Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Admitted to Erlanger Medical Center

After being admitted to the Erlanger Medical Center, I was moved to my room in the early
morning hours. By now, the ER doctor had given my case over to a hospitalist and hospital neurologist (the neurologist I had just seen was unavailable--it figures). The hospitalist became the primary doctor for my admission.

That morning, I was visited by a social worker and physical therapist. The first question they asked me was, "where do you want to go for your rehab?" Say What! I did not want to go anywhere! I wanted to go home, not to a rehabilitation unit!

They began physical therapy on me that morning. I learned how to walk on a walker--and by that time I could not have walked without one. But, I was determined to quickly progress off the walker. Before they dismissed me, I was walking with a cane not a walker. I think the large dose of steroids given to me before the CT really helped my ability to walk.

While in the hospital, I had an EMG/NCV test. It was almost lunch time when I went to the appointment. I sensed the EMG doctor would rather eat lunch than test me. But, test me he did. The EMG test involves sticking needles in various muscle groups to record their electrical responses. The EMG test looks for nerve/muscle damage. The NCV involves placing electrodes on the skin and then passing an electrical current between them to measure the time it takes for the electrical signal to be processes. The NCV looks for nerve conduction ability damage. These tests are usually painful, they did not bother me much at all.

The results were: This is an abnormal study. The electro-diagnostic data are consistent with a mild predominantly sensory neuropathy. Median and Tibial distal motor latencies and slightly prolonged but do not satisfy criteria for inflammatory demyelination. Included in the differential diagnosis would be diabetes, glucose intolerance, toxic exposure, and connective tissue disease. There is no evidence of myopathy or motor neuron disease.

Following that EMG/NCV report, I was released from the hospital because my condition was not life-threatening and instructed to keep the follow-up appointment with my neurologist. At this point in time, I am still hurting, experiencing the same symptoms, walking with a cane, and wondering what is next.

Just a note about the doctors at Erlanger. The ER doctor who attended me was a student doctor. She did a good job, showed real concern, and had good people skills. The head ER doctor was sort of arrogant and cocky. Cathy did not particularly like him. I think he did not really hear anything I was saying--after all--he is the doctor. The EMG/NCV doctor knew his specialty, but seemed disinterested and hurried. The therapists were all good and professional. The hospitalist was very nice, concerned, professional and a good doctor. I appreciate her.

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