So she did her little testy stuff, hitting me with hammers and running a serrated pizza cutter all over my legs (she didn’t seem amused when I asked if we shouldn’t establish a safeword first), and then started explaining what she thinks is going on:
The condition is known as Meralgia Paresthetica, or Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, and is a mononeuropathy of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, caused by compression as it passes the inguinal ligament blah blah blah …And that’s fine, you know - doctors go to school for like, an extra couple of years (and not the way that I was a sophomore for 3 years), so I’m glad they’re very knowledgeable and can use big words. But then I got this:
You see, nerves are like electrical cords. Some nerves are like the big orange extension cords, and some nerves are like little lamp cords.The fuck? Did she take a semester off or something? Do they have correspondence courses in medical school?
At the end of our little discussion of neurology/electricity, she informed me of the next steps: firstly, I was to go to my regular physician, and have them fax over the results of the lab tests I had gone through during the summer (just a regular checkup – I hadn’t done anything stupid). So I was chatting with the lovely receptionist, explaining what we needed to do, and she looked up my history. “Well,” she said, “you didn’t have all the tests that are required, so go ahead and have a seat, and a nurse will be with you shortly.” After picking myself up off the floor, I stammered “you … you mean … you’re going to take blood? TODAY? NOW? But … but I’m not ready!” “Yes. Yes we are …” she replied, through a sadistic smile. Her pupils briefly closed into slits, like those of a cat, and I swear the temperature dropped 10 degrees.
Secondly, I’m scheduled for an MRI, which means lying inside a tube that’s actually smaller than the width of my body for 17 hours while a giant donut shoots magnetic rays through my core. I’m sure I’ll get stuck to my refrigerator for days after.
Thirdly, I have to have a nerve conduction test, in which the doctor duct tapes the two bared ends of an electrical cord (it’s like a nerve!) to my skin and plugs it in to the wall outlet. I’ve had to go through this before, and it’s almost as bad as stepping on a Lego, or waking up in Nampa. I mean, it hurts.
It all seems like a lot of trouble, but if it can perhaps help me to one day be just a little more sensitive and feeling, then by all that's sacred, it’ll have been worth it.
* I can still feel pain … like if I were to, oh, say, hypothetically jab a pin into my thigh to see if I could still feel pain, then yes, I would most assuredly feel pain. Not that I did that, of course. Why, that would be just plain stupid!