Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I saw the neurologist today.

Have I mentioned how much I hate doctors?

Anyway, the tests he was going to run would normally take 45 minutes, if the problem was easy to find, and 1 1/2 hours and up, if the problem were harder.

Liking to do things the hard way, I found a third option: nerve damage so bad, the neurologist couldn't find the damaged point at all. So, my tests only took 45 minutes to find out that he couldn't find out where the damage was. In addition, the damage is not where he expected it to be. In a ulnar nerve neuropathy, the vast majority of the time, the damage is in the elbow, and rarely, in the neck. I took the third option yet again, and have my damage somewhere in my wrist. No clue where, but, it is probably in my wrist.

I say "probably" because the doctor couldn't find ANY neural signals to localize the damage. I mean, nothing. Even running an electric shock through my arm (that test sucks, by the way...a lot) couldn't get any response from the nerve. Then he stuck a needle in my arm and hand, to listen to the nerve. Nothing. Not. A. Darn. Thing. I think Jello™ has more electrical activity than the nerve that controls my hand. So, with no possibility of running a signal through the nerve, he can not find out where the damage is. But, he made an semi-educated guess that the nerve damage is in my wrist, because the tests seem to indicate that it MIGHT be.

So, I get to go to a upper extremity specialist, who will probably have to cut open my wrist to find out if that is where the damage is. If it isn't, then, he gets to cut open my elbow to check there. After all of THAT cutting, then, I'll be willing to bet I'll get to be cut open, yet again, to actually fix the damage.

All in all, I'm pretty much going to be in debt up to my eyeballs, yet again. I've spent $700 on 4 doctor's visits, to tell me to visit other doctors, and I'm still no closer to being able to use my hand properly. Add in a surgery or two (at $3000 or more a pop), and, frankly, I'm in a lot of debt for a long time. Again.

But, I've dug myself out of debt twice before, and, I'll do it again. I really don't have a choice. I need to use my hand.

On a slightly different note, I should take this time to make a mention of my mental state.

Not once in all of this have I ever asked "Why me, Lord?". Not once. Seriously. I haven't even counter-questioned with "Why not me, Lord?". If He has some plan for me that involves losing the use of my hand, so be it. I'm not going to question Him, and I'm not going to second guess Him. Besides, I'm still not man enough to argue with Him.

I'm a bit bummed, because of the monetary question, and the question "what do I do if I can't use my hand?", but, I'm trying not to dwell on that. After all the various bumps, bruises, injuries, diseases, and damage that I've done to myself over the years, I've kind of learned to not think about the "what ifs" and "what will I do?" too much. I've made it through all of them, and I see no reason why I won't make it through this. So, I'm not going to worry about it. Besides, pain has been such a constant companion to me these past 20 years, I'm almost used to it by now. On a relatively pain-free day, for me, I get out of bed in enough pain to keep many other people in the bed. That's what happens when you are a long distance runner, Marine, and truck driver with flat feet. You get to be in pain. A lot.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country