Reply To: Miller-Fisher

October 11, 2006 at 4:52 pm

[QUOTE=Mike]Sally —

An EMG test uses electric current to measure the efficiency of your nerves in carrying messages to and from your muscles and how efficiently your muscles process the messages. It’s very basic to the diagnosis of GBS and MF. Surprised you haven’t had one.

Sorry to tell you this if you’ve been told by your doctor that you now should have one, but you need to know what the docs try to avoid saying. They’ll sugar coat it by saying things like “Some patients occasionally do experience some minor discomfort…”. In fact, it is a remarkably unpleasant procedure. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have the test, because it can be very important. And I don’t want to scare you out of it, but you need to be prepared.

The technician will stick a dozen or so long needles into your extremities. This in itself is not particularly painful. The needles are so thin and sharp that all you feel is the initial *****. They look like accupunture needles, but they’re actually electrical sensors that are connected to a computer. Then he’ll take an electrically charged wand and tap you with it. The computer will measure how long it takes the juice to reach each of the sensors and how much it dissipates by the time it gets to each of them. The docs can read that information make assessments as to how well your telegraph system is working.

Here’s the catch. It’s not a single tap with the wand. It can be 30, 40, 50 separate zaps. Some have a mild charge, some are more aggressive. Some quick, some prolonged. Some jolts are solo, some are in rapid succession. The cumulative effect is what wears you down.

If by now you are imagining old black and white Frankenstein movies with megavoltage running through the monster while he’s lying on the table, it’s nothing like that. You’ll have no problem getting through it, but you’ll be glad when it’s over. At least you’ll have a war story to tell others.

Mike – now I remember – I was like mush brain in the hospital and definitley remember this being done – just did not know the name – and yes it was very, very uncomfortable – keep on swearing at them to put me under or give me some pain killers first – obviously they did not pay attention to me – my only saving grace was I already had a port put into my chest so they had to stop there and above.