Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A TENS Warning....with a reminder to take help when it's offered!

I want to start today's post out with the biggest thank you I can possibly give to my parents.  Something really scary could have happened to me the other day, and they jumped right in and pulled me out of my boiling pot of water, without even thinking twice or saying a word.  Which is of course what parents love to do, but I didn't even realize I was in a boiling pot, so they're quick thinking was what I really needed.

Monday was my first physical therapy appointment and I was looking so forward to it!  Finally something proactive I could be doing for this darn back recovery.  I had met my parents and some out of town guests for breakfast; and these weren't just any out of town guests.  They were family from Iowa, and you, my long time readers know how much my family from Iowa mean to me.

We had a wonderful time, they even gave me a more than generous birthday gift, and I headed off happily to my PT appointment.  All was going well until she put the TENS unit on me.  She had asked me if I wanted it, I asked what it was, and she said it was for pain management.  At this point in time, I will do anything to lower the amount of Advil and pain meds I am taking, so I was happy to try it.  When she rolled the machine in, I commented that it looked like an ultrasound machine and she said that it did that too.

I must say, I didn't even think twice when she asked me if I had a pacemaker.  You must remember, this is through my regular medical system, she had my entire medical chart.  So, she turns on the machine and starts turning up the dials and asking me if I can feel anything.  That is when it hit me, this was electric shock therapy, and I was starting to slur my words...I was in big trouble and was going into a seizure.

Thankfully, I was able to tell her that I had a seizure disorder, and I could hear her tripping over the rolling stool as she was yanking the node things off my back and trying to get at the machine to shut it off.  She is a great physical therapist but was not at all prepared for a medical emergency like we were facing and was horribly upset that she had made such a mistake.  I, of course, was terribly embarrassed, which I am assuming is a typical response because I really can't figure out I was embarrassed about and just kept reassuring her I was fine, but to give me a few minutes.

Well, as quickly as I could I got the hell out of there, again a very uncomfortable situation all the way around, and called my Mom and my husband to tell them what had happened.  The unanimous decision was that I definitely should not be driving my truck the hour home, I could kill myself or anyone else for that matter.  As stubborn as I am, I resisted for quite some time.  As you all have gathered by now, I am a bit of a rebel-ha!

Well, my Mom called back and said that Dad didn't want me to drive (we don't argue with Dad-ha!) and they were on their way to meet me.  That was that.  Pull over Judy.  I called Tom so that he could quit worrying, and that is when he asked me about my breakfast with Jeanne and Bill...and I realized that my memory of the day was to say the least...sketchy.  Good thing me and my big truck were no longer doing 65 miles an hour down the road, I guess.

The wonder of it all, was that my Mom had been with me for the time that I lost.  So not only were my parents getting me and my truck safely home, but on the way there Mom was able to fill me in on all of the missing time.  And for some reason I can make it through typing this whole post, but when I get to the words "missing time", the tears start clouding my vision.  As a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a great niece....that is the part that makes me furious...and cry.

But, anywho, this post was also to talk a little about the Tens unit.  And I'm not even going to do any research on it, I'm sure it's quite easy to google on your own, if you so wish.  But, my brain, says NO THANK YOU.  So, folks, I'll make it real simple, in my opinion, if you have any brain dysfunction like epilepsy or have had seizures, do not mess with this machine when you go for physical therapy.  I was wondering if it might not have been so bad if my surgery had been on maybe my knee or my ankle; but Tom has a friend at work who has epilepsy also and goes to the same Crappy Clinic (ad lib, that is not it's official title) I do, and the same thing happened on his knee!  So, there you have it, my very unscientific results-ha!


Daisy said...

That's scary. Pacemaker was on the question list, but seizure disorder wasn't?
Thank goodness for family, to come pick you up, the entire stubborn streak and all.

lfhpueblo said...

Wow, I didn't know that about a TENS unit. This is really valuable information, thanks for sharing it. Though it was many moons ago that I used a TENS unit on a patient dying from kidney cancer in a home health care setting. She didn't have problems with hers, but no two people are exactly alike. They need to add the seizure and head injury questions to the list at the clinic.
Also Thank You for heeding the family's advise and letting them drive you home afterwards.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.