I’ve been dealing with some health things but that’s not the point of this. One of the tests that was done is to see how the nerves and muscles in my legs are working. They’re working fine by the way and the test showed no abnormal activity so you can stop worrying and we can move on to the awesome part.
The test is done by inserting a small needle into the muscles at different locations in the leg. The needle is a bipolar needle meaning that it is essentially 2 tubes, one inside the other that aren’t connected. This is how the listening works. This needle while in the muscle detects the electrical activity of the muscle and provides data if anything is misfiring. The most interesting thing about all of this is that the result being monitored by the neurologist as he is poking me up and down is being reported out as sound. There’s a single speaker on the cart and as he pokes the special needle in, it makes a deep glitch sound, almost like when you unplug a cord while the speakers are on but without the electrical fizzle that follows. After that it went silent. That meant that everything was fine. Silence is the ideal diagnostic result meaning that, when relaxed, the muscles and the nerves are doing what they should be.
Because I’m curious and the doctor knew I worked with sound I started asking the doctor about it. He said people usually don’t ask but since I did, he was really happy–almost excited–to explain it to me as he jabbed me a few extra times (he was excited about sharing the info, not the sticking). He had me move different ways so that I could hear the different sounds as the muscles functioning. Hearing my muscles sonified was really fascinating. The doctor also described the weird and frantic sounds that can occur if the muscles or nerves aren’t functioning correctly. There’s also a visual display on the screen but the sound was telling him everything that he needed to know.
It took twice as long to do my exam because of my curiosity. “This normally goes much faster but people don’t ever ask about it so I’m sorry that you had to endure the discomfort of my explanations.” To that I replied “thanks for all the info. I’m curious about things like this and to be honest, learning isn’t always comfortable.”
Things I’m working on: Ask more questions. Allow myself to be uncomfortable.