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Needle Phobia, Nerve Conduction Tests And Electromyelograms

Needle Phobia, Nerve Conduction Tests And Electromyelograms

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Published by kri500
In the management of our pain e.g. caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we try various methods including acupuncture for pain relief. There are also natural pain relief methods.
In the management of our pain e.g. caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we try various methods including acupuncture for pain relief. There are also natural pain relief methods.

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Published by: kri500 on Apr 11, 2012
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01/23/2013

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C
ARPAL
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UNNEL 
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‘Knowledge
 IS .
PoweR’
 
2012
Healthy living:Carpal Tunnel Cure
 
Self Empowerment Series
In this series of empowerment, as reflected in our W
omen’s
power, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google plus pages, wefocus on health for empowerment 
~
HELPS SOCIETY~
~
 
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 I felt queasy contemplating the nerveconduction test and electromyelogram (EMG) I was about to have. The nerveconduction test involves taping electrodes to the skin and sending a small joltof electric current to them. During the EMG, the doctor inserts tiny needlesinto various muscles and examines the signals displayed on a laptop screento see how quickly they respond to stimulation. These tests help to determineif there's any nerve impairment or damage. Now, I'm in no position to belittleanyone else's phobias, but I must confess to feeling a bit resentful - they'llgive Valium to claustrophobic patients before a non-invasive MRI, but they just laugh when I suggest they might want to sedate needlephobic me prior toan EMG. "Oh, it's not that bad," they tell me.I finally confessed to my husband just how apprehensive I wasfeeling, and suggested that if he felt inclined to come along and hold my hand,I wouldn't object. He had another appointment across town, but promised he'ddo his best to make it back in time to provide moral support. Unfortunately, Igot to the doctor's office a little early, and they took me back right onschedule! How often does that happen?The nurse asked me to don a hospital gown, assured me thatthe test "wasn't that bad," then checked to see if my hand was warm. Warm?Fear doesn't lead to warm hands. Fear leads to hands that are cold as acorpse. So for five minutes before the test, I had to soak my hand in a tub ofhot water! I started to get chills throughout the rest of my body, but at least myhand was warm.The doctor was pleasant and had a good sense of humor. Hetried to distract me with soft music and laughter as I tried to explain to himhow much more effective nitrous oxide might be. Meanwhile, the nurse wastaping electrodes to various points on my arm and hand.Zap! My fingers curled reflexively and my whole body respondedwith a sympathetic convulsion like a freshly-caught fish gasping for air. Fromthe very first time I grabbed hold of one of those gags that delivers a shockingsensation when all you're expecting is a friendly handshake, I've been a littleleery of electric currents running through my body. It's not exactly "painful,"but it's not a sensation I'd seek out for kicks. The dastardly duo repeated thisprocedure several times, moving and re-taping the electrodes to vary thetwitching in my arm and fingers. The good news? My results were "normal." Inlayman's terms, I guess a "normal" result is something in between my wholearm laying still as a dead mackerel and my hand curling up in a fist and
 
punching the doctor in the nose. Don't think it didn't cross my mind. It would'vebeen purely reflexive, mind you. Nothing personal.The bad news? Since the results were normal, we got to go onto the EMG. If the results had clearly shown a problem, we might have beenable to skip the next part. And to think I tried so hard to pass the first test!Okay, so now I'm hyperventilating and the doctor is telling me tobreathe. "Breathe?" I think. Sounds like some exotic foreign word. Oh, right,BREATHE. He sticks the first needle in. I whimper a little and start to tear up.I'm acting like a two-year-old. Objectively speaking, it doesn't hurt all thatmuch. No big deal. I'm cool. Oh, yeah - gotta remember to breathe.The doctor finishes with the first probe and inserts the second. Ican't remember now whether it was the second or third - but the one on theinside of my forearm hurt like, well, my mother says that's unprintable. It hurt.Twelve hours later, it still hurt.I find I can't breathe and talk at the same time. While he'smoving the needle around in my arm, the doctor asks, "How old are yourkids?""Kids?" I have kids? "I don't know," I whimper, my voice barelyaudible. I don't care, either. Just move the damned needle! "Twelve? Five?Something like that...""What's your favorite radio station?" he asks."Oldies?" I gasp. Why do doctors always ask inane questionsduring unpleasant procedures?"Okay, lift your right hand." I comply. Anything to get this overwith. "Now, move it around--" I move it around. "--see if you can pick up theOldies station!"I start to laugh hysterically. And cry. "You are a funny man, but Ihate you, you know.""Almost through, and you'll be cured of your fear of needles.Think of this as therapy!"I'm thinking "go to hell," and worse, but I just smile miserably.Soon we're down to the last needle, the one he's going to insert in my neck.He starts prepping the area with alcohol, then presses on the vertebrae oneby one with his fingertips."Oh wait, please, stop - don't touch me!" I turn over in a panic.The doctor assures me he's going to insert the needle in the muscle tissue,not the spinal cord. I know that. But when you're needlephobic, a needle you

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