Friday, December 2, 2011

Of All The Nerve!

I went to the neurologist the other day to have her check out my gams take a look at my left thigh, which has been numb for well nigh over a year now.  The worst part is that I used to be able to offer some semblance of a refutation upon being called an insensitive, unfeeling bastard, but now I just hang my head and say “Yeah, I know.”  Anyway, I haven’t really been able to feel anything there for quite a while, and while it causes no pain*, I want to make sure that it’s not symptomatic of something else.  People tell me that my uncontrollable shakes and night sweats are the delirium tremens, but fuck you, Occam ... it could be a horrible degenerative neurological disorder.

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!


The WB said...

Too much awesomeness going on here. An Occam reference. "Waking up in Nampa". The extent of your wussiness. (sp?)

The Dead Acorn said...

Thanks, WB! I think "wussiness" is right. Maybe "wussiosity," or "wussaciousness." But yes, the extent of it is nearly boundless. I made it through the MRI this morning without too much panicking, thanks to the smooth, sultry voice of Misty The Lab Tech.

Niamh B said...

Ya poor thing, yucky medical stuff. Glad the MRI wasn't too bad, hope you're keeping a set of jump leads handy.

The Dead Acorn said...

Thanks, Niamh B. The electrocution yesterday went smoothly. Still no conclusive diagnosis, though.

Anonymous said...

i know how u feel, ive had nerve probs for like 13 years now and they only just found out it could maybe) be meralgia paraesthetica :S after reading up on the disease, i really dont know what to do :S