The Mini Cattle Prod of Pain

Electric cattle prod

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Today I had my Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) and Electromyography (EMG) done to rule out any neurological disorders.  I was totally freaked out by the thought of having an EMG since it involves the insertion of an electrode into your muscle.  Turns out it was the NCS I should have been worried about.

It sounds like an okay test of paper – just the stimulation of your nerves.  What they don’t tell you about is the mini cattle prod of pain they use to “stimulate” the nerves. This device delivers electric shocks (the neurophysiologist’s words not mine) to your muscles – and they hurt.  First of all the cattle prod zapped me on the back of my leg- you know that really sensitive part of your calf, yeah right there.  Then if that experience wasn’t enough, he then used it on the nerve in my ankle that contracts the muscle running along the bottom of the foot.  And not just once, oh no, but a good 20 times just so I could experience the full pain of my whole foot violently contracting multiple times.

Then we got to the insertion of the electrode and let me tell you there is nothing more scarier than the sight of a very large needle attached to an electrical cord being inserted into your calf muscle.  However, after the mini cattle prod of pain, it wasn’t that painful.  What was painful was contracting said calf muscle with a large needle inserted into it.  That was some good quality pain right there.

After all that, my tests came back completely normal, so we are no closer to a diagnosis.  I guess it is good to rule out a neurological disorder, but I can’t help wishing that after all that pain I would have gotten some answers.

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One response to “The Mini Cattle Prod of Pain

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