Pithed Again

’Way back in 2014, I compared IMS to the experience of pithing a frog (from the frog’s perspective). At the time, I was slightly perturbed by the latent sadism in modern medicine. But now I’m here to tell you that if you’re looking for sadism, IMS is for amateurs. Yep, if you really want to get pithed, go for a nerve conduction study.

I read up on the procedure beforehand, and I was instantly suspicious of the euphemistic language: “Nerve response is tested using small electrical pulses.”

Uh-huh. Just like sticking your finger in a light socket results in “a transfer of electrons”.

Anyhow, I suspected the benign description was bullshit; I just couldn’t determine the size of the pile. So I arrived at the hospital for my test experiencing “some trepidation”. (Translation: “A sense of impending doom”.)

On the upside, they didn’t stick needles in me and then run electricity through the needles (which is what I had expected). Instead, they began with electroshock and then escalated to needles.

I described the joys of IMS in my previous post, so let me just say that the only thing more fun than having someone stick needles in your muscles is having needles stuck in your muscles and then being forced to flex.

The electric shocks, on the other hand…

I’ve noted before that I have *ahem* unusual (okay, inappropriate) responses to a lot of things. IMS made me swear uncontrollably. The shocks in the nerve conduction study… made me laugh.

ZAP! *My leg twitches violently* Me: “Hahahaha!”

ZAP! *Twitch* “Hahahaha!”

I think the tech was a little weirded out.

It was actually quite funny from my point of view. I tend to laugh when I’m relieved; and I was relieved that I wasn’t getting stuck with electrified needles. The pain didn’t linger long after the zap, so that was good, too. And seeing my feet and legs twitching and jerking as though they had a mind of their own was like watching a show put on by a particularly inept puppeteer.

(When I see those reasons in print, they seem like a pretty weak excuse for laughter. Maybe I’ll just have to acknowledge that I’m a nutjob, and move on.)

Anyhow, the test is done; and the doc sounded hopeful that my symptoms might improve without surgery. Better still, nobody stuck needles anywhere near my brain, so I’m gonna call the overall experience a win.

Guess I’ll have to get pithed some other day…

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 54 — so close to finishing! I’ll announce a title, cover, and release date soon, so stay tuned!

28 thoughts on “Pithed Again

  1. I want to laugh with the after effects of cramp, Diane… that electrical tingly pins and needle feeling that comes on sometimes afterwards. I think I must be odd too, as it makes my mouth water as well.
    If I had the treatment you’ve described here, I’ll look an absolute mess, I feel… laughing and drooling all over the place. 🤤
    Is the treatment working for you though, all laughing aside?


    • Now I’m laughing, just imagining you laughing and drooling! 🤣

      It wasn’t really a treatment; only a diagnostic test to determine how my muscles and nerves are carrying signals. But if it had been a treatment, I suspect they’d claim a high rate of success. Most sane people would magically decide they were “all better” rather than go through that on a regular basis! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you needed the test at all. I had one a long time ago and I can confidently say no laughing occurred. I may or may not have sworn ridiculously loudly. Not appropriate for a nurse I’m sure.
    Hope the symptoms resolve without surgery.


  3. My veins are like yours and I have been blessed to hardly feel anything when they take blood! I don’t know if it’s getting older or use to it as even shots petrified me as a kid….hurt like a mother….now nothing. I watched a nurse stitch up the entire side of my thumb last year after I accidentally sliced it open….nothing not even the shots around the gaping wound (ok a nerve was hit near the tip of the thumb that did send my mind into a “what the hell”, but I just kept still as it only lasted 2 very long seconds). Not sure how I would be with the kind of testing you had where uncontrolled movement occurred. I use to have a lot of acupuncture done a few years back….that can sometimes cause unexpected muscle movement which was kind of freaky, but still nothing. Hope you get better….my best to you…have a great week!


    • Thanks, Kirt! I had some acupuncture in the past, too. It never seemed to do anything for me, but at least it didn’t make me twitch. 😉

      In general, needles don’t freak me out; but the time the doc decided to anaesthetize my ankle joint was a definite ‘what the hell’ moment! Watching that 2″ long needle go all the way in between my ankle bones was downright creepy. Painful, too, despite the topical anaesthetic he’d applied. But I figure that’s about the worst needle-related experience I’m likely to have — right up there with sewing through my finger with the sewing machine. After that, a simple blood test is a walk in the park. You have a great week, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Having done more than one nerve induction test, I can truly say laughing never entered my mind! The ones done on my arms weren’t too bad, but the dripping blood from the thin needles caused me a small feeling of ewwww. The one I had on my back, on the other hand….. Not a good thing at ALL! lol No laughing, some crying, definitely jerking around. Good grief. The white static noise was eerie. I waited to hear – ELLIOT PHONE HOME but didn’t get that lucky. No one tuned into my body signal. I have decided to just let myself fall apart in the future rather than have any more of those done. Good luck with your future health.

    Now, going to the dentist. The drill always made me laugh. My dentist would deliberately leave the exam room door open so all the patients could hear the little 5 year old giggling away. lol What can I say? It tickled! My mom should have asked for a discount since I’m sure I helped him get new or at least more relaxed patients in the chair.

    Trying to wait patiently for you to complete the book. Don’t let anything prevent you from finishing. Not nerves, not frogs. Nothing!


    • LOL! Nothing will keep me from finishing this book! I’m SO CLOSE!!! It’s been frustrating to be limited to such short writing stints — I miss the days when I could start writing and then look up to discover that twelve hours had passed. Although, I have to admit it’s nice now to not lose track of time and miss meetings and appointments. That made for some embarrassing situations. 😉

      I have the deepest sympathy for your nerve tests. I’m really glad they only did my legs, not my back — that would have been truly miserable. But I’m chuckling at your dental visits! Your dentist must have absolutely loved having you as a patient. 🙂


  5. The only normal people are those that you don’t know very well. I am so grateful that I have found a (large) tribe of weirdos that I can relate to.
    My reaction to stress is laughter, swearing or going very, very quiet. And the last is the most dangerous by a long shot.
    I am thrilled that you may be able to avoid surgery. And still wonder about the sadists that design many of these tests…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Modern medicine is a conundrum. Other than vaccines and antibiotics, it seems we haven’t really advanced since the Dark Ages. Sticking needles in people and cutting into them are still the therapies of choice; and most of the time, the triumph of modern medicine amounts to, “We know exactly what’s wrong with you!”
      “That’s great, doc. Can you fix it?”
      “No. But we know exactly what’s wrong with you…”

      Finding a tribe of congenial weirdos is the greatest gift of all! (And I always treat “the quiet ones” with respectful caution.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, several times. Fortunately it didn’t escalate to the point where I told them the nuclear launch codes. That wouldn’t have ended well. 😉 (And even though I didn’t get pithed during the process, I definitely wanted to get pithed afterward.)


  6. Boy, thomeone’th pithed over on your thide of the world! 🤣

    The worst I ever did was smack a nurse. I had an ulcer on the top of my mouth, near my throat, about 25 years ago. When the nurse stuck the tongue depresser into my mouth, my reaction was to smack her hand away. She was a bit shocked but we both realized it was an involuntary reaction and uncomfortably laughed about it.

    May the rest of your week be electron-free! But keep the giggles. Thems are funny stuffs!

    My update: Nine days until the next rally starts. And the engine is apart. Uh oh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uh-oh. But I know you can get the overhaul done! Super-Hooptie to the rescue!

      Your instinctive ‘smack’ reaction is perfectly understandable, but I’m glad I didn’t have it. Since I was lying on a bed, the only movement option was up; and the only thing worse than having a needle shoved in would be having it shoved in deeper because of my own reaction. That would have been really bad, because my reflex reaction to intense self-inflicted pain is eardrum-melting profanity and violent kicking/punching. Amusing for bystanders if I’ve just whacked my thumb with a hammer; not so great if I’m trying to convince medical personnel that I’m a sane, normal member of society. (Which is laughable in itself; but they don’t know that.) Nothing to see here, folks, just move along… 😉


      • The piston job got a little more complicated (I’m prepared to pull the first one tomorrow to inspect the rings, but I already know that all four cylinder walls have NO cross-hatching, which means I have to hone them), and I’m not sure if I need to replace the valve stem seals. I’ve named the car S.S. Earl Burner, so that will be part of the theme…hopefully withOUT the oil burning, though! And I still have the ball joint to replace, and the vinyl graphics to cut and apply (probably next week Wednesday). Luckily I still have my stickers I didn’t use from the last rally, so I’ll be able to apply those at home.

        As for needles, I would fear that also–having them dig in deeper from my own actions, involuntary or otherwise. The couple of times I had an IV, I was always afraid of upsetting the needle in some way or another, so I always tried to keep it immobile. My better half doesn’t like needles, especially since she has really small veins and there are only a few techs out there who can find a vein without jabbing around. Since she gets the iron infusions every few weeks, she’s gotten somewhat used to the needles, but still fears getting the tech who fumbles in finding a vein.


        • Vain fumbling for a vein is bad! I have veins like garden hoses, so a tech has to be truly ham-fisted to screw up on me. Still, it’s happened just often enough that I have sincere sympathy for your other half. It must be awful to dread that every time.

          “S.S. Earl Burner” – ha! Still laughing… 😀


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