On February 21, 2023, I traveled to Baton Rouge to have a nerve conduction study performed yet again, to see if whatever is going on with my hands is in my elbows or my shoulders.
The day started very early, at 4 o’clock. I was just up watching television and playing on my phone when Jessica text me that she was already on her way. When I looked at the clock it was only 5:45 AM; Mallory wasn’t even awake yet. We hadn’t planned on getting up until around seven because my doctor's appointment was not until 3:45 that afternoon. Jessica went ahead, got me dressed, and up in my chair.
It took us a good hour to get everything done and we still hadn’t woken up Mallory. It was about 7 o’clock and time for her to come into my room so we decided to play dirty. I got in my closet while Jessica put everything back together in the bedroom and we hid. It took a few minutes, but she finally came into the bedroom. Patsy Cline had already found us in the bathroom of course so we were waiting. For a minute, she almost freaked out until she found us in the bathroom. We scared her and scared her good. It was a much-needed laugh.
We headed out for Baton Rouge around 9 AM. We left early to be able to do a few things we wanted to do before the doctor's office. It was a long three-hour drive but we got to Baton Rouge around noon. The first thing we wanted to do was to visit the Old State Capital building. It was beautiful! I have lived in Louisiana, just about my entire life, and I have never visited the museum. We first walked around the grounds looking at all the pretty flowers, Mallory tried to catch a duck to bring home, and just spend some time in the pretty sunshine out of the van. We had to go put all of our bags back in the vehicle before we were allowed to go inside the museum. When you first go in, you have to go through a metal detector and of course, with me, that’s not exactly possible. So they had to look over everything to make sure I wasn’t trying to bring in a weapon And they sent us on our way. There was not anyone in the museum but us and the security guards around the building. Of course us being who we are, you could hear us laughing down the hallway as it echoed throughout the marble building. We decided to go up to the tower, I told Mallory I was not going on the observation deck because the small little elevator to get there did not seem very safe to me. It was tiny, making odd noises as Mallory wrote it up, and I just didn’t want to get on it with my weight. There was even a sign on the elevator saying only two adults at a time on the elevator. My chair weighs more than two adults together, so I was not taking that risk. I waited at the end of the hall by the second set of elevators until Mallory came back down, we were laughing and cutting up about being so high up off the ground. I’m sure the security guards watching us on the cameras were having a ball laughing with us. It was kind of odd to be there by ourselves so we didn’t travel all the floors. We stayed on the first floor besides going to the tower. We were not in the building very long.
Next, we went to Five Below. We spent a good amount of time in the store. It’s pretty large. They did have a few cool things though. When we got out of there, I wanted to go to a Petco and just so happens that there was one three doors down from the Five Below. There was also a Ross between them but we didn’t have time to go in there; we would have missed my appointment because it’s so large. This Petco was larger than the one in Alexandria but it just didn’t have anything I was looking for. They did have some beautiful koi in the tanks and they were all so tiny. That tells you the difference in how fast the koi can go in Baton Rouge versus Alexandria. The fish have longer to get bigger. If I had thought about being able to bring one of the Koi fish home, I would have. It wasn’t later that I got told it would’ve been possible, despite being three hours away as long as I were to give them oxygenated water.
It was almost time for my nerve conduction study so we decided to go ahead and make our way over to the doctor's office. We didn’t have to wait in the waiting room very long before they called my name. After all, my appointment was at 3:45 so there was hardly anyone there. They took me back to a small room with the equipment to perform the test and got me ready. They asked me what was going on and why I was there so I explain the whole situation. My pinky started going numb on my right hand over two years ago, all of my nerve studies show that it was in my elbows, but no one has worked on my elbows. This nerve conduction study was performed by someone with more specialty in the upper limbs. After performing all of the tests, I was told that I have sensory nerves in my arms that are working, but I have absolutely zero motor nerves. This means that I have feeling, but I have no movement. This led the doctor to believe that there is nothing wrong with my elbows, and that the problem with my hands is in fact all in my neck. He saw some deterioration in some of my upper limb extremity Muscles such as the biceps on my right side; this means that they are going to get worse. Of course, he could not give me many answers because he was not a surgeon so he said he would leave the options up to a surgeon. He did not say having another surgery helping my hands. He also looked at the muscle wasting going on in my hands and told me that most of the time when muscles have wasted away as badly as mine has there is no getting them back because there’s no muscle left.
Of course, this was not something I wanted to hear. I want so badly to be able to get the function that I had back but from everything, the doctors are telling me I am most likely not going to get them back. I am going to have to learn how to deal with them the way they are. I don’t remember what it was like before my accident where I had my entire body. I’m assuming the medicine that they gave me during my initial spinal fusion made me not remember, that’s why I never complained about being injured. I can remember what it was like being able to use my hands like I was able to, and now that I’m not able to do those things by myself anymore I feel like I’m struggling. No one truly understands what it’s like to be able to gain just a small piece of your independence back and then within two years have it ripped away from you again. No one will ever truly understand. I want so badly to be independent…
When we got out of the doctor's office, we both we hungry. We hadn’t stopped the entire day to get food. We both wanted something good and not fast food so we decided on Roux 61. We had to wait for about ten more minutes to get a table because they were so busy. Once we were seated and got settled in at the table Mallory decided to get a glass of wine. The waitress misunderstood what type of wine she wanted and ended up bringing her a glass of white wine instead of red. She already knew that she was not a big fan of white wine, but did not feel like trying to get the waitress to correct the order so she ended up just drinking it. She did not like it whatsoever. I ended up getting the steak bites with a side of a Caesar salad, and Mallory ended up getting the buffalo wings with a side order of french fries. It was all very good. Overall, it only took us about an hour in the restaurant, which is surprising, considering how busy Baton Rouge can be especially after five.
Finally, it was finally time to get the hell out of Baton Rouge and go home. We had a long drive ahead of us… 3 hours. We didn’t get home until about eleven that night and we were exhausted. We took a second and then we fed the sugar gliders and put me in bed. It wasn’t until midnight that I finally got to go to sleep.