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23 April 2012

medical war

I lost a battle just now.

It's my body versus me.

I'm at the VA hospital. I was supposed to get a nerve test done on my right arm, because I'm losing function in it, and basic tasks - like writing - are becoming painful. I had no idea what the test would consist of, until I got into the neurologist's office and she explained it to me.

There are two parts to the test. In the first part, she would put electrodes on my arm and shock each of the 4 (5? I don't remember) nerves to be tested, with progressively escalating intensity. The second part involved putting tiny needles in my muscles and having me flex and relax those muscles, with the needles in there.

I got as far as the fourth shock on the first nerve.

Which, by the way, was less than halfway through the series planned for the first nerve.

By the second shock, I had tears in my eyes, but I thought the pain was just 'making my eyes water.' I thought I could handle it. After the third one, I wasn't sure. Then after the fourth, I realized I was frightened, and that the fear would only intensify the pain. And I realized I couldn't do this alone. I was crying in earnest by then.

Walking out to my car, I passed a parked motorcycle and realized that by the time I can afford to buy another bike, I won't be able to ride it. By then, my hand might be useless.

It took me four and a half years to convince the Army and the VA that I needed this appointment, and six months for the VA to actually schedule it ...and I couldn't do it. I had to walk out, with the testing barely even started.

I'm probably going to have to convince them to re-schedule it. Unless I can find another way to test those nerves.

I don't even really know what, exactly, they were looking for. "Nerve function" seems so vague to me.

My fucking arm doesn't work properly. Do they really need a test for that?

I need to go home. But right now, I'm sitting in my car, in the VA parking lot, waiting for my right hand to return to the waking world so I can drive safely.


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