Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pain, the next step

A couple weeks ago, I had an appointment with the pain specialists. The initial diagnosis for the ongoing pain was that the bullet might have damaged the brachial plexus. To test this hypothesis, they prescribed an electromyograph exam(EMG) with a neurologist. Today, I had that exam.

In short, the EMG entails pain to diagnose the source of pain. The first part of the exam is to shock the nerves and record the responses. This means that the arm jumps when the electrodes are touched. Fun stuff. But not as fun as the needles. The second part of the exam involves putting needles into the muscles to test the biofeedback. This is not like having a needle in a vein; in this case, you can feel the needle going into the vein.

This test was conducted at various points along my arm, my hand, and my shoulder. The result, despite less sensitivity to pain along my right arm, was normal. While this is good--no apparent damage to a major thruway of nerves, it also means I don't have an answer yet about the pain I am experiencing.

And that pain isn't going away, even with medication.