Feb. 24, 2018

Nerve conduction study experience part 2

It was Thursday afternoon and I had to leave work early to drive up to the Neurological Associates clinic in Kirkland for the nerve conduction study.  My appointment time was 4:30 and like a good little patient, I showed up half an hour early.  After years of medical appointments and procedures, it’s a good practice, especially since paperwork is always part of a first-time visit.  The waiting room only had four people, who I discovered were family members of the clinic’s patients that were already inside being treated.  I looked at the wall and saw how many physicians practiced at that clinic.  There were eight and I didn’t expect all of them to be having clinic hours at the same time.  And yet, I was called in forty-five minutes after my appointment time on a slow afternoon.

The neurologist himself called me in and walked me back.  I was already irritated due to the extended wait time, and so when he walked fast and kept looking back at me, I wanted to sarcastically say, “yeah buddy, I have a bit of a physical disability, and it took you guys 45 minutes on a slow clinic day to call me back.  I’ll get there when I get there.”  As we sat in the tiny exam room, he didn’t seem to know what I was there for.  He didn’t have any semblance of a chart or a tablet to enter notes on, or even a clipboard with a sheet of paper on it.  When I told him that I hadn’t been given any information about this appointment besides the clinic name, address, phone number, and that I’d been referred for the nerve conduction study, he stood back up and went outside to get my referral.

We discussed how long I had been using a cane and why.  Apparently, he didn’t listen as closely as I hoped because the examination was of my calves and ankles, and testing was done more on one leg than the other. 

He had me lie down with my pant legs rolled up, attached the electrodes to spots on my calves and ankles, and sent what felt like mini-shock waves to test the nerves.  Afterward, he conducted the second half, where needles were inserted into the muscles.  It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it’s not fun either.  Well, the needle part didn’t bother me as I didn’t feel a thing and he kept increasing it to the highest point.  Finally, he tested my reflexes and determined that I have less feeling in my left leg than the right, but no nerve damage in either calf.

The only good thing in this whole experience was that there’s no discernable nerve damage.  And now, more than a week later, I haven’t heard from the surgeon that referred me for the nerve conduction study.  Guess who will be making some calls on Monday?