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    Old 03-23-2005, 12:25 AM   #1
    Pammy2218
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    I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi everyone!

    I stumbled across this board the other day while doing research on discograms. I'm soooo glad I did, I've been reading and reading. You guys are great!

    Here's my story. I'm 32 years old. Had a car accident 18 or so years ago. Had some chiro care back then. In the last 8 years or so I have had some falls, I have had physical therapy for those falls (did no good). In '99 had an MRI, the doctor said had bulging disc and sent me to therapy. He sounded like a bulging disk was no big deal. I have had X-rays, and more chiro care and family doctors etc over the last several years. I have always been made to feel like "it was all in my head" so to speak grrrr. I saw an orthepedic surgeon and he basically told me nothing was wrong and to go home and excercise. He barely even looked at my MRIs and my X-rays uggg. Finally I had a doctor that gave me lortab 5/500. That helped, but now I have to take 3 to have it touch the pain.

    New family doctor in January of this year. Sent me to a neurosurgeon and sent me to have the epidural injections. The neurosurg told me I needed new MRIs and wouldn't even look at the old ones (I understand why now lol). Meanwhile I had the Epidurals, the first one worked, the second and third did nothing. Just got results from the MRI from the neurosurg last week. He said it looked like herniated disc at L5/S1 and degenerated discs at possibly L3/L4 and L4/L5. He ordered a Discogram. I am scared outta my mind about it. I can deal with surgery better. It's mental I know. Anyway, I guess he is determining weather to do a fussion surgery. After the Discogram will they send me home w/ meds? Can I ask for them if I need them? These stupid lortabs do nothing anymore.

    It seems like the pain is getting worse very quickly here the last few months. It hadn't been down my legs so much before, but for the last few months it's been getting worse everyday it seems.

    Is there a spot on this board that explains what all the abreviations y'all use mean? I'll write more later. This is getting long lol. Thank you for being here everyone!!

    Pammy in Indiana

     
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    Old 03-23-2005, 01:14 AM   #2
    Bionicwan
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Pammy,

    1st of all, WELCOME to the boards

    Unsure which abbreviations you mean but if you throw them out here we'll be happy to clarify.

    Sometimes I use more than I probably should. I think it's because I dispatch messages to medical support staff & Dr's and tend to use way to many abbreviations here.

    Your problems are so similar to mine and how things started with me. You can certainly ask your new NS (neurosurgeon) for help with pain control - you may get farther asking your PCP (primary care physician) who referred you - Not all, but must NS don't like to prescribe anything until AFTER they have done sx (surgery) on you. If you still get no relief have your primary doc refer you to a PM (pain management doc) it does sound like maybe you'll need some surgery to fix things......I am scheduled for my 1st discogram next week and like you I am really anxious about it ~ unsure how I'm gonna control the pain afterwards if it's worse than now. I have read for some, their pain was elavated for days and sometimes weeks after a disco. I hope that's not the case for me (or you) I can barely manage my pain level now - at it's best is a 4,5 and within an hour of being on the floor it promptly get to an 8,9 and sticks in cruise control and stays at that level til sleep rescues me

    I have a backup plan in that I've made an appt with my PM 2 days before the disco. I want to discuss my concerns with her and get a Rx for something just in case the pain gets out of control after the disco. I am trying so hard to get by on a minimum amount of pain meds so that maybe my post op pain will be easier to manage - but it's getting harder and harder to do this. You'll get lots of replies from other's here who have been where we are at - I am unsure if they will "send you home from the disco" with an Rx or not

    OK, like yours - this is getting long - and I don't think I really answered your ?

    Good luck and keep posting

    BionicWitch

    Last edited by Bionicwan; 03-23-2005 at 01:23 AM.

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 09:05 AM   #3
    Pammy2218
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi Bionic!

    Thank you so much for replying to me! A couple of the abreviations are: PLIF and TLIF. After you tell me I'll probalby smack my head and say "oh duh!!" LOL.

    My current Family Doctor is pretty stingy with meds. Though that was before we had any real answers. So maybe now with answers he might not be. I won't be seeing him again till April 14th. So hopefully the Neuro will prescribe something. He doesn't seem to have a very good bedside manor. I hope I'm wrong and he will be great at the discogram, I hope, hope, hope! There is a Pain Management Clinic here but I've heard they don't prescribe narcotics, just things like Flexeril. I'm on Flexeril and lortab right now. The Flexeril I don't notice working much at all really. The lortab I need at least 3 to touch the pain. I'm trying to save what I have so I have some for after the discogram if I don't get a script for something. If I run out I'll try to call my family dr and see if he will sign a refill request from my pharmacy.

    I'm getting more and more anxious about the discogram Friday. I hope we don't have elevated pain after this thing. At it's worse my pain is a 10 and around a 4 to 5 normally.

    Thank so much again for replying to me Bionic! What day next week is your discogram?

    Huggs,
    Pammy

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 09:52 AM   #4
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hey Pammy,
    Just a Quick answer;
    Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
    Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)

    I have had two discectomies and now am looking at a two level TLIF
    Two level meaning L4 L5 S1
    My discogram is in April and I am scared also. I've heard from the fine people on this board that they are not fun, but are not that bad either.
    I've already had 3 epidural injections so I know basicly how it will start out.
    Good luck and please let me know how it was!!
    Dave

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 10:41 AM   #5
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Pammy, Dave answered your ? -

    (GOOD LUCK on your upcoming Disco and surgery Dave)

    as for you wondering about your meds? I'd be making calls and asking questions now. No reason your should have to hoard meds to prepare for this afterall you ARE under a Dr's care seems SOMEBODY should be writing you an Rx. MAKE SOME CALLS Pammy, if this pain clinic only offers what you say - I would not bother with them.....how did you hear this? did they tell you this or do you know someone who has used them/ doesn't sound right to me...?

    I don't blame any of us for being anxious over our upcoming disco's....we can concentrate on how helpful the results will be and that the dang thing is fairly quick in duration. My disco is next Thursday the 31st.

    Think good thoughts Pammy
    at least your starting to get some answers to things

    Hugs,
    Bionic

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 11:59 AM   #6
    Pammy2218
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi Dave!
    Thank you for telling me So the TLIF is where they go thru the front of you? And the PLIF is where they go thru your back? I hope your disco and surgery will go well!! I'll let ya know how mine goes.

    Hi Bionic!
    Thanks so much! I only have the rest of today and tomorrow and I don't imagine I'll get anywhere by then. I've got about 10 to 15 lortabs left, hopefully that will do if they don't give me anything else. I imagine my family doc will be a bit more forthcoming with some pain management now that I have an actual diagnosis, I hope, hope, hope!! The pain clinic is called Oliver Headache & Pain Clinic, I've been told by folks that have gone there about the narcotics. This is a fairly decent size city, like the second biggest in Indiana I think. I would imagine there is another pain clinic somewhere I hope. I'll need to start looking. I've been thinking I need to check with the DMV to see what has to be done to get a temporary handicap placard for my car, hmmm...

    I guess we'll just see how it goes Yes, I am trying to concentrate on the fact that this scary procedure will tell the neuro doc what needs to be done to fix me lol. Good luck on your disco too!!

    Huggs,
    Pammy

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
    Quietcook
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi Pammy

    and welcome to the group. Sorry you are having the back pain, but at least here you can see others outcomes and ask specific questions. And best of all, at least here people will listen and answer you the best way they possibly can.

    I'm a veteran of a number of spinal surgeries, and you can do a search for my name so I won't repeat it here. But you are doing the right thing by trying to become informed. Being informed can remove a lot of the anxiety and lets you ask better questions of the doc and allows you to make better decisions.

    Discograms vary, like everything else, depending a lot of the doctor and who does the Disco. For my first disco, that doctor used the testing group of that hospital, so I didn't have a spine specialist doing mine. Now, thankfully, the doc I have believes that he should perform such tests which are invasive of the spinal area, and he lightly sedates me until ready to test the levels, then I'm awake to answer him, and then off for another short rest while he injects Lidocaine so that I am not hurting when I leave. Even with the other doc though, I was not in any worse pain except for those few seconds when they tested each level, but I do prefer that my ortho spine specialists do these tests now that I've seen it both ways.

    May you have a disco that is of minimal discomfort and get your report quickly. Think positive things and as you have researched that anything from PT to surgery may be recommended, make a list of questions you want answered if surgery is recommended first. Hope you won't need that list, but you know, sometimes being prepared is like having insurance and then you don't need it.

    Again, welcome and hope you will get answers very soon.

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 12:08 PM   #8
    injured betty
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    [QUOTE=bufitfn]Hey Pammy,
    Just a Quick answer;
    Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
    Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)

    I have had two discectomies and now am looking at a two level TLIF
    Two level meaning L4 L5 S1
    My discogram is in April and I am scared also. I've heard from the fine people on this board that they are not fun, but are not that bad either.
    I've already had 3 epidural injections so I know basicly how it will start out.
    Good luck and please let me know how it was!!
    Dave[/QUOTE]

    Dave,
    I have been doing some research on the two different types of enty for back surgery and found extensive research that states that men should not even consider the TLIf if they plan to have children down the road. It does something, which I can't remember right now, to your ability to perform.

    You might want to check this out.

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 12:19 PM   #9
    theworrier
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Good luckif you have to undergo surgery but if its any consolation I had a discectomy last year fr compreesion on the L5 s1 and apart from foot drop ive been quite ok and it was nowhere near as bad as I expected. Was sent home the day after with district nurse visits and meds and of course he wonderful excercises.

    Good luck to ya hun

     
    Old 03-23-2005, 03:33 PM   #10
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi injured Betty,
    Actually the TLIF fuses both the front and back of the level at the same time, but it is through a posterior approach only(From the back)
    The sexual thing is from the ALIF which is from the front.
    Funny you should say that though, because my doc had asked if we were done having kids because there is a possibility that I can get an artificial disc replacement if my discogram goes well.
    The ADR is put in from the front and there is the possibility of what they call
    Retrograde Ejaculation. I don't want to get too graphic so you can look that up.
    Talk to ya later , Dave

    Last edited by bufitfn; 03-23-2005 at 03:34 PM.

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 08:19 AM   #11
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi Pammy
    Welcome to the boards
    Do not worry to much about the disco. I had one oh about 10 years ago and that was barbarric (sp?) and then had 1 last year and for extra fun we repeated it . Then I had a cervical one 2 weeks ago. I guess I just want to try out how each one is done LOL Anyway I think the anxiety leading up to it is worse. IF it is positive is the only time you get pain and then they quickly give you meds to knock it out, now on the cervical one they tend to not cause you as much pain, but they also tend not to give you as much pain med to knock it out, I guess they do not want you to move to much with that needle sticking through the FRONT of your neck....Did ya'll get a visual. Anyway, the information the docs get from the disco is well worth the short time of discomfort. Now, i do not go to a PM doc and I probably should because afterwards they give meds in recovery and did not send me home with anything, Thank goodness my ortho is kind enough to have stocked me some what on the Norco or I would up the you know what creek with out a paddle, and then I would be very mad
    I hope you get the answers you need. We are always here for you. I think I have had EVERY single test and or injection known to mankind.
    Anyway Welcome again, look forward to getting to know you.
    shelley

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 02:20 PM   #12
    Pammy2218
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks so much for all your help and replies.

    Shelly your funny LOL. Great to have such a positive attidude about it all. I'm glad the latest ones you've had have been much better for you.

    I'm at about T minus 18 1/2 hours away from my disco LOL.

    Scared as heck, but can't wait for it to be over with!! I'll let y'all know how it went as soon as I feel okay to be on the puter. Boy a laptop would be handy LOL.

    One question, My neurosurg is doing the disco, do you think he'll have at least an indication at the time of the disco if it's positive and if I might need the surgery? I would think If it's the same pain that they cause with the disco, that indicates a positive right? I hate to wait another week to find out if he wants to do surgery or not. I'm trying to get info on durable medical equipment and such from my insurance and all, but don't want to go too far until I know for sure if I'll even be having surgery.

    Though the way I feel, I'll need a cane or walker soon, weather he does surgery or not, ugggg.

    Thanks so much everyone, it's great to have such support!! Hopefully I can lend some support of my own soon.

    Huggs everyone!!
    Pammy

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 02:39 PM   #13
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Pammy,

    I would certainly think you have an advantage with your doc doing you!

    And I really think he'll indicate things to you after the test, maybe not but I think he will.

    We're all counting down with you, try to think of other stuff and not be too afraid.

    Hugs,
    Bionic

    Last edited by Bionicwan; 03-24-2005 at 02:40 PM.

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 02:49 PM   #14
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Pammy,

    My ortho spine specialist does my disco's but does not discuss it until I see him a day or two later. I believe that he doesn't because he does use sedation and I would have already signed a document before the procedure that I would not drive nor conduct any significant business for 24 hrs as required by our state's law. I've never had a problem remembering when I've been under sedation for out patient procedures, but that it is law in TN, so guess that's why I have to wait. However, I already know if things gave a bad enough indication, it's just a matter of knowing which disc he was actually testing at that moment.

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 12:05 AM   #15
    Pammy2218
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    Re: I'm new here and finally have answers!!

    Thanks Bionic! It's T minus 7 1/2 hours LOL.... I'm staying up late as I saw someone suggest, so as to be real tired when I go in, so meds will work really well. Hope it does it LOL.

    Thanks Quietcook! Yes I understand what you're sayin with that law and stuff. I'm hoping though that he will at least give me and indication at the time. I don't expect him to give me all the details after seeing what you're saying about being drugged up and all LOL. They told me that an appointment will be made for a week from the disco to discuss everything. I'm an impatient person though LOL....Guess we'll see

    I'll post how it went, so more people like me can see another account of the procedure from another person. I myself, do a lot of research on stuff and love to be able to read "real" peoples account of a procedure, even when there are many variations, as it seems to be with the disco. Seems that it just all depends on the person and the people doing the procedure and the amount of drugs they give ya. Some say they are in intense pain still 3 weeks after the disco and some say they are feeling fine the next day. I hope I'm a next day person (you too Bionic)!

    I worried about remembering the really 10+ scale pain in my back, but no worries anymore. My back reminded me today and still now too. Oooo my, I've taken 4 lortabs and it's taking the edge off some finally. It's funny, it's been the nasty aching pain down the left leg for a week straight with no breaks. Now all the sudden this evening I felt my back "go out" so to speak and it switched from my left leg, to my back and right leg. Does that happen to you guys??

    Well luv ya all!! I'm gettin tired now, but will try to stay up just a bit longer LOL....

    Pammy

     
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