Just had an MRI . . .

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren H, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    . . . and I didn't enjoy it a bit. Nothing like spending a half hour enclosed in a tomb, listening to something like a jackhammer, as giant magnets scramble your DNA. Very bizarre experience. The worst part was that at some point I drifted into that murky "not quite asleep" zone. When I became fully conscious again, I was completely freaked out by the experience -- my forehead strapped to a gurney, the words of the radiologist ringing in my ears: "Don't swallow. It will show up as abnormalities in your spine." Felt like I had stepped into an E.A. Poe short story.

    I didn't even get any Valium like the doctor had promised.

    But I'm home again, enjoying my prescribed Vicadin and waiting for some results. Anyone know what's ahead of me if I really do have a slipped disk?
     
  2. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Darren,
    Is the slipped disc in your neck or your back? I have two discs in my lower necked that are going to be dislocated for the rest of my life becasue of a tumor in the vertebrae between them. I went through 4 months of Physical Therapy to get my strength back. It worked well and I only have minor pain now.
    What was crazy about my situation was when it 1st happened, I lost all feeling in my arms and hands because the discs were pressing on my spinal cord causing my nerves to freak out. Now THAT was scary!!!
    Watch out for that Vicadin, they are very addicting. I was eating those things like candy. [​IMG]
    -Dean-
     
  3. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    I'm not even sure if it's a slipped disk that's causing the problems, but it seems the most likely diagnosis. I'm still waiting to hear from my doctor. After occasional spells of neck and shoulder pain, I've started having numbness in my right arm. A nerve in my neck is definitely being aggravated, I'm just not sure why.

    I'm ready to do away with the Vicadin. It definitely comes in handy when I go to bed (I only take one a day), but I'm tired of feeling slightly sedated during the day. Or, maybe that's just a side effect of my poor sleeping routine lately.

    Anyway, hopefully I'll be told that some physical therapy will do the trick.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Did you enjoy the barium (sp) solution they had you drink? One of the guys from my office who was suffering from instestinal pain had to take a MRI, and the solution went straight through him (he fouled up the toilet due to the stuff). He wound up have a knot in his intestines, so they opened him up, removed the knotted section and sewed him back up, unfortunately he experienced some infections in his abdominal area, so he's been suffering through the recovery.
     
  5. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    My mom had a damaged disc removed from her back about 20 years ago. The surgery back then was invasive...cut a big incision straight down her back. The recovery was quite painful.

    Last year my uncle had the same surgery and it was all done laproscopically (sp?)...with a tiny incision and little instruments. I think he spent the night in the hospital and two days after the surgery, he was out relaxing on the beach. Amazing how far some of these procedures have come.

    Good luck with the diagnosis.
     
  6. andrew markworthy

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    Darren, what they'll do depends very much on the individual case. However, as others have said, if it is surgery, then surgical procedures have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and any alarmist stories you hear from older relatives/friends aren't likely to reflect current practice.

    If it's any consolation, although MRIs can be unpleasant, they are as nothing compared with the early pioneering days of scans. Put simply, the patients had to be strapped totally immobile because the pain from the initial injection of radioactive tracer was excruciating, and otherwise, they'd try to escape.
     
  7. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    So, apparently I have protruding disks on three vertebrae -- along with something else that I can't recall -- which, in some ways, is comforting to know. I hate being sick, and have felt awfully whiney lately. It's good to know that I've been in pain for a legitimate reason and haven't just been overreacting. I have a consultation with a neurosurgeon in a few weeks, but hopefully will be able to treat it with therapy.
     
  8. Lawrence

    Lawrence Agent

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    Darren-

    Depending on your symptoms, the neurosurgeon may recommend a laminectomy and discectomy of the region. What spinal level are the discs and are you having any numbness/tingling anywhere?

    I have scrubbed in on many of these procedures in my medical school training. It involves an incision over the affect area of the spine, removal of the bone and disc around the compressed area, and possibly a bone graft. It is not minor surgery by a long shot, but most people do fairly well post-op and have relief of pain and symptoms.

    Hopefully you will be able to correct the problem with physical therapy, depending on how much the discs are herniated.

    Some words of advice: Always get a second opinion. Also, surgeons are quick to recommend surgery and send you to the operating room because that is what they do and they love to do it. If surgery is recommended, absolutely get a second opinion.

    Good luck and I hope things resolve for you as quickly and smoothly as possible.
     
  9. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    don't swallow for half an hour?? I'd drown!! Seriously, I can't stop myself from doing it. It's horrible in the dentist chair. I hope I never need to have an MRI...
     
  10. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

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    Don't worry, Paul. I swallowed. I was lying flat on my back, so it was either swallow or choke. I just found the "don't swallow" warning kind of amusing. It's like the old saying, "Don't think about a pink elephant."

    Lawrence, my protruding disks are between the 5th, 6th, and 7th cervical vertebrae. I also have a narrow transverse foramen. My wife, the physical anthropologist, got out all of her osteology texts last night to show me what that means. And, yes, I have had some numbness in my right arm, which is the main reason that I finally saw a doctor this time. Thanks for the advice, though.

    I'm way too young for this crap -- 29.
     
  11. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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  12. Rob Longmore

    Rob Longmore Stunt Coordinator

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    wiat till you spend an hour in one with a fractured upper spine! they strap you in and you cannot move a muscle, not to mention pain so severe you are on the verge of passing out!

    Never again!
     

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