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Old 02-22-2007, 10:39 PM   #1
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Angry young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Hi, this is my 1st post here. I'm a 25y/o married mommy in the midwest to a son 27 months & princess 8 months (ever change a diaper on pain meds? they don't stink! lol)

Next week I am having a discogram and I am stressing so bad I can barely function. I keep having crying spells and am panicking for a way to get out of it, although my surgeon wont let me "skip" the fun sadly. He's my new guys actually... I switched spine guys after 2 yrs with another place. In order to get the minimally invasive fusion surgery I want... the discogram is the price I have to pay.

Anyone and everyone who's had one (w/ or w/out sedation... I don't care. Mine will be WITH though) please please PLEASE save me from myself.... tell me all about it. I know it's going to be awful, I know I am going to cry and feel awful for at least that day so please be honest. I have no choice but to have the procedure.... this is simply to help me cope in my own sick way. Be brutal, be honest, don't sugarcoat. I am hopeing that knowing exactly what to expect might take the edge off.

Thank ya'll so much

 
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Hi there. The discogram is a gold standard for most surgeons before doing a fusion. They want to make sure they are doing surgery on the right discs. Bulging discs dont necessarily cause pain. I am proof of that.

I had a discogram done before minimally invasive fusion surgery at l4/l5 last april. The discogram showed it was an entirely different disc rather than the one that has been bulgins since age 18, now 45. l5/s1 is my bulging disc and the one above it was the culprit, which looked good on all mri's over the years.

Does this test hurt? YEP!!! I really really hurts! I had NO SEDATION AT ALL , and he injected that bad disc at least 4 times. The bad disc was leaking so badly.. he wanted to be sure that was in fact the disc, because the dye was flowing out as fast he injected it practically.

The fact you will have sedation.. should make this test quite tolerable. Had I been given sedation of some sort to ease things.. I would have preferred it for the pain level I felt/endured, BUT.. NO sedation offers the best results. No sedation.. the patient can truly tell the doctor what is or isnt happening.

We all survived it. You will be feeling pretty crappy after this test and probably for a few days after. You will want to make sure you have some help for your kids during this time. The back is pressurized after still and is also quite achey. It lets up fairly quickly, but I took about two weeks before I felt like I did before the test.

Please let us know how you do. You should be fine.

And welcome!!!
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

[COLOR="Navy"]Welcome,

I haven't had it done, but have had 3 level fusion. Please be aware that even miniminally invasive surgery is still major surgery...Please be aware that there is still a period of recovery and healing. Healing for fusion surgery is around 6 months before you start to feel normal and you can see signs of fusing. Don't believe that your surgery is different. Even though the incisions are minimal, they are still doing major work inside.

Keep hanging around. There are wonderful folks here who have had all sort of stuff done and have more experience than any one person could.

welcome and good luck. Also, take a deep breath. Stressing isn't going to get you anywhere and it only will upset the little ones. They can tell when you aren't doing well and it gets them upset also.

Are you in Minnesota? That's home for us. Mpls. for me, St. Paul for the hubby...how I wish i was home.......[/COLOR]

 
Old 02-23-2007, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

[SIZE="3"][COLOR="DarkRed"]
Jee Tammy glad I never had that done before ! I had a myelogram performed , it wasn't bad until they ask me to slide onto the bed.

Minn. ? Viking Fan's ? I went to Buffalo last year to see the Bill's put a buttwhoopin on them. [/COLOR][/SIZE]

 
Old 02-23-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

I had it done with light sedation. It hurt at the time but it is over as quickly as it begins. If you have given birth to two children, you are more than able to handle this test. I ended up have two annular tears one at l4/l5 and another at l5/S1. I just about jumped off the table during the test but then they gave me the pain meds and I was comfortable. Like I said it doesn't last long and the good thing with the sedation is that they give you versed so you won't remember it after a while. I also didn't feel that terrible afterwards. Just a little extra pain.

 
Old 02-23-2007, 01:09 PM   #6
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Hi Jen and welcome to the boards.

I had my Discogram in August, it was done without sedation. The nurologist who did mine, said he does not use sedation because he needed to see my reaction to the pain, so he could determine my pain lvl. I was all 10's. Honestly it was very painful, but it also determined that I had two ruptured disks at L4 and L5. After the discogram I was in bed for 3 days, I could not move. The discogram allowed me to schedule my 2 lvl fusion and had it this past November.

All in all the discogram hurt really bad, but it was worth it. Finally I knew exactly what was wrong after 5 years of pain.

Wishing you the best of luck!

/hugs Niki

 
Old 02-23-2007, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Okay, this may be a dumb question, I'm still learning stuff, but is the discogram usually done by the surgeon who will do your surgery, or a pain management guy? One of my friends say that it was pain management who did hers.

 
Old 02-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #8
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Onhold.. it varies. My surgeon was extremely skilled in doing discograms so rather than send me to a PM to do this, he did it himself. When I reached the hospital and was being prepped for this.. several asked who was doing the discogram and I told them my doc.. and immediate smiles.. and "OH YOU ARE IN GOOOOOOOOD HANDS!". I was lucky he has an EXCELLENT reputation and he also did my fusion.

Hope this helps.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 02-23-2007, 06:06 PM   #9
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Thanks for the info. It sounds pretty severe. Is there a risk of further damage to the disc from a discogram?

I've heard you should have your surgery pretty soon after because your pain will remain after a discogram and won't ease up until surgery. True?

 
Old 02-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #10
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

I just had a discogram done 5 weeks ago. It is simple, they put electrodes on your arms and legs. You go onto the table and they put you to sleep, they wake you up when they are ready. I have 5 levels done. The first two there was no pain when they injected it into my spine. The 3rd 4th and 5th were very painful. It is no more than your worse pain when your back hurts. They also sent electric through to check the nerves in my leg. They found the area of pain, then spray lidocane to make sure it goes away. This procedure is much more telling than the MRI. My doctor knew just where to operate. Three weeks later I had a new operation done, a endoscopic discetomy and have had great results.
Here is the thing. 5 years ago I had surgery and didn't have the discogram, they missed stuff and I suffered for 5 years. The procedure is less painful than going longer in pain for a period of time. You will need help with the kids for at least a week. I have changed diapers with pain meds. My daughter just went to diapers, (the last one) I don't miss that. Good luck. It is not as bad as you think

 
Old 02-24-2007, 05:44 AM   #11
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Well I dont remember electrods during my discogram, but then again they could have been sticking corkscrews in my legs from the pain I felt. As far as being the same amount of pain? Not for me, the pain was extreme as the Dr. pressureized each disc, and the 2 that were bad could not handle the pressure and therefore expanded and compressed the nerve root even more. My L4 had a tear as well. Yes the pain was very intense, but when the test was over, my Dr. injected a substance like lanacane into the disc space which gave much relief to the nerve roots. The test itself does not last long and your pain from it will subside after a few days. My advice, take the test just to insure that the right disc(s) are being addressed and do not worry too much about the pain, it is temporary. Best of luck to you, Let us know how it went.

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Old 02-24-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

The only thing I would have done different is had the surgery as soon after as possible. I had 2 grade 4 tears and after the discogram I was in 6-8 pain until surgery. The electrodes were to make sure no nerves were hit and to check the nerve damage. I did get the lidocane but it only lasted 2 days. I was lightly sedated.

 
Old 02-24-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

The electrodes were probably for the EMG they did not the discogram. And I would add to check with the doctor that will be performing the test and ASK if sedation is offered.

I also did not get anything for pain relief until I got back into my room was dressed to leave the hospital. And they only gave me a very small dose of morphine and percocet and I started to threw up constantly right when I got home and for 24 hours after that. What fun after that horrible test!

While this was the most horrible test/pain I've ever experienced.. it was short term and worth it to find out where my pain was coming from. I have no regrets at all.

We have all survived it.. you can get through it also.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Last edited by Justoneofus; 02-24-2007 at 05:34 PM.

 
Old 02-24-2007, 07:12 PM   #14
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Re: young mom seeks discogram experiences!

Jen1981

I had my disc-o-gram last summer. It was with sedation. Frankly, if I had it to do over again, I would bit the bullet and ask them to do as little sedation as possible. It was still an awful pain but I think you lose a little bit of critical information the more you are sedated. I had an MRI about 2.5 years ago that didn't show to much wrong at L3 and L4. The post disc-o-gram CT showed dye leaking at L4 and a bulging disc at L3. L5 showed no disc. It is bone on bone contact. Since all three injections site hurt but L5 was the worse, The surgeons I have seen have been a little perplexed.

The test is bad enough with getting fuzzy results. It is a tough call. As much as I hate it I'll probably have to get a repeat disc-o-gram.

 
Old 02-24-2007, 10:20 PM   #15
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thanks to everyones replies

man... it sounds as gruesome as i'd expected. anyone seen the website [url]www.discogram.org[/url] ? is that 1 in 40 accurate???

 
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