Monday, December 20, 2010

Spazzing Out in Style...

Things are good here. Spastic, but good. We got to take a train ride from a far away land- East Texas- to the North Pole all themed to the book, The Polar Express. It was precious and to see Leelah's reaction when Santa came in our train car with the jingle bells for all the kids was just priceless. She did say it was "my dream come true" so that was great. This is the stuff! It was so nice that I got to go at all. We were all sweating what the hip pain would allow, turns out it made it through! Praise.

I'm still limping and being fabulous, glory to God! I saw my neurologist last week. He said that since the Baclofen (muscle relaxer) seems to have initiated a small improvement then it has to be Spasticity. What is spasticity? Yeah, I'm a big spaz- hush up I hear you with my mind!!! For all you know it could be an X-Men mutant power, then you'd be all jealous!

Here's what "We Move" states spasticity as:
Although the end result of spasticity is problems with the muscles, spasticity is actually a caused by an injury to a part of the central nervous system (the brain or spinal cord) that controls voluntary movements. The damage causes a change in the balance of signals between the nervous system and the muscles. This imbalance leads to increased activity (excitability) in the muscles.

Spasticity is a symptom. We still have to ascertain why I am having this and why I have not been able to walk pain-free for a looonng time.

Tomorrow I have a fun test known as SSEP. It's bascially where they send electrical signals through your body and monitor how fast it takes to travel. I think it involves needles? It's medieval in nature or as our friend Jonathan put it, "not pleasant" and he would know he's a neurology expert. Here's the skinny on that test:
This info is from www.allaboutbackpain.org
What is it?
Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) is a test showing the electrical signals of sensation going from the body to the brain. The signals show whether the nerves that connect to the spinal cord are able to send and receive sensory information like pain, temperature, and touch. When ordering electrical tests to diagnose spine problems, SSEP is combined with an electromyogram (EMG), a test of how well the nerve roots leaving the spine are working.

Why is it done?
An SSEP indicates whether the spinal cord or nerves are being pinched. It is helpful in determining how much the nerve is being damaged and if there is a bone spur, herniated disc, or other source of pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. SSEP is used to double check whether the sensory part of the nerve is working correctly.

How is it done?
Either an electrode is placed over the skin or a needle is inserted into the nerve or sensory center of the brain. Measurements of how long it takes an electrical signal to travel through the nerve pathway are recorded. The function of the nerve is determined by the speed of these electrical signals. When the nerve pathway is pinched, the signals are slower than expected.


Remember I have had the pleasure of an EMG. Or as I like to call it, "Needles, nerves, and electricity - OH MY!" That showed that both of my legs have nerve damage. So we are still Nancy Drewin' it for now. Meanwhile, I've been driving!!!! PTL! Not much, but it's enough. I am so thankful for any improvement and it's good to rejoice in small victories.
Merry Christmas!

3 comments:

Tina said...

Love you Gillian! You make it cool to be spastic!

Jon said...

SSEP isnt THAT medieval. It was probably tactless of me to say that. shoudlnt be near as bad as what you went through before.

Lesly said...

Hey Friend! I think you should write a book! I am so glad you have been able to get around more!