Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hirayama Disease

Over the past 15 or so years, my hands have become weaker and weaker. The sensitivity in my fingers has deteriorated until simple things like opening and closing resealable bags, holding on to a pencil, toilet paper, has become harder and harder to accomplish. The use of hand tools and picking up and holding on to heavy things is getting to nearly impossible to do. Each time I would bring this up to my many doctors that I have seen, they would say that it was arthritis and prescribe an over the counter drug of some kind.
I now have the best doctor that anyone could ever have. Not only does she listen to what you are telling her, she is not afraid to order tests to find the cause of your problems. She is the one that brought me out of my severe depression when two other doctors couldn't. She has also prescribed my hormones when no one else would, understanding my need for them. She's been great!
About my hands , she had me first go to the hospital here in Hot Springs to get an EMG (electromyography/nerve conduction study) where they put electrodes on your fingers and then zap your nerves in your arms with electricity to see how much damage has been done. Then after the zapping, they stick a needle in your muscles and record the electrical impulses in them. (You really, REALLY! don't want to have one of these done!) It takes about two hours to get to ALL the places they do. OUCH!
When the results came back, like she thought, my problems would gradually get worse over the years. Not being content to just give up, she sent me to the University of Arkansas Medical Center to have a more intense test done along with an MRI to see if anything could be done to help me. I was zapped from head to toe, stuck from head to toe again, and then taken to get the MRI. That didn't work out so good, seems I'm very much claustrophobic! In fifteen seconds I was screaming to get me out of that blasted machine! So now I've been prescribed a super strong Valium to take when I get my next appointment. It better knock me out or I'll come apart again!
So, they've diagnosed me with having Hirayama's disease. Supposedly they can tell for sure after they do the MRI on my neck. It will be nice to finally know for sure what's wrong.
Anyway, that's what's been happening to me the past month. I have yet to put on my make-up or clothes to go back to being Stephanie. Maybe soon. Maybe not.....



Calie said...

Wow, Steph! Well, I will be thinking of you and hoping that all will be well. I had an MRI done once and it really did freak me out, so I can relate.

Calie xxx

Melissa said...

Such an exotic disease! Did you have to go all the way to Japan to get it? *wink*

Of course I'm being facetious. Just trying to cheer you up a bit, sweetie! I'm sure its no picnic. I hope the doctors have a remedy for it.

As for claustrophobia, I think I would freak out during an MRI too. I don't like being stuck in a confined space either. I nearly freaked out, watching those miners down in Chili, being hoisted out of that 28", 2,000 ft. hole!

Don't be such a stranger, Stephanie. We all love you, and are so glad you are blogging again!

Melissa XOXO

Caroline said...

Arrrgh! I get queazy just reading about confined spaces so completely understand, I would need to be in a coma.

Nature throws some nasty things at us especially as the years add up. At least knowing the cause will stop the uncertainty and let you apply yourself to dealing with it.

Our life here gets harder year by year as Julie gets slower and slower and is able to do less and walk shorter distances. Once you know you limitations and work within them there is so much that you can do.

If a natural pessimist can write this you can work something out and being back on the hrt must be a good feeling.

Big hug, Caroline XXX