Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Arm Update

So I went to the orthopedist today. My nerve conduction study, which was a story unto itself, showed that my ulnar nerve is doing just fine.

I had the nerve conduction study done last Friday. It was scheduled for 9:30 a.m., so after I'd waited in the waiting room for over an hour, I went up to the front desk to make sure I hadn't been overlooked. The receptionist assured me that I hadn't been overlooked, but I didn't get in until after 11. Then, I had the first test, which I'd had before: electrodes placed in various places on my arm, producing a shock that caused my arm to involuntarily move. It was unpleasant but not too bad. Then, I had a second test that I'd never had. He stuck this huge needle into my muscles and then made me use the muscles. For example, you know the kind of fleshy part of your palm, below your thumb? Well, he stuck this needle into that part of my palm and then made me press my thumb and pinky together. The needle sticking into me was painful, but flexing the muscle with that needle in it was excruciating!

Anyhow, all that pain and suffering led to the conclusion that my nerve is fine. The x-rays of my elbow didn't show anything wrong, either. The doctor doesn't really know what my problem is exactly; I have a combination of medial epicondylitis and ulnar nerve entrapment. He knows he can relieve the ulnar nerve entrapment through surgery, but the medial epicondylitis he is less optimistic about. But we talked about it and he's going to do the surgery, because chances are that it won't make things worse, and it could, in fact, make things better in the medial epicondylitis department. If I have something like a cyst in my tendon, he can remove that.

I'll spend two weeks in a cast, and then another four weeks in a splint, and after that I should be almost back to full usage of my arm. I should regain full motion in my arm, and I might have a slight tingling in the skin where I was cut if he severs any of those nerves. But if all goes well, I should be feeling a lot better after it's over.

So, I have ulnar nerve entrapment surgery scheduled for Thursday, August 16. On the 10th, I'm supposed to go meet the anesthesiologist. I guess I'm going to be put under for this surgery. I'm kind of nervous about it but kind of excited too. Maybe there will be some relief from this pain!

3 comments:

rachel said...

Being put under is freaky, but also kind of interesting. I've had it done three different times (twice when I was seven years old!), and it's like being flushed down a mental toilet. You'll be counting backwards from ten, and suddenly everything swirls down the bowl. And then you wake up.

Make sure you crack wise beforehand -- they like that. When they took off my glasses, I said, "Hey! Everything's gone blurry already!"

Tony said...

That sounds pretty freaky. I hope the surgery goes alright.

lost clown said...

I'm glad there's a light in the distance to make up for that excruciating pain you went through. I was cringing when I read it.

I hope all goes well and you're pain free (or at least in less pain) soon! More of the first one.