Wednesday, June 23, 2004

EMG results.... 

Went to the appointment after only 6 and a half hours sleep, which was a good thing in a way....I was too derned exhausted to be nervous about the test.

Luckily, the neurologist decided to do the electric shocks rather than the needles. I didn't find it that bothersome because I'm constantly getting shocks from static electricity whenever I touch anything metallic. I short out computers, watches, even street lights. I joked to the doc that I might short out her EMG machine. The shocks were even kind of interesting in the involuntary reflexes they caused. Whenever I have the conventional reflex tests (the hammer thing on the knee), I have no reaction at all. I opted not to look at what the doc was doing, figuring I would be more relaxed between zaps. It helped that there was a reproduction of a really cool Van Gogh painting of irises on the wall...I concentrated on looking at that when the zaps got really bad.

We started with my right hand since it had been giving me the most trouble. The shocks were quite painful but not terribly upsetting. Surprisingly, the hand tested normal.

Since the hand seemed ok, we were going to just do one foot, the right one. But when she got abnormal responses in a few different areas, the doc decided we'd better do the left one as well. The left turned out to be worse than the right, so she needed to do at least one needle placement. She put a needle in the calf muscle next to the shin bone and had me flex my foot upward with the needle in place. Excruciating!! I was practically in tears, so she decided that was enough.

So the verdict is that I do have peripheral neuropathy in my feet, probably caused by Sjogren's. But the neuro's opinion is that the incident two weeks ago with numbness from the elbows down and the knees down was actually something different. She said that Sjogren's can cause other neurological problems besides neuropathy. She's of the opinion that the stroke-like episode I had six years ago was probably Sjogren's...I'm inclined to agree.

I need more tests. The doc is going to go over my medical records from 1998 and 1999 when I last had very active neurological symptoms and check which tests were done. Some will need to be repeated and compared to the old ones. She's also going to track down some articles for me to read on neurological manifestations of Sjogren's. Unfortunately, she's about to go on vacation, so my follow-up appointment won't be for another five weeks. But at least the process has been started.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is reassuring in an odd way that there is actually something documentable going on. On the other hand, it's no picnic to have yet another thing wrong with me.

I am quite ouchy tonight. I think the test caused a mini fibromyalgia flareup.

And the saga continues.....

Pain level: 8
Fatigue level: 8

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