Training Gets A Little Sidetracked and The Joys Of Aging…

“So, you are telling me that you are planning to electrocute my face???”

“Well, yes…”

“Multiple time???”

“Only five times…”

“FIVE TIMES???”

“….per minute…for several minutes…”

“How strong of a shock?”

“We usually have to use higher voltage on the face then elsewhere…since the muscles are smaller so we need to stimulate them more then other muscles.”

“So, what does it feel like?”

“Have you ever touched an electric fence?”

“No. I try to avoid doing that…”

“Well, it’s kind of like that.”

“But, with my face…”

“Ummm…yeah…”

“Repeatedly?”

“Yeah…”

“For several minutes?”

“Yep”

“And, I have to pay for this?”

“Insurence should pay for it. So you are just picking up the co-pay…”

“So, what do I do between the repeated shocks?”

“Well, we will ask you to exercise…”

“Exercise my face?”

“Yes.”

“How do I do that?”

“Just scrunch your facial muscles to make a real mad/unhappy face. We usually don’t even have to ask since patients are usually already doing it on their own. Swearing is optional, but common and encouraged. We don’t specify on the report HOW you exercised your facial muscles…”

Yeah, that conversation happened yesterday. I had noted a bit of double vision at my last eye exam. Eye doc thought my eye muscles were getting old, and he could adjust my prescription accordingly…but had strongly urged a neurological evaluation “just to be sure”. The exam was normal. So were the blood tests and the CT Scan. But, he suggested an EMG…”out of an abundance of caution”.

Which has led to this moment…with electrodes being attached in front of one ear, my chin, and (most unnerving) below both eyes.

“You will be zapping my eyeballs?”

“No, the electric current will be sent to the nerve in front of your ear. That nerve travels to the eye. That electrode just records the electrical conduction.”

“So, you are zapping my ear, and my body zaps my eyes on its own.”

“We hope so. That is what we are testing. Hold still…”

In the end, it wasn’t that bad. The test was normal. I was diagnosed with TMB Syndrome (“Too Many Birthdays”) and will get better glasses….

…and, I will resist the urge to find an electric fence just to touch it…with my face…repeatedly…ever again…

 

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Random Musings

5 responses to “Training Gets A Little Sidetracked and The Joys Of Aging…

  1. I bet I had more fun reading this than you had living it!!!

    Glad TMB was the ultimate outcome and nothing more serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 50in50marathonquest

    Wow, I’ve never heard of such a treatment…all that to find out that yeah, our vision deteriorates with age. Glad everything worked out.

    Like

    • Intermittent double vision can be an early sign of Myasthenia Gravis, which is a potentially serious neuromuscular disorder. Simply put, the chemical that transmits information from a nerve to a muscle gets broken down, so the muscle can’t be told to contract as frequently or forcefully as normal. The eyes get hit first since those are small muscles constantly being used (so the nerves can’t keep them aligned properly). It can progress to arms, legs, breathing muscles etc.

      The test tries to overuse one nerve/muscle combo to see if it can deplete that chemical, resulting in the muscle to stop responding to the electric shock.

      Other tests I went through included blood tests for antibodies which could break down these chemicals, and a CT scan of the chest as a tumor in the thymus gland can cause the formation of those antibodies. All those tests were normal.

      Worsening vision is common with age. Double vision isn’t. Despite the normal tests, I still don’t know why this is happening. Since the double vision fluctuates, there is no guarantee that a prism added to my glasses will correct the issue. Despite the normal tests, a trial of MG medications will still be tried to see if the problem improves. If so, then I will still be diagnosed with the condition. Abnormal tests can confirm the diagnosis. Normal rests do not rule it out…

      Like

  3. A truly shocking blog post. 🙂
    Thanks for the read!

    Like

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