News about Nathan and Heather Straz

Wednesday, 25 January, 2006
Nerve Testing
by heather

This morning I had some nerve testing done on the nerves that run down my arms. Because of symptoms that I've had, the doc thought I might have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and/or Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome. So, I got up early, to get there at 7am to be poked and shocked.

He started with the shocks. He would shock my nerves and see how long it took to get from that nerve to my muscle and make the muscle twitch. It felt strange, but was tolerable. After a bunch of shocks, the doc said to me 'you make this look easy'. I wondered if that meant that the results were all perfect or that I was not reacting like many other patients. He then told me that I was tolerating the testing very well and not reacting like many do. What did he want me to do, shout? flinch? pull my arm away? Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable, but tolerable.

Next came the poking. I guess I had heard about this part, but I had forgotten. He pricked a needle into a muscle and listened for abnormal 'electrical noise' within my muscles. The needles were uncomfortable, but nothing compared to other pain I've felt so I was able to tolerate the entire test without too much complaining. The doc said 'maybe the silver lining to having a Chiari Malformation is that you've dealt with so much pain all the time that these types of things don't bother you as much as they would an average patient'. Great thought, doc!

So, after all this, he said 'the tests look normal'. He then went on to say that these tests are not perfect and thus, I could still have Thoracic Outlet and Ulnar Tunnel syndromes. Or, the symptoms could be related to the Chiari Malformation and may improve after my surgery. Lets hope for the latter!


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