Monday, February 9, 2015

t minus 14 days


Monday Me: "If I had working arms I would punch you."
My physio: "I would be delighted if you could punch me."

So.... it's not just me getting impatient and feeling frustrated!

Today my arm started to shake uncontrollably.  In an incredibly strange way - even held still, it was visibly shaking and felt not exactly sore (well it wasn't making my pain worse), but horribly unpleasant not to have any control over my own arm.  My fingers were numb with pins and needles ind it felt like I'd been whacked in the funny bone with a mallet - right at the beginning of the session.  "Make it stop! Make it stop! I can't control my arm!" (Drama queen?  Me? Never.  This was weird though.) 

 My physio started working up my arm - very calmly, massaging and trying to 'release' different nerves in my lower arm, elbow - nope, it just kept shaking uncontrollably.  I felt a surge of empathy for those with neurological disorders who deal with this frequently - I often feel like I can't 'control' a body part just now: hand, arm, shoulder - I can't make it lift something, or I try and involuntarily throw it instead (usually breakable things when that happens) and that's a strange feeling; also a feeling of no control over my muscles.  This was entirely different - I had absolutely no control and it was moving all on its own.  I was also feeling shaky and nauseated and using all my willpower not to hit the panic button in my head!

Finally, he reached my neck, started to twist my head and it slowed - eventually, with my head in what had to have been a contortionist position, it stopped.  He was trying to massage out any tightness in my neck - I was touching it, trying to pinpoint the spot - "here, feel it here - my vein seems to really be sticking out." (You know if you have really hot hands sometimes your veins stick up and you can feel them?  It was like that - a big vein right down my neck........ or so I thought.) "That's your vagus nerve." my physio told me - from what I've found so far on Google, it's not supposed to do that...

It actually calmed down and I very carefully went through movements and exercises gently today - no fight from me there, I have learned angry nerves are best left alone.  It does however offer a possible link for some of my weirder symptoms - but I'll leave that for another day, and some more research.

It remains to be seen whether this is a cumulative effect of trying to raise my arm - impinging on the thoracic outlet (just about the collar bone where nerves split to innervate the arm); aggravating my thoracic outlet syndrome, and the nerves I have that are wrapped in scar tissue; or whether there was an odd movement, something just slightly 'off' with either a way I moved, or one of the first couple of movements we did before it went crazy.

For now, (with hope) we chalked today up to a bad nerve pain day - and I'm really hoping it was -  just one bad day to leave behind me and move on from here.

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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