A Moment of Serious-ity

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I know I finally brought the funny back a little bit, but I need a little serious today, so bear with me.

A couple of you have emailed me asking about health stuff and since I was going to talk about it anyway, I figured this would be a good time to do a little update. In terms of the way I'm feeling right now, I'm good. My headaches are rare and easy to control, though they do still pop up from time to time. My range of motion in my neck is almost normal. The only noticeable deficit is in tilting my head back and that will return in time, and in more physical therapy. My coordination is also much improved and I've only had a very few visual disturbances for months now. My hair is...well, growing.

That said, my left hand is still pretty bad. Physical therapy finally gave up on the electric stimulation they'd been doing to try and help my forearm muscle because it wasn't improving my grip strength and it was taking so much electricity to actually make my muscles contract that they didn't feel comfortable with it. My left forearm muscle is like jello. When I flex you can barely tell a difference from when it's relaxed. When I grab things my hand shakes something terrible and often when I hold my hand out straight, my pinkie and ring fingers will shake uncontrollably, while the other three fingers are totally chill. It's very bizarre.

Ten days after my surgery, I went to be evaluated at physical therapy and gripped a 60 in my right hand and a 35 in my left (I don't know the units). Those values were somewhat weaker than we like, but not crazy low, but now the best I can get my right hand to is about 25 and yesterday gripped a whopping 2 with my left. TWO. I've been in physical therapy since the first week in December and I can only grip a 2 with my hand. My physical therapist who probably weighs 85 pounds can grip 80. In case the math is difficult, that would be FORTY times more than I can.

It doesn't hurt which is a great relief, but a good portion of the time I can't feel my left arm from below my elbow at all, it's a lot like what it would be like to wear an elbow length glove over my left arm all the time. Except that sometimes it's also got a pins-and-needles feeling too. It's not painful, but it feels like electricity is being shot out of my arm.

Which is ironic, since that's what we're doing tomorrow. Tomorrow is my EMG, which is doctor abbreviation for sticking needles into muscles and conducting an electric impulse down them to see what the reaction time is. This test could be immensely helpful, or it could be a complete bust and there's no way to know ahead of time. I'm anxious to have it over with and see if it gives us any direction at all. We're really just in a place right now where we don't have any theories to go on anymore. I have a need to know and a bigger need to control, and right now I can't do either.

All medical stuff aside, there is another thing going on, but I cannot talk about it. Not by my choosing, though I'm not sure I'd have said anything anyway, but I have been told by people in much higher positions in power that I am not to speak about it period. If you live around here, you can probably deduce what I'm talking about, if you don't or can't, consider yourself lucky, it's not a good thing.

I also had a dream last night that The Fiance committed suicide and I've spent most of the day pretty traumatized from that. So I'm taking a day off the funny to deal with the serious. Tomorrow should be better. I get to go home and see my family for the first time since Christmas (though sans-The Fiance, which is sad) and there will both be copious amounts of shopping and also of fun-having, and I can definitely use both.

6 comments:

Nola said...

Damn, girl. On the plus side, I am glad you are feeling relatively well. I do hope they can figure out what is going on. I know for me I hate the not-knowing. Even if I can't do anything about it, I still like KNOWING what is wrong.

And what a sucktacular dream. Bummer. Let's chalk that up to pre-wedding jitters as well as anticipatory separation anxiety.

Do keep us posted of your testing.

And most importantly, have a great trip back with your folks. And shopping :)

the queen said...

A secret? See, that would just make me want to post naked photos.

I hate the bad dreams you cant shake. I hope visiting your family gets you back in line.

I don't know, but I might have to think hard if someone tried to trade me a forearm for fewer headaches. Bu that's because I don't often have headaches. And because I grew up with Mom, The Armless Wonder.

Flea said...

Those kinds of dreams are the absolute worst. I've had them about my kids - different types of trauma - and they don't ever happen in real life. Which is a really good thing.

SOOO glad you're going home for a bit. Enjoy yourself and your family. :D

Ness said...

i hope you gets lots of rest and fun and shopping when you go on your trip. And hope they can get some knowledge after your EMG on how best to help you out.

I hate dreams like that...it takes me forever the next day to realize that they aren't real.

Sherri said...

Katie, Thinking of you! Sorry about your arm/hand. I could not remember if you were diagnosed with SM(syringomyelia), or not?

Take care, Sherri

www.caringbridge.org/oh/kara

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Nothing to say but that I'm thinking about you.

Have fun with the fam - sounds like you need a good dose of fun!

Hallie :)