Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This Must Be A Red Letter Week~ Sore

There will be four blogs for this week. You haven't seen four? Just wait they are coming. That's the most I've blogged since October when I had my second stroke and my husband was put of hospice services. With all this putting words together and correcting it before I hit publish, I must be gearing up for something. <slaps my forehead> Oh, that's right. I'm a writer! Doh!

This morning I awoke at 3AM. I tried to get out of bed but had a real hard time doing it. Yes the spasticity is a factor, but it was all the stuff that went along with the Botox injections yesterday. Had you ever been stuck multiple times by someone who is drawing blood, or by someone who is trying to root around with an IV needle to catch a vein, or had an EMG done? Then maybe you can relate to the soreness I feel today.

An EMG (electromyography) has a needle like probe that sends signals to a machine that measures the activity. It is done to measure the nerve input to various muscles.

With Botox, it's an EMG guided needle and syringe filled with Botox. You push the needle into the muscle and move it around (digging) for the most this case, it's the strongest muscle spasm. It may mean going deeper or shallower, to the left or right and various points in between. Like I said yesterday this procedure lasted two hours for the 300 CCs worth of Botox to be injected.

I was heavy into my Lamaze breathing at times. It's really yoga breathing techniques, but I always called it Lamaze breathing.  I use it several times a day for various pain issues. It's basically focused breathing to over ride pain. I've used this technique for over 35 years in dealing with pain. Just like I've used various yoga positions to deal with pain also. Amy Shissler is heavy into a certain type of yoga for stroke rehab.

Before you poo-pah it, try it. You might just be surprised how well it works. But I digress.

Notice it doesn't say Cosmetic
We decided before the insurance denied the extra 100 mg of Botox for my leg that we (the neurologist and myself) that the main focus for the injection sites would be the arm. My pectoral (chest) muscles were badly affected by my stroke. Nobody ever thinks of those muscles. You gotta love a good working relationship with a neurologist. I've heard and had a few horror stories with bad ones over the years.

An EMG driven needle procedure is more expensive than just standard shots but it pinpoints the shot accurately. When you consider each vial is $365 or more, I prefer the accuracy for the most bang for my buck. When the warble sound and the monitor show high almost straight up and down movement in rapid sequence, you know you've hit the right spot. Yeah, I can feel it also. Then comes the injection. The muscle is tense already, but now you are trying to push fluid in the space too. I definitely can feel that.

I'm not the squeamish type when it comes to procedures. I watch with great interest even if it's my own body. I have been since I was a child. That's why I chose medical career in the first place. I'm a nerd. I admit it.

All fifteen injections were done this way. Since I couldn't extend my forearm for injections, I rolled on my side and held the arm out so the doctor would have better access. In my mind, the better access the sooner we'd be done. The sooner we were done, the sooner I'd have relief in a week or two.

Not me but close
Now, I'm not flat chested so when it comes to pectoral muscles I have to hold my girl twins in check and out of the way so that the doctor can reach the muscle. The Hooter girls have nothing on me even after a breast reduction. I used to say my twins were identical twins until a second partial mastectomy because of cancer. So now they are fraternal twins. No, I did not have reconstructive surgery after the last time either. One double surgery was enough for me. A rolled up sock works wonders to fill in the gap in a bra under clothes.

Which poses an interesting shouldn't take a blood pressure on the stroke affected side and you shouldn't take a blood pressure on the side with a mastectomy, but I only have two arms. Most nurses are dumbfounded when I tell them. Only one yesterday was quick to say take it in the leg. Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner finally. I've only been asking nurses since I had my stroke in May 2012! Honestly most cannot be bothered. I can understand this.

So I'm waiting and expecting the shots I had yesterday to take effect.


  1. Rebecca,
    Courage? If I were courageous, I would grin and bear the charlie horse spasms lasting two to three hours out of six. Thank my friend takes courage. Me, I'm a wimp. I want the pain to stop.

  2. Re the rooting around issue, I was in a hospital bed once and the phlebotomist finally got me stuck and was drawing blood. Then she stupidly stepped back away from the bed and the whole shebang came out, resulting in a blood fountain that sprayed the white bedding, and even her. My mother-in-law was there and bolted out of the room ASAP; mummified in the bed, I couldn't. I asked the phlebotomist to please get someone else.

    My physiatrist injected Botox in four places on my arm - didn't hurt a bit. Sorry yours did.

  3. I've had EMG testing. Nuff said. Yuck! Good luck.

    BTW, I had a massage this week and the woman went all out over the pressure points. That doesn't work will with Fibro, let me tell you. Me and my bruises will take a bye next time. ;-)


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.