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    Old 11-06-2007, 08:13 PM   #1
    awsam007
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    MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    Hello fellow spineys. I have a few questions. I've been around the block you could say. After the birth of my 1 and only child I was diag w/3 herniated discs in lumbar area of my back, tried months of PT and steriod injections and finally in 4.2007 had a level 1 fusion (L5-S1), my NS decided to be 'conservative' and only fix the disc he thought was causing the trouble, well, 6 mths later I'm still in severe pain, still taking oxy, perc, lyrica and flexeril and guess what??? Surprise, surprise...my NS, instead of doing addtl test to find out why I'm still in so much pain, shoved me onto a PM doc. I saw him for the 1st time last friday. What a jerk. He basically called me a fat drug addict. He wants to take away my oxy until I show him how motivated I am to get better. Btw, I also have to pee in a cup at all visits and he gets to count my pills at all visits too. I've had 4 doctors since my back troubles started and none of them have treated me this way. I don't abuse my meds. I've never ran out before I should. I feel like a prison inmate. He took me off lyrica b/c he says it makes people fat (even though I've lost weight while taking it) and started me on topamax. Anyone have any bad or good things to say about topamax? He also wants me to have an MRI w/contrast, which I think is a good thing, but I'm concerned about the contrast part of the MRI. I've had 2 MRI's in the past w/out contrast. I'm wondering what 'contrast' means. Will I have to drink yucky stuff or will they inject dye into my vein? What are the side effects from the contrast? Wish me luck with the PM doc and the MRI. The PM doc said it is his job to beat into my head everytime he sees me how fat I am. If he does that, we'll have lots of problems.

     
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    Old 11-06-2007, 09:57 PM   #2
    Chris54
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    I lost 50 lbs to have my surgery after a surgeon told me I was to old and to fat to have surgery. After the surgery I gained most of the weight back and now need to lose again. This time it is harder than ever as I can't move much for the pain. I guess I will just have to starve myself. I can't useOxy as my breathing is effected. I heard it really works for some. If they aren't going to do surgery then why the nasty PM Dr? I thought that was why you were sent to PM doctors in the first place, was to get meds to help your pain. This isn't a w/c case is it?
    I had a MRI in 2006 that used contrast dye. It goes in your arm. It is really good for showing scar tissue and any nerve clumping. I wished that all my MRI's prior to surgery had been with contrast. I think the one's without are a waste of time now.
    After a fusion, mine was a double, you can have problems with adjoining levels. This probably is what he is going to look for. If you are not satisfied with his answers, you might want to get a second opinion. Good luck

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 12:49 AM   #3
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    An MRI with contrast is really no biggie at all - the tech just injects in in your arm and in you go. No side effects at all, unless you have a reaction to the contrast. But that's quite rare.

    I've been on Topamax for a few months after about 9 months on neurontin. It really does help with my nerve pain. It does make me a bit slower in cognition, but I think I'm just now adjusting. It's been worth it, though since my pain is so bad. If your doc thinks it's worth a try and you agree, maybe go for it. If you don't feel comfortable with him, see if you can work with someone else. They're supposed to help your pain - not cause more!

    Best to you,
    Margaret

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 05:00 AM   #4
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    Hi, I remember you from last year. I am so sorry you are still having problems and pray that this MRI shows the source of your pain so that all can be fixed and you can begin living life again without meds.

    I personally think some doctors use this gruff tactic their first visit(s) to help weed out the drug seeking individuals. So I would bare with him for a couple of visits before making any hasty decision to look for another PM.

    Good luck with the Topomax. I have heard of several people having great success on the medication and at this point what do you have to lose before trying it??

    Hope you find RELIEF soon! Pain after surgery STINKS!!

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 11:17 AM   #5
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    I had an MRI with contrast this AM and was very nervous as I have reactions to CT contrast. They assured me this was different and it was. They made me take two Valium before I went just because I was SURE I was going to have a reaction. They injected the contrast in very slow and I didn't even know it was in. After all you've been through this will be a piece of cake. I agree that they can see so much more with the contrast. I am anxiously awaiting my results.
    I've only been to one PM doc and although I know he is clinically very good...his bedside manner stinks I've heard of others on this board with PM horror stories. Wouldn't you think if you decide to devote your life to those in constant pain you could have a little compassion and empathy????
    Best of luck!

    Deb

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    I've had good luck with Topamax for nerve pain and found it to help treat pain in my back, legs and groin from a damaged SI joint that Lyrica was not controlling. I did have to increase my dosage very slowly. Sorry to hear that your PM guy was such a jerk. If you are treated that way again, perhaps looking around for a different pain specialist would make some sense. Best wishes to you! Lisa

     
    Old 11-07-2007, 07:10 PM   #7
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    I had an MRI with contrast today and it was VERY different than a CT scan with contrast. With the MRI, they inject a small amount into a vein in your arm. You don't feel anything.

    I, too, always get sick when I have to have a CT scan with contrast.

    Today's MRI was a piece of cake!

    Take care,
    Lisa

     
    Old 11-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #8
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    [QUOTE=CaliGirl;3296404]I've had good luck with Topamax for nerve pain and found it to help treat pain in my back, legs and groin from a damaged SI joint that Lyrica was not controlling. I did have to increase my dosage very slowly. Sorry to hear that your PM guy was such a jerk. If you are treated that way again, perhaps looking around for a different pain specialist would make some sense. Best wishes to you! Lisa[/QUOTE]

    Hey Cali - ya think I should try a nerve drug for my leftover SI pain before I try the RF?

     
    Old 11-09-2007, 10:18 AM   #9
    margsee
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    Re: MRI w/contrast & Topamax question

    Hey Cali - "clear as mud". You just described SI Joint Disfunction.

    So it turned out I had some Lyrica I had never tried and this AM I had less sharp aching there. Perhaps I'm onto another step in the right direction with procedure. We'll see. Though I'd like to try Cymbalta, as I don't see weight gain as a symptom. That's all you need when you have SI issues; more weight.

     
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