Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Of all the nerves

My doctors are busy these days trying to figure out why my right arm continues to hurt.
Originally I mentioned it to my family physician because after about six months, it was still aching and complaining whenever I raised or turned it or laid on it.
I assumed it had to do with old age — who's old around here anyway? — or arthritic bones so I waited a while before I asked about it.
My doctor promptly ordered a CAT scan of my neck which I thought was curious.
Had I not said it was my arm that hurt?
But dutiful patient that I am, I submitted to the test.
It showed some degenerative bone loss but nothing that explained the arm pain.
We moved on to an MRI which examined every inch of me, right?
Those tests were sent over to a neurosurgeon who declined any surgical moves and passed me on to a neurologist.
Again, I was confused as to what we were doing because the pain is in my arm, not my head, not my neck and not my back.
But I tend to think doctors know what they're doing so yesterday I went to the neurologist for a nerve test.
I was a little bit worried because according to my wise Internet friends, nerve tests can hurt.
One guy described it as "accu-torture."
It's actually an hour-long series of pokes and prods with a kind of electrical testing tool that stimulates the nerve, kind of like walking across the carpet and shocking yourself...over and over again and to varying degrees.
I was thinking I was lucking out when he said, "OK. Now. Do you have a problem with needles?"
Several painful jabs later, I was done but the doctor was confused.
"Did you say the pain was in your arm?" he asked.
"Hmmm," he said. "I see nothing out of order with your nerve impulses. I think I'll send you over to a colleague of mine for some further tests."
Oh joy. Oh boy.
I'm feeling a little like a guinea pig here and I can't help thinking, how about an X-ray of my elbow? Wouldn't that help?


  1. Please let us know what you find out. I have this same problem. Has your Dr said anything about calcium deposits? I guess those would have shown up on the MRI.

  2. When I have such pain, my chiropractor husband adjusts my neck. A chiropractor may be worth a shot.

  3. So something with the neck can make my arm hurt?