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Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Laurie R on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015461)

Hi to all ,Well today I went and had the EMG test .I told the Neurologist I had anxiety and I felt like I was going to throw up and this man had no compassion for me,this is why I don't care for doctors.I waited so long to have this test and I was trying to talk to him so I could feel better and it didn't work.Anyways he really did not ever explain the test to me he just said that it is painful for some people but not for others.Well let me tell you the test was very very very painful for me the worst part was the needles.My husband went with me and he could see that I was very upset.I went from having all this anxiety to just plain mad at the doctor.Well he said that the test was normal and I asked him if it showed if I have TTS and he said that I could have it but my nerves were normal .So I still don't have a diagnosis on TTS .So I am more frustrated now then before.The neurologist said to go back and talk this over with my podiatrist I have to see him next week anyways.You would think that if someone tells you they are upset you would have symapthy for them!!!!!!I think alot of doctors miss that day in med school....So I have all the symptoms of TTS but do I have TTS and if not why does my foot burn? and why do I have all this pain in the Tarsel Tunnel area and why does my foot go numb? thanks for letting me vent>>>>>>>>
Laurie R

Re: Neurologist appTo Wendy and Alan

Laurie R on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014702)

Hi to all thank you both so much for responding to my post you two always make me feel so much better.It feels so good to know that you guys are here.Everything in my life is kind of crazy right now and my foot just makes things worst.Just knowing there are people who care makes me feel we all could get through this.I am so here for any one who needs to vent........I hope I can get my computer back tomarrow,as for now I am still using my brothers .Take care and thank you to all.P.S.Thanks Wendy for telling me about the test your right it does'nt sound bad. Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Marti C on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015464)

Hi, Laurie
Im sorry you went through that! I, too had this done and I dont care what anyone says it HURTS! The dr. that did mine also said I was neg. and that it 'shouldnt hurt'! Ha! My others drs. said I deffinetly have TTS. Who knows? That is why I believe in this board more than any dr. Ive encountered.
Hang in there, Marti

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Robin B. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015467)

Laurie, sorry to hear you had such a tough time with the test. Sometimes just trying to arrive at a diagnosis can be as painful as the condition itself. Lots of diagnostic tests are a cake walk -- but certainly, not all of them. I'm sorry you had such a difficult time going through the EMG.

Try not to be upset about the doctor. Alan posted something very similar a week or two ago. I remember, because I posted back to him virtually the same thing I am writing here. The majority of doctors are not in the compassion and sympathy business. The health care system, and especially the finances of managed care, have forced many many doctors to see patients as a collection of symptoms. They don't care if you are afraid, confused, worried or anxious or if you have a lot of questions. Fixing any of those conditions isn't their job; it's not what the health care system pays them for. Treating your symptoms and alleviating the problem IS, so that's what they focus on. I'll repeat what I said to Alan: They diagnose the problem, treat it, send you on your way and collect payment. That's the whole 4 step scenario. Everything else is extraneous to them.

I think at one level, every one of us can accept that -- as long as it's not 'me, personally' that we're talking about. I think in our hearts, we all expect (or at least hope) that when WE walk throught the door, the doctor will somehow become instantly different -- caring, understanding, sympathetic, willing to explain and explore. For my own experience, it's never happened that way. Some are better than others -- but overall, they are all competing against the clock for limited dollars. They are competing against a capitated payment, a fee schedule or some insurance company's definition of 'reasonable and customary.' One way or the other -- it boils down to time and money for them, and either a diagnosis or relief of pain for me. Very little in between counts. It's not that they are horrible people. It's just that compassion and sympathy isn't their job. Repairing broken parts and treating painful conditions IS their job.

It's not right, it's not fair, it's not the way it should be -- but it IS the way it is. I'd estimate that about 96% of all the medical practitioners I have ever seen were disinterested, unsympathetic and extremely detached. The reimbursement system forces them to be this way (even if it isn't in their professional nature).

It's my own belief that once a patient becomes educated and activated, he or she is almost perceived as dangerous or 'big time nuisance' by the medical community. You know the old saying -- a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Well, it is. Once you gain it, I'm not sure who is better equipped to direct your treatment, you or the doc. Most people on this board are at that stage, especially if they've been around here four or five months. Once a person is at that stage, it become inordinately hard to accept the callousness and indifference of doctors -- because you need them less than you did when you didn't understand anything and were kind of scrambling for answers. But regardless of what stage anyone of us, personally, are at -- the medical community is there to treat pain, relieve conditions and get paid.

I hope you will pursue an answer, a diagnosis for your pain, with your podiatrist. But at the same time, I hope you will try to lower your expectations of the medical community. It's sad to do so -- but it certainly prevents chronic disappointment. If you are going to muscle them up and work them over at all -- do so in pursuit of medical information and a diagnosis, not sympathy. You look for sympathy, they simply look the other way and then walk away. You approach it in a business-like fashion armed with all the information you can hold -- you've got half a chance of getting at least some RESPONSE, maybe even an answer.

It stinks but -- you know the old syaing, when in Rome.... Well, this is Rome. In the meantime, if I were you -- I would pour a stiff drink and give yourself the night off. Maybe two drinks and two nights off. You have earned them.


Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!! / Reply!!!!!!!

Elise M. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015472)

Dear Laurie,
I'm sorry that you had such a miserable experience. Unfortunately for us, Dr's are taught empathy in school which is different from sympathy. Empathy allows medical professionals to adequately treat their patients without getting emotionally involved. If I had to sympathize with every patient I took care of, I could not function. A lot of the treatments I had to do to patients were very uncomfortable so empathy is a safety net. It allows you to do the best thing for the patient without hesitation. This guy, however, just sounded like a bad egg. If it's sympathy you want, you came to the right place coming here. We all sympathize with your discomfort and encourage you to get up again tomorrow and start another day undaunted by this experience. Feel better............Elise

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

BJC on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015473)

Robin, not all doctors are cold and uncaring, and I'm sorry your experience has been so bad. I have been extremely fortunate over the years to have found compassionate caring doctors - along with my share of those who I chose NOT to see again. As a military wife I often did not have a choice as to who I could see, or what referrals I could get. In 'working' the system, I found that if I could present my symptoms concisely without a lot of extraneous information I could establish a better relationship a lot more quickly. And I must say, I was wrong in some cases - one neurologist I wasn't thrilled with on the first visit turned out to be THE BEST - and 'cured' my migraine headaches after years of searching and trying new medications. (And as an aside, my PF wasn't nearly as bad and incapacitating as the migraines). So, be patient, and if someone is really bad, there is always another to try. And you may want to give some objective feedback to the dr. who referred you to the neurologist. Good luck, and don't give up!

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Elise M. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015474)

Dear Robin,
Well said !!! I've been blessed having Doctors who genuinely care about the care they give me. I'm not sure if my being a nurse had something to do with it or not. I think my no-nonsense approach to my illness/injuries and the fact that I don't take no for an answer had a lot to do with the care I received. Don't lower your expectations of the medical community. Find someone who will soar to your level and then hang on tight to them. Feel better.......Elise

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015475)

Hi ,and thanks for making me feel better!!!!!!!! You know Robin you are so right!!!!!! I did'nt want this doctor to feel sorry for me nor do I want anyone to feel sorry for me I just wanted to get diagnosed with this nerve thing going on .I did think that if you do have anxiety and you tell your doctor that he would have a little bit of compassion.In the passed I have had some wonderful doctors that really cared and had alot of compassion.The thing is when I called his office last week I told the lady on the phone that I was nervous and she said don't worry that the doctor will explain the test to you before he does anything ,The doctor came in and said so you are here to have some nerve tests done today fun fun fun,if thats how he explains his test ,so right there I thought to myself oh just get this done so I can go home.Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!! / Reply!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015480)

Hi Elise, Thank you for the kind words and your right tomarrow is other day and it will be better.I have PT tomarrow and my therapist is wonderful he cares about people and he does make my foot feel better even if it only last a little while .Thanks again,Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

wendyn on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015484)

Laurie, I am so sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I am horrified that this doctor would administer such a test while refusing to explain or reassure you...what a way to make you feel worse!!!

I don't remember every detail about my EMG test, but it was only in the summer and I CANNOT remember anything about needles. Can you tell me more about this? Perhaps there was a more painful element to the test you had, that I did not have. Yikes - one more thing to look forward to for next time. I do not think that I would have had needles, and then simply fogotten about it.

On the topic of EMG tests....because I am waiting to have a neurologist do mine - I will be waiting until May 25. Isn't that nice? Our health care system moves painfully slow (I have been waiting to see the foot and ankle surgeon since November, I expect to meet him in June.)

Laurie, your experience of being diagnosed with TTS - but having negative tests seems to be rather common. At least you can be assured that the nerves have not been damaged (I think). This seems to be a grey area where the doctors are not really too certain about the tests and the link to TTS. It seems the tests are much more reliable in diagnosing CTS and other problems.

Has your doctor or PT ever suggested RSD (what Lee has)?. I ask because of the extreme level of pain you are in. If not, it may be worthwhile just dropping the name to your PT and see what they say. It is a very rare condition that involves the sympathetic nervous system. It usually causes extreme pain (unremitting) and can also cause stiffness, color change (usually a bluish color) and atrophy...(Lee correct me if I'm wrong on any of this). My PT remains convinced that this is what I had back in May/June/July - and that it simply burned itself out as it does in some cases. He has interesting theories, but I remind myself that he is not a doctor and is just speculating. Although I still have pain, it is nowhere near the mind numbing, all consuming, searing pain I had back then.

I hope that tomorrow is a better day for you, take care...


Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick R on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015489)

Laurie,

Sorry to hear you had such a rough go of it. I also had negative results from this test but am convinced I have some form of nerve dammage.(not to mention the cranial variety) I used to get an 'on fire' sensation and have lost most of the sense of touch on half of one toe. Once I recovered from PF and got active again, the 'fire' subsided.



Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015498)

Hi Wendy,The test I had done had two parts,the first part was the zaps the electric shocks that part I could tolerate then the second part was the needles he said that he had to check my muscles in my foot,He put the needles in my muscles in my foot and he turned them around thats the part of the EMG that hurt real bad.He said everything looked good.I will tell you I hope I never have to have that test done again.You know Wendy I thought the electric zaps were the thing that was going to hurt to me it just felt kinda funny it did get a little uncomforterble with the big zaps but it was ok when I say it was kinda funny I mean when my legs were jumping.I don't think I have RSD because I don't Have the symptoms.My cousin has RSD and she had the surgery for it and she does have it in her foot her symptoms are real different then mine.I would also think that the Neurologist did check my sympathetic nerve he said he was checking all my nerves in my leg and foot.I really don't know all about this stuff I am still learning everyday.You know it did cross my mind about RSD but my foot never turns colors and It doesn't get hot but it does burn inside and it does go numb I still think it is a nerve thing but at least I know their is no nerve damage.Thanks again Wendy hopefully when you take your teat again you will not have to have the needles.Have a good day to all..Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Colleen G on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015510)

Sorry to hear that your experience was so awful. The neurologist that did my emg/ncv was very understanding of my fear. He wanted me on my belly but I told him that when I get nervous and am on my stomach that I sometimes get sick. He let my lay on my back. He said that it was a little more awkward to do, but he would figure it out. The shocks didn't bother me. They were a little annoying. Before he did the needle part of the test he sprayed that real cold stuff on the site so that I would not feel it. If you need to have this done again maybe find out about having the area frozen.

Good luck.


Re: Neurologist appTo Wendy and Alan

Laurie R on 1/13/00 at 00:00 (014702)

Hi to all thank you both so much for responding to my post you two always make me feel so much better.It feels so good to know that you guys are here.Everything in my life is kind of crazy right now and my foot just makes things worst.Just knowing there are people who care makes me feel we all could get through this.I am so here for any one who needs to vent........I hope I can get my computer back tomarrow,as for now I am still using my brothers .Take care and thank you to all.P.S.Thanks Wendy for telling me about the test your right it does'nt sound bad. Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Marti C on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015464)

Hi, Laurie
Im sorry you went through that! I, too had this done and I dont care what anyone says it HURTS! The dr. that did mine also said I was neg. and that it 'shouldnt hurt'! Ha! My others drs. said I deffinetly have TTS. Who knows? That is why I believe in this board more than any dr. Ive encountered.
Hang in there, Marti

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Robin B. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015467)

Laurie, sorry to hear you had such a tough time with the test. Sometimes just trying to arrive at a diagnosis can be as painful as the condition itself. Lots of diagnostic tests are a cake walk -- but certainly, not all of them. I'm sorry you had such a difficult time going through the EMG.

Try not to be upset about the doctor. Alan posted something very similar a week or two ago. I remember, because I posted back to him virtually the same thing I am writing here. The majority of doctors are not in the compassion and sympathy business. The health care system, and especially the finances of managed care, have forced many many doctors to see patients as a collection of symptoms. They don't care if you are afraid, confused, worried or anxious or if you have a lot of questions. Fixing any of those conditions isn't their job; it's not what the health care system pays them for. Treating your symptoms and alleviating the problem IS, so that's what they focus on. I'll repeat what I said to Alan: They diagnose the problem, treat it, send you on your way and collect payment. That's the whole 4 step scenario. Everything else is extraneous to them.

I think at one level, every one of us can accept that -- as long as it's not 'me, personally' that we're talking about. I think in our hearts, we all expect (or at least hope) that when WE walk throught the door, the doctor will somehow become instantly different -- caring, understanding, sympathetic, willing to explain and explore. For my own experience, it's never happened that way. Some are better than others -- but overall, they are all competing against the clock for limited dollars. They are competing against a capitated payment, a fee schedule or some insurance company's definition of 'reasonable and customary.' One way or the other -- it boils down to time and money for them, and either a diagnosis or relief of pain for me. Very little in between counts. It's not that they are horrible people. It's just that compassion and sympathy isn't their job. Repairing broken parts and treating painful conditions IS their job.

It's not right, it's not fair, it's not the way it should be -- but it IS the way it is. I'd estimate that about 96% of all the medical practitioners I have ever seen were disinterested, unsympathetic and extremely detached. The reimbursement system forces them to be this way (even if it isn't in their professional nature).

It's my own belief that once a patient becomes educated and activated, he or she is almost perceived as dangerous or 'big time nuisance' by the medical community. You know the old saying -- a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Well, it is. Once you gain it, I'm not sure who is better equipped to direct your treatment, you or the doc. Most people on this board are at that stage, especially if they've been around here four or five months. Once a person is at that stage, it become inordinately hard to accept the callousness and indifference of doctors -- because you need them less than you did when you didn't understand anything and were kind of scrambling for answers. But regardless of what stage anyone of us, personally, are at -- the medical community is there to treat pain, relieve conditions and get paid.

I hope you will pursue an answer, a diagnosis for your pain, with your podiatrist. But at the same time, I hope you will try to lower your expectations of the medical community. It's sad to do so -- but it certainly prevents chronic disappointment. If you are going to muscle them up and work them over at all -- do so in pursuit of medical information and a diagnosis, not sympathy. You look for sympathy, they simply look the other way and then walk away. You approach it in a business-like fashion armed with all the information you can hold -- you've got half a chance of getting at least some RESPONSE, maybe even an answer.

It stinks but -- you know the old syaing, when in Rome.... Well, this is Rome. In the meantime, if I were you -- I would pour a stiff drink and give yourself the night off. Maybe two drinks and two nights off. You have earned them.


Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!! / Reply!!!!!!!

Elise M. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015472)

Dear Laurie,
I'm sorry that you had such a miserable experience. Unfortunately for us, Dr's are taught empathy in school which is different from sympathy. Empathy allows medical professionals to adequately treat their patients without getting emotionally involved. If I had to sympathize with every patient I took care of, I could not function. A lot of the treatments I had to do to patients were very uncomfortable so empathy is a safety net. It allows you to do the best thing for the patient without hesitation. This guy, however, just sounded like a bad egg. If it's sympathy you want, you came to the right place coming here. We all sympathize with your discomfort and encourage you to get up again tomorrow and start another day undaunted by this experience. Feel better............Elise

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

BJC on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015473)

Robin, not all doctors are cold and uncaring, and I'm sorry your experience has been so bad. I have been extremely fortunate over the years to have found compassionate caring doctors - along with my share of those who I chose NOT to see again. As a military wife I often did not have a choice as to who I could see, or what referrals I could get. In 'working' the system, I found that if I could present my symptoms concisely without a lot of extraneous information I could establish a better relationship a lot more quickly. And I must say, I was wrong in some cases - one neurologist I wasn't thrilled with on the first visit turned out to be THE BEST - and 'cured' my migraine headaches after years of searching and trying new medications. (And as an aside, my PF wasn't nearly as bad and incapacitating as the migraines). So, be patient, and if someone is really bad, there is always another to try. And you may want to give some objective feedback to the dr. who referred you to the neurologist. Good luck, and don't give up!

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Elise M. on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015474)

Dear Robin,
Well said !!! I've been blessed having Doctors who genuinely care about the care they give me. I'm not sure if my being a nurse had something to do with it or not. I think my no-nonsense approach to my illness/injuries and the fact that I don't take no for an answer had a lot to do with the care I received. Don't lower your expectations of the medical community. Find someone who will soar to your level and then hang on tight to them. Feel better.......Elise

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015475)

Hi ,and thanks for making me feel better!!!!!!!! You know Robin you are so right!!!!!! I did'nt want this doctor to feel sorry for me nor do I want anyone to feel sorry for me I just wanted to get diagnosed with this nerve thing going on .I did think that if you do have anxiety and you tell your doctor that he would have a little bit of compassion.In the passed I have had some wonderful doctors that really cared and had alot of compassion.The thing is when I called his office last week I told the lady on the phone that I was nervous and she said don't worry that the doctor will explain the test to you before he does anything ,The doctor came in and said so you are here to have some nerve tests done today fun fun fun,if thats how he explains his test ,so right there I thought to myself oh just get this done so I can go home.Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!! / Reply!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015480)

Hi Elise, Thank you for the kind words and your right tomarrow is other day and it will be better.I have PT tomarrow and my therapist is wonderful he cares about people and he does make my foot feel better even if it only last a little while .Thanks again,Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

wendyn on 2/03/00 at 00:00 (015484)

Laurie, I am so sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I am horrified that this doctor would administer such a test while refusing to explain or reassure you...what a way to make you feel worse!!!

I don't remember every detail about my EMG test, but it was only in the summer and I CANNOT remember anything about needles. Can you tell me more about this? Perhaps there was a more painful element to the test you had, that I did not have. Yikes - one more thing to look forward to for next time. I do not think that I would have had needles, and then simply fogotten about it.

On the topic of EMG tests....because I am waiting to have a neurologist do mine - I will be waiting until May 25. Isn't that nice? Our health care system moves painfully slow (I have been waiting to see the foot and ankle surgeon since November, I expect to meet him in June.)

Laurie, your experience of being diagnosed with TTS - but having negative tests seems to be rather common. At least you can be assured that the nerves have not been damaged (I think). This seems to be a grey area where the doctors are not really too certain about the tests and the link to TTS. It seems the tests are much more reliable in diagnosing CTS and other problems.

Has your doctor or PT ever suggested RSD (what Lee has)?. I ask because of the extreme level of pain you are in. If not, it may be worthwhile just dropping the name to your PT and see what they say. It is a very rare condition that involves the sympathetic nervous system. It usually causes extreme pain (unremitting) and can also cause stiffness, color change (usually a bluish color) and atrophy...(Lee correct me if I'm wrong on any of this). My PT remains convinced that this is what I had back in May/June/July - and that it simply burned itself out as it does in some cases. He has interesting theories, but I remind myself that he is not a doctor and is just speculating. Although I still have pain, it is nowhere near the mind numbing, all consuming, searing pain I had back then.

I hope that tomorrow is a better day for you, take care...


Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick R on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015489)

Laurie,

Sorry to hear you had such a rough go of it. I also had negative results from this test but am convinced I have some form of nerve dammage.(not to mention the cranial variety) I used to get an 'on fire' sensation and have lost most of the sense of touch on half of one toe. Once I recovered from PF and got active again, the 'fire' subsided.



Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie R on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015498)

Hi Wendy,The test I had done had two parts,the first part was the zaps the electric shocks that part I could tolerate then the second part was the needles he said that he had to check my muscles in my foot,He put the needles in my muscles in my foot and he turned them around thats the part of the EMG that hurt real bad.He said everything looked good.I will tell you I hope I never have to have that test done again.You know Wendy I thought the electric zaps were the thing that was going to hurt to me it just felt kinda funny it did get a little uncomforterble with the big zaps but it was ok when I say it was kinda funny I mean when my legs were jumping.I don't think I have RSD because I don't Have the symptoms.My cousin has RSD and she had the surgery for it and she does have it in her foot her symptoms are real different then mine.I would also think that the Neurologist did check my sympathetic nerve he said he was checking all my nerves in my leg and foot.I really don't know all about this stuff I am still learning everyday.You know it did cross my mind about RSD but my foot never turns colors and It doesn't get hot but it does burn inside and it does go numb I still think it is a nerve thing but at least I know their is no nerve damage.Thanks again Wendy hopefully when you take your teat again you will not have to have the needles.Have a good day to all..Laurie R

Re: Neurologist Appointment today and EMG NOT FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Colleen G on 2/04/00 at 00:00 (015510)

Sorry to hear that your experience was so awful. The neurologist that did my emg/ncv was very understanding of my fear. He wanted me on my belly but I told him that when I get nervous and am on my stomach that I sometimes get sick. He let my lay on my back. He said that it was a little more awkward to do, but he would figure it out. The shocks didn't bother me. They were a little annoying. Before he did the needle part of the test he sprayed that real cold stuff on the site so that I would not feel it. If you need to have this done again maybe find out about having the area frozen.

Good luck.