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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Was electrocuted. Feel disoriented, have stubbornness, muscle pain. Why are the symptoms still persistent?

Hi, I was electrocuted very badly over 2 years ago and didn't seek medical help at the time as I was very disoriented and stubborn at the time and just got my Dad to keep an eye on me for a couple of weeks. I was nailed by very high DC ( direct current) voltage and it latched on to both of my hands and I wasn't able to let go. My muscles contracted so bad that I couldn't even move or speak to tell someone to shut the power off and I really thought my life was over at the time and did my final prayers, this went on for about 10 seconds until the power was disconnected (was the scariest time in my life). I wasn't unconscious, but extremely disoriented and everything was really cloudy for a long time after the accident. My left pec muscle and all tendons and muscles around the front of my shoulder to my upper bicep took the worst of the shock and still hurts quite bad to the touch and when I do very little physical labor. I am quite worried that I have done some serious damage to these areas and have recently went to my family doctor, he is going to refer me to a neurologist, but would like some input on the potential damage I have and any advice that may help me. I get muscle spasms quite frequently with the affected muscles and when I poke around, it really hurts the areas that were affected also. I know that I should have gone to the ER for medical attention at the time and wish I did. I have been zapped numerous times (not nearly to this extent where I couldn't let go) and thought I was ok a couple weeks later still with pains in my left muscles, but after 2 years and the same pain now I am getting scared and concerned.

Thank you for your time,
JasonV
Mon, 27 May 2013
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Your problem can have both neurological and psychological elements. Both early and late spasms are associated with electricution but in the long term, complex regional pain syndromes and other chronic pain syndromes must be considered .Sequelae may be profoundly disabling. They may persist for many years and may never resolve.

Emotional sequelae include depression, often with organic features. It is hard to separate this from the emotional reaction to injury and continuing disability. Aggression, anxiety, and phobic features are common. Marital disharmony commonly follows social withdrawal, disinterest, and a fatigue state. Loss of interest in sex and in relationships, together with a feeling of fault or guilt, may be associated. Sleep disturbance is common.

Referral to neurologist is necessary for persistent spasms but for persistent pain a psychiatrist's input would be highly valuable.
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