The top job of made men in the medical mafia is to protect their own.
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If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
I kept the appointment Monday with the PA. I managed to talk him out of all the stuff he wanted to do and got him to just give me the referral to the neurologist. The neurologist is in the same medical office building (adjacent to a hospital) and I was able to get an appointment for Wednesday. When I met with the neurologist he felt that it might be more likely carpal tunnel than the radial nerve, but in either case a nerve conduction test was called for. We scheduled it for Friday.
On Friday I had the test. I hope none of you ever have to go through this. Imagine sticking your finger in the hot side of an outlet while standing in salt water. And do it 100 times, with increasing voltage. And when we were about 3/4 through the lights flickered and went out, the computer went down, and everything else stopped until the hospital's generators kicked in a couple minutes later. Yes, you guessed it. We lost all the data and had to start the test all over from the beginning.
But when it was finally over the doctor came in and reviewed the data. He concluded that I was not pure carpal tunnel because the data did not account for all the symptoms, i.e., probably there is some involvement of the radial nerve, but carpal tunnel would be a good place to start because it is the easiest to treat. He uses steroid injections which he places with great precision by watching an ultrasound monitor as he sticks the needle in. (The ultrasound enhancement is kind of cutting edge.)
I still have some numbness in my left hand, but Friday night I woke up from the pain only once, and last night not at all. I understand that the steroid may take up to a couple of weeks to do its thing, and that it may have to be repeated as frequently as every year. Still, if it works it beats the heck out of surgery. I'm praying that it cures me enough that I won't have to go back for another nerve conduction test on the radial nerve.
Ok, but go easy on those cortisone injections.
Cortico-steriods can play havoc with your endocrine system and you don't want that....
Best of luck!
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton