mardi 30 juin 2009

Needles, knives and electrodes, or a lovely day in June

Bandaged toe and flowers

It hurts.

It didn't hurt last time. At least I thought it didn't. I went shopping at IKEA the next day, or a couple days later, and limped a bit, but that was about all. I was almost disappointed. There is a status of sorts that comes with pain, and I had been gypped. I came home from the hospital and lay on the couch, trying to feel like an invalid. It was the perfect opportunity to lay on the couch for hours, not feel guilty about it and, what's more, get all kinds of appropriate attention.

I didn't need it. Today, I think I do, and I'm not giving in to pain: I'm working on the green guest room. The one that will be green -- like the orange one is orange, with one 1960's era white sneaker color rear wall -- and be more of a family room, or a place to send the family when I finally get a new couch for show and visitors. It will be cactus green. It has gray in it, and it feels cool and mossy.

I'd really like to lie down on the couch and watch Wimbledon all afternoon (it's green, too), but I have to return to the hospital for an electromyogram (EMG). This is another opportunity to have needles stuck into me. It's a test for carpal tunnel syndrome, which we know I have because we did this 6 years ago. It showed, according to le docteur Ille, chief of staff of neurology at the hospital (and a really nice guy), that I had pronounced carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, only I never got it operated on for various reasons. Having had enough of the pain and handicap, I have decided that the moment has come to do something about it, and we're doing the test again. Also according to le docteur Ille, carpal tunnel left untreated can cause paralysis in the muscles of the thumb, which might explain some things. My opposables have been far too agreeable.

He will attach electrodes to various points on my arms and then prick my hands here and there with needles, asking me to make a fist. He'll watch for the electrical impulse that indicates nerve activity and whether there is delay. The greater the delay, the worse the carpal tunnel. Oddly, the test showed that it is more pronounced in my left hand. I am right-handed.

I think the shots of local anesthetic were more painful, though (getting them in the second toe is no picnic), and I can concentrate on the pain in my toe rather than the pain in my hands while he is sticking me with the needle.

Back to work a few more minutes on the guest/family room. I'm vacuuming the spiders and their webs. It's horrible. I have to harden myself to do that. The poor things are only trying to live, although they cause anguish to many of our house-guests, who are actually afraid of them.

Pst. Listen, I have a secret for you.

I have to tell you in the interest of honesty and disclosure that we have spiders here in the country. Yes. Really. They are mostly harmless. Daddy Longlegs and such. They eat the mosquitos. I don't feel as badly ridding us of the large hairy ones with thick legs, the ones that resemble nothing more than me, the ones that really make our guests scream, but, even then, we usually use a glass and a piece of paper and put them outdoors.

The problem?

They come back inside.

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