncle..Fester!

I really appreciate your kind thoughts and positive energy. As you say, it has been very frustrating, so I am very grateful for your concern and support.

Take care, buddy, and a tremendous week!

Bijoux said...

Oh dear God.....that sounded horrific! I often wonder if these 'studies' ever benefit the participant. Sheesh!

I will continue to pray for you, Rob. Hugs!

Rob K said...

Oh, thanks, Bijoux, your prayers and hugs mean the world to me!

I don't know what these studies do, but after that nightmare I feel like I should be able to tap dance on the Empire State Building.

Take care!

Jay said...

Good grief, Rob, that sounds dreadful! Pain management? Yep, you have the pain, and Max manages it .. doesn't seem at all fair to me.

I do hope it all tells them something useful. OH had nerve conduction studies done on a hand once and he didn't say anything about it being like this. I wonder if it was so horrendous for you because you have heightened sensation in those nerves? If so, maybe they can do something about that.

Rob K said...

Hey, Jay, it didn't seem fair to me either!

Good point about the sensitivity. Maybe that's why it was so painful.

OH sounds like one tough hombre.

Take care!

CrystalChick said...

That you still have a sense of humor after all this is amazing! I feel bad... but at 'walking fossil' I had to bite my lip to not roar right in Starbucks. The Addams family photos were just perfect, too. Good movies.
I'm really very sorry for what you are going through. The pain and frustration of it all must be very difficult. I hope that the cortisone shot will help and keep the pain away for a very long time. Will be thinking of you.

Rob K said...

Hey, Mary! It's not easy, but I'm trying to find some humor in this.

It looks like the cortisone shot is working (post coming soon!) so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by and do take care!