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emg!!!

Posted by tootswisc z4/5Wi (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 30, 06 at 22:26

Have you ever had one of these. I have had numbness and tingling on both 4th and 5th fingers for the past month or so. I went to the Dr. and a neck x-ray showed that the disks in my neck had degenerated....yuck! I have been really worried about aging lately as I am 56 and would like to back pack in my retirement(actually DH's plan and I want to tag along) So I had an EMG today. First they send jolts of electricity thru your nerves and then they follow up with amplified pins. I think the results were good-not a neck problem but carple tunnel and ulnar problems. I will be wearing wrist splints and will see and ocupational therapist. So to celebrate, I trimmed my canadian hemlock hedge- today is dump day. I explained to DH-we have to do this as the hedge is becoming tree like.

I realize the time has come to hire someone to do this. I am just so sick of telling someone what to do. I love doing yard work. It is just the numb fingers that I don't like!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: emg!!!

Good luck with your neck-- that sounds sucky!
I go through bouts of carpal tunnel stuff, too. It started with my carrying my kids around all the time when they were babies. They didn't like backpacks, frontpacks or snuggli thingies-- they liked arms. Now the CT business comes and goes. If I do too much painting, that bothers me...but the other day I was able to pound nails for a couple hours and came through ok. It just kicks in sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't.
Maybe you'll get lucky and yours will be temporary. I hope so! You can kind of learn what does and what doesn't bother you, and go easy on troublesome activities. I wish you the best!!


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Thanks! I slacked off this past year with my Curves routine-I do like that place because for the most part it keeps my body strong. I do so much yard work once spring comes that I don't have time to excercise-nor do I think I need to because I work so hard on our 2 properties. I don't want to give that up but I guess I need to get is better shape before spring starts.

I have been wearing the splints for a couple of nights and maybe I note some improvement but the weather looks great for at least today so I will be hitting the yard work again.
Oddly enough, my physical therapy is on hold since I need to see OT if it is a hand thing. When you say it bothers you is it numbness in your fingers?


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I get numbness in my fourth and fifth fingers too, and the doctor says it's nerves getting hung up on bone spurs from arthritis. Yuck! Now I go to a pain management specialist who injects steroids in my shoulders--and in my hips for some kind of other nerve pain. Double yuck! As long as I can be active I'll put up with it, and I think being active really helps. When I first started having the problem I guess I ignored it until it got to the point I had trouble combing my hair, but now I water hanging baskets with no trouble (which is much more important than combing my hair!) Not sure why using it more wouldn't make it worse, at least in the long run, but it doesn't seem to so far.


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RE: emg!!!

Isn't this a drag. I have carpal tunnel and an ulnar neuropathy along with degenerative disc disease of my neck and spurs up and down my spine. And the thing about all of this is that it is not so far from normal aging. So all you younguns should be aware that this could happen to you. Fortunately, I feel much better when I am active. I will be seeing a hand doc for the carple tunnel. The words surgery and steroid injections were mentioned by the nurse who scheduled the appt-I don't want that I said and the nurse seemed a bit perturbed.


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RE: emg!!!

A dairy farmer buddy of ours had the surgery, and it made a world of difference for him-- from constant misery to comfortable normal activity. I woudn't write off the possibility if the problem gets worse.
Yep, mine's mostly manifest in numb fingers/hands, especially when I'm trying to sleep. If I do a lot of repetitive hand/wrist stuff (for some reason painting is worse than almost anything, including pounding nails) I can get nasty pain and lose some of the strength in my hand for a few days. I've learned to pace myself with the stuff that bothers worst. I'll take 3 days to finish painting a room -- do other stuff in between and then come back to it. It's inefficient in a way, but it's works out better than doing it all at once, and then not being able to do half the stuff I want for the next week!
Most of the time I don't have much trouble at all, really. I've just learned that there are a few things I should NOT do for hours at a time-- then I'm usually fine.
Cena has trouble with carpal tunnel, too. She's the one who recommended the splints. I never wear them during the day, but I sleep in them occasionally -- not often-- but they really help when I do. I didn't think I'd be able to stand wearing them, but I started with the right one when my left arm was broken and in a cast. I'd been taking up all the slack with my right hand. I'm right-handed, but I normally do a lot of trading off (left hand/right hand) when have I repetitive chores. I wasn't sleeping much anyway at that point, and the extra brace didn't make much difference. I got somewhat used to it then. It wakes me up less than a numb hand does.
Best of luck with yours! I hope therapy etc. help and that anything major is unnecessary.


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RE: emg!!!

Hi Diane,

Yes, I have had an EMG. They really hurt! I have plantar fasciitis that fibromyalgia went into. Although they did not know it was fibromyalgia until after they did several EMGs on me. Yes they are very pleasant. lol First they jabbed a needle with a wire on it into my calf muscle. They then stuck another needle with a wire on it into the side of my foot next to the little toe. If that wasn't painful enough, they made me flex my muscles while the needles were in my muscles. Oh yes, fun times that the doctors office. lol

Larry


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RE: emg!!!

  • Posted by fishies Ottawa z4a or 5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 8, 06 at 10:53

Oh, and the fibromyalgia must have made that experience so utterly delightful!


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RE: emg!!!

Now they think my problem is my neck. I got rid of the wrist splints and I am waiting for the neck man. My fingers are numb and irritating lot's of the time...unless I am really having a good time or working really hard and then I forget I have the problem.


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RE: emg!!!

Hi Diane,

I had also heard that hand numbness can be a pinched nerve in the neck. I hope they are able to correct the problem for you.

Larry

PS - Shelly, I'm sure the fibro didn't help with how uncomfortable the emg was. But I have no frame of reference.


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RE: emg!!!

Hi Gang,

Hand or finger numbness CAN be neck related, I had some as an after-effect of whiplash from a car accident. Had to give up karate because of it. Had numbness in my outer 3 fingers, but happily, it was temporary & it did go away! As I type for a living (long time legal word processor & now legal secretary), it was quite worrysome for a while.

Was also the 'cause of my having some EMG to check the conductivity of muscle impulses down the arm into the fingers (I didn't think it was too bad). It was skillfully administered by my Chiro of 20 yrs., who later told me he was originally an acupuncturist.

I'll hope it'll be temporary for you as well!


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RE: emg!!!

Bad news I guess. I had a MRI last night and got a call today. The radiologist contacted my primary immediately. I have severe degenerative disk disease in my neck and swelling in my spinal cord. I am seeing a neurosurgeon on tuesday. About 1/2 hour after that call I received another call from the spine clinic with an appt for monday. I am in a state of shock. It is really hard to not obsess about this. I am also upset with the amount of time I have spent dinking around trying to get an MRI and when I finally do it's an emergency and get 2 appts in a hurry. Isn't this the pits. I certainly hope I don't need surgery on my neck!


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RE: emg!!!

Oh Toots,

Sounds like a bummer, I'll hope it's NOT surgical.

I'd advise pls. go slowly here & make sure to get a 2nd opinion from another non-related neurologist. Pls., remember that by definition, surgeons cut, so a neurosurgeon is likely to think cut 1st & always.

If it were me, I'd ask abt any other possible options & what worst case scenarios might be if one didn't have surgery.

Can you take anyone w/ you to the appointments? DH, daughter, son, siubling, close friend, anyone else, &/or perhaps write some notes for yourself abt what to ask the doctors? & jot down some quick notes on their responses? Just thinking out loud.

Crossing fingers & toes for ya, pls. try not to worry too much 'til you get lots more info. & of course, post back when ya can (((HUGS))) Toots (gentle ones of course),

Karen


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RE: emg!!!

  • Posted by fishies Ottawa z4a or 5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 19, 06 at 11:45

I'd cross my toes for you, too, but they're still kind of stiff. I'll cross my eyes instead.

What are degenerative disc disease and spinal cord swelling?

Please keep us updated on what's going on, and how you're feeling.

Shelly


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Oh Diane,

That sounds pretty serious. I don't mean life or death, I just mean that it is something that needs to be taken care of soon. I'm glad that your health care professonals are seeing you right away. If this were 25 years ago I would be a lot more nervous. Today they are so much better at treating spinal cord and disks problems. Some of the solutions do not involve surgery. My sister had disk problems in her lower back and they were able to fix her up just fine.

Everything Karen said is probably good advice. Something like this should always warrent a second opinion. And I second the recommendation on bringing someone to the exam with you. My wife and I always do that for something important like this where there can be some strong emotions with the person with the illness. Writing things down is always good. It's hard to think and remember.

Good luck and I will send good thoughts your way.

Larry


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Thanks for everyone's kind concerns!

Unfortunately, using the mouse is uncomfortable for me right now so my GW fix is not what it used to be. My days seem long waiting for these 2 appts. I have names of docs I plan to use as second opinions-well I guess that might be 3rd opinions. Fortunately, University of Wisconsin clinics are im my network I think so that is probably where I will end up if my neck thing turns into a....je nais se qua.

Speaking french as I was thinking I should plan a trip and if I say it could be my last, dh might really jump at Go-Today.com's $669 package to Paris-air fare and 6 nights in a hotel. One good thing about having a possible serious problem-everyone trys to take care of you.


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RE: emg!!!

I saw the spine surgeon today. Not good news. He started out by saying I need to be really careful or I could become a quadrapelgic. There is no room for my spinal cord in my neck because of spinal stenosis. So no more roller coasters for me. I have to ride in cars with side air bags along with front one. No driving on ice. I need to make sure I don't fall down stairs. So I am an accident waiting to happen!. I really got no advice about the numbness and burning in my hands.

So it is on to the neuro surgeon tomorrow. Fortunately I have University of Wisconsin Hospital and clinics in my network and a friend who works in rehab. I have another spine doc looking at my MRI and hopefully will get more answers from the next 2 docs I see. All in all I say that this is a bit scary. In the spine clinic at UW they have an acupuncture clinic. Alternative medicine is not considered alternative there!


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Yikes, toots! I hope everything turns out ok for you! Good luck with your appointment tomorrow! I'll be thinking good thoughts for you! :o)


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Hi Diane,

I didn't realize that spinal stenosis was that tricky. They once checked my out for it, because there were some who thought it could explain my Fibromyalgia. That was a long time ago and I don't think they ever found a correlation between the two.

Good luck tomorrow! I hope they figure out the problem and are able to fix it for you.

Take care,

Larry


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RE: emg!!!

  • Posted by fishies Ottawa z4a or 5 (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 24, 06 at 8:13

Sending you some sweet thoughts, tootsie.


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I felt a bit better after seeing the neurosurgeon. A spinal fusion should put me back together. He advised me to get second and 3rd opinions but felt everyone would agree I should have surgery sooner rather than later. I have an appt on November 14th with the THE spine doc at UW-just about the best second opinion I could ever hope for. When I told the neurosuregeon who I was seeing he said that this Doctor is probably the leading spine surgeon in the nation if not the world! So now I am totally wired waiting for my next of certainly many medical appts.


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  • Posted by fishies Ottawa z4a or 5 (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 30, 06 at 16:00

Spinal surgery, huh? Maybe your doctor will be all cutesy-pie, like that hot spinal surgeon on Lost :)

Any more news, sweetness?

Shelly


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Hi Diane,

I'm glad that there is a solution to your problem. I don't know anyone who have had spinal fusion in the neck. My sister had a couple of vertibra fused in her lower back and she has been pain free for years.

Larry


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RE: emg!!!

Physically I feel fine except for numbness and tingling in my right 4th and 5th finger. But emotionally I am a bit of a wreck. I am trying to make my mother feel guilty. She is a bit frail-mostly by her poor choices and when she really starts to get needy I say "Well at least you are'nt a quadraplegic" That stops her in her tract. I also was going to tell one of those political people that stop by and ask for your help to canvass that I am just a step away from becoming a quadraplegic and couldn't possibly help with a lit drop next saturday. Friends and family I am sure will get tired of this soon so I better think of other ways rather than comedy to deal with this.

My symptoms are quite minor I think so surely all will turn out well. I actually do believe this but surgery on my neck seems oh so scarey!


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RE: emg!!!

Sweetie - believe me, I am absolutely sure and positive that everyone around you is worried about you. If everyone on this board is thinking about you - and we don't even know you! - you can be sure that the people who love you are silently standing behind you (and I've seen those photos of you on that boat - you are well loved, my darlin').

xoxo
S.


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RE: emg!!!

Welll folks, I am scheduled to have surgery on December 7th. We met with the surgeon on tuesday and this is what I will have
http://www.esurgeon.com/scripts/content/treatmentoptions/neck-laminoplasty.html?doctor=zdeblick
Click on the animated box

I am in a state of shock but I am very comfortable with the doctor and feel the proceedure is less invasive then a fusion. I will have full function of my neck and the doc feels I have a 75% chance that all of my symptoms will be relieved. I was totally unprepared when she said December 7th. I really wanted to say something like how about the next week. But now that I see what a wreck I am I think the sooner the better!


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Hi Diane,

I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I think you are correct. With something like this the sooner the better. It will be one and last week to worry about.

The procedure is quite fascinating. It amazes me what doctors can do these days. Do you have any idea on what kind of time frame you will need to recover?

Thank you for sharing this information.

Larry


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I am in the hospital for 1 or 2 days and I think I heard him say that I can drive in 2 weeks!!!!! That does not seem possible. I have a 1/2 day work up on the 28th where I will find out more answers. Gil will take off work that first week.

I spent several hours searching laminoplasties on the internet. The surgery is quite sophisticated and not to many people are doing it. Interestingly, Japan has been doing this surgery for years as asians have more cervical spine problems. I decided to stop searching when I found a chat room and someone who had had the proceedure and was very happy with the results but went on and on about her pain post op. I don't need to hear that...or the fact that some people have gone blind because the patient is on their stomache, the surgery can take 3-4 hours and if your head is not supported correctly, your optic nerve can get damaged! But I am a STRONG WOMAN and I feel confident that my recovery will be just fine. Isn't it great that I will have complete range of motion of my neck!


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I had my preop physical today and got all my questions answered. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of....my neck....The proceedure will take about 2 hours. I might be able to leave the hospital the next day. I wear a soft collar for 2 weeks, can't lift more than 10 pounds for about 6 weeks. Some people go back to work in 2 weeks! Most people stop taking the big gun pain killers in 2 weeks. I am supposed to be walking ASAP and I should be walking a very slow mile prior to getting my staples out in 2 weeks. The incision will be 5 inches.

I have been being a giant baby the past week or so-whining, suffering, being a slug, allowing myself to be totally unproductive. I was afraid. I still am but going thru the pre-op physical made me realize how healthy I am. I really should not need luck on my side as I am a mighty good surgical candidate and gosh darn it, I will make it thru this all in one piece. So tomorrow I plan to be strong, accept all the concern everyone has for me and have a good day.

And I think I will be able to wish people good health in the new year and feel that this will include myself!

So I am going to say this to myself---YOU GO GIRL!

Diane


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  • Posted by fishies Ottawa z4a or 5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 29, 06 at 8:02

I'll second that goingness, Toots - YOU GO GIRL!


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RE: emg!!!

whine whine whine...72 hours to go.

Seems like i am hearing many bad back surgery stories. My symptoms remain so minor that I am second guessing myself all the time. But then this morning I couldn't manipulate a pencil when doing my suduko and I had problems changing my vaccuum attachment because of hand weakness. Strange that my deterioration is reassuring.

yuck yuck yuck. I really want to have a pity party! Stop that Diane.

Maybe I should not have had 2 cups of coffee as I am really anxious right now.


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Hey Toots,

I'm gonna suggest here that those emotions you're having are normal & part of the pre-procedure willies.

I had a big knee surgery when I was 17 & was very nervous & scared. I had to have it after car accident, lots of narcotics for the pain & finally after a time, I could no longer walk. It all worked out very well in the end & I'll tell you that I had my surgery on a Friday the 13th (I have considered the 13th lucky for me ever since.) I was supposed to have a permanent limp, which I do not, so really, I was very lucky! But I also went crazy for physical rehab after the surgery. I swam EVERY day for months, did ALL my exercises & was super-motivated to get full function back!

So I'll repeat, I think it's normal your feelings are all over the place, pity, anxiety ... you'd have to be made of stone not to be feeling these things.

Pls. remember as you said above: you are strong & otherwise healthy & these two make excellent prospects for surgery! Am hoping DH can be supportive as well. Afterwards, pls DO let people help you, even if that's not 2nd nature to you, it will be a MUST for a while.

Wishing you a big YOU GO GIRL!!! Will send you warm, healthy & healing vibes throughout the week!

Karen


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