Had a Myelogram Test/Update

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misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 2:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone, hope you're all doing well! I've been really busy lately with doctor appointments and all kinds of weird diagnostic tests. Plus, on top of it, I had food poisoning last week and was really sick for two days and weak for longer than that.

The weather here has been all over the place, and I had to drive out to Pittsburgh to see a spinal surgeon who specializes in scoliosis. It's like a three hour drive from my home, and I can't sit up long enough to drive so I had to have my boyfriend chauffeur me around. It was hectic day, but I got some good answers to some health questions and have an appointment to see the doctor again next week. Basically, instead of working, I have some sort of appointments almost every other day! Psychiatrist, therapist, family doctor/PCP, Pain Management, Surgeon, hospital tests, it never ends!

I had to have a test done for the surgeon in Pittsburgh yesterday. It's called a Myelogram and it was probably the most drawn out and uncomfortable diagnostic test I've had done so far. It was sort of like getting an epidural, only they inject you with dye and then flip you around on a machine and take X-rays of your body in different positions. Due to the dye, they keep you in the hospital for about two hours after the procedure and have to hook you up to an IV and everything. Right now I feel like a wreck due to the increase in pain from it, but that's normal for some people who have this done I guess. The actual procedure itself was ok though, and I had really great medical care by the nurses and aides—super nice.

Anyhow, just sort of updating...Really wanting to get this psychiatric evaluation over with so that my disability case can move forward. I know how long things can take, but our financial situation isn't real great at home right now and I feel guilty for not having any income. I'm really hoping that someday not too far away, I can get approved so that I can start receiving my own income to help out and to pay for my own medical expenses and gasoline to get to my appointments!

For now, I just have some ice on my back and am trying to relax. I just with my family would let me sometimes. :P

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/20/2012 4:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Mister! (I just love saying that!!) tongue tongue

That procedure sounds a little like the Discogram I had prior to my Fusion Surgery. I was wondering if they sedated you for it? I was during mine, so it was not bad, but I sure do remember moaning when pressure was applied. shakehead

Good luck, and will they have results back soon for you?

Take care!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 4:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply, and howdy, SE! :)

They gave me a valium before the procedure, and they numb the spot with lidocaine but I wasn't really that sedated feeling. But yeah, it sorta sounds similar to what you just described with the pressure. It's sorta like a deep ache inside of you that's really bad, but not 'sharp'. It's a really weird type of pain. They said its just due to the pressure of the dye in the canal. It get similar pain from my epidural.

I actually have the results in disc form already, my doctor made me get them on the day of the procedure. It took a second to get them, but I'm glad I did because now I don't need to make a separate trip. Now I just need to give the disc to my surgeon. :P
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/20/2012 5:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Mister,

Perhaps I read incorrectly, but are you saying that you have to pay for the psych eval for SSD? If so....DON'T...they will send you for one if they feel you need it and it is paid for completely by them. They also pay you mileage to go (if you send in the paperwork). I had one done and so did a friend of mine who was applying at the same time. They were done at different offices and wow were they different, but my personal psych read the one that my SSD psych evaluator sent to him outloud to me and it was right on the money! They still denied me until I went for the hearing and they approved her on the first attempt.

She has way less physical and psych issues, but she is 13 years older than I, too.

Anyway, I wish you luck on your application. I know we have talked about it before, but my memory is horrible, so I do want to recommend a good lawyer who specializes in just SSD claims. They won't take your case unless they think they can win and they normally do!

All my best!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, RetiredMom.

No, I don't have to pay for the psych exam. I just meant that I have to pay for all my regular appointments, and gas to get to those ones. I have my own psychiatrist that I see on a regular basis. I have insurance, but co-pays and gas add up. But no, at least they didn't act like I had to pay for the evaluation!

Also, I did talk with a law firm and gave them all my information, including 'residual functional capacity' forms filled out by my doctors. The aide who spoke with me basically said that they felt I had a 'decent' chance of being approved based upon my records, so I should wait and see first, and that they would keep my files and if I get denied then I should call them back.
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/20/2012 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Ohhhh...now I understand. This is very common. My friend never expected to get hers so quickly and didn't hire an attorney (strangely her step-daughter is an attorney, but not in that field). She knew from her son's experience that an attorney would not take the case until there had been denials first. They get paid from back-pay and won't get too much if they start and you get it immediately. Mine took the case after my two denials. The hearing was basically all she did, but I was happy to pay her for that because she was able to explain to the judge what looked like a lie on my part. It was because I was on leave with pay, then short term disability, then leave, then short term, then both. That sounds insane, but I was under the Family Leave act and because it ended, I was in jeopardy of loosing my job. I was actually placed on contingency leave (which prevented me filing for my medical retirement) without notice. Thank God I had retained a lot of leave and could go back into pay status, which ment I could not be on contingency leave. It's complicated and made it look on paper that I was actually working because I was drawing a paycheck for leave hours off and on for a long time. I had decided short term disability would give me about 5-6 months to recuperate while preserving my leave....it turns out that I just didn't get well and had to retire.

It mention this because these things would have never popped into my mind when thinking about applying for SSD. I did get my medical retirement (because I had worked almost 20 years for the state) and had paid in all of that time. The state determines if you can work doing the same job or one of equal salary, benefits, and promotional opportunities and if not, then you are granted medical retirment (assuming you have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's). After that, I was able to use the paperwork and documentation to help complete my SSD application and give data to the attorney. I didn't even have a person at the hearing to decide what type of job I might be able to do, since I had obviously already presented this information to the state. The judge was great!

They did surprise me by asking me how many times I had to stop (and I wasn't driving) on the way to the hearing. It shocked me because I wasn't prepared for that. I had stopped three times. He asked me to explain why I felt I was disabled...which was emotional for me and after a few minutes, he stopped me as it was graphic information. I was granted almost immediately after that.

I was also extremely pleased to find that my child (under 18) was automatically entitled to SSD benefits on my disability. It has been a Godsend for her education. They send out a document about a year in to ask you to certify how much of the money (for the child) you saved and how much you spent on taking care of the child. I claimed (in truth) that I had spent all of it taking care of her (especially because it pays her tuition, uniforms, food for school, and transportation for school). It also helps with the cost of caring for a child on a regular basis. This will end at 18, but it's a blessing until then!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/20/2012 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there,
good to hear from you, but sorry that you've got so many doctor appointments,
it does seem like all we do is go from one doctor to the next...Please keep
us posted on what they say your results are...Many many well wishes and Prayers...
and I hope you get SS on your first try...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, RetiredMom, I'm so glad you eventually got the your retirement and benefits. Sounds like you've been through a lot. But yeah, I guess I will see what happens with my application. If I get denied, I'm going to call the law firm back ASAP. I'm fine with paying for it, because if I am still disabled and will be for a long time...I NEED these benefits. It's worth the price.
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16273
   Posted 1/20/2012 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Patrick, I am not sure what you were told when released from the hospital, but the at least 24 hours or so after a mylo the patient should rest in bed or in a recliner and drink lots and lots of fluid to flush the dye from your system. The dye they use now is water soluable instead of oil base like in the old days. So, drink, drink & drink some more liquids, lol.

The mylo is not like the discogram that can be very painful, grown men have been known to scream from the pain when having one. They inject each disc when doing a discogram, some drs will not do discograms because of potential risks involved. The purpose of injecting the disc is they are trying to recreate the pain in the disc that is causing the problems. The mylo is like a road map of your spine, they can actually see nerve sheaths fill when doing a mylo. It is a very definitive test.

You have a pretty busy schedule from the sound of things, take care of yourself & keep us posted....Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
straydog said...
Patrick, I am not sure what you were told when released from the hospital, but the at least 24 hours or so after a mylo the patient should rest in bed or in a recliner and drink lots and lots of fluid to flush the dye from your system. The dye they use now is water soluable instead of oil base like in the old days. So, drink, drink & drink some more liquids, lol.

The mylo is not like the discogram that can be very painful, grown men have been known to scream from the pain when having one. They inject each disc when doing a discogram, some drs will not do discograms because of potential risks involved. The purpose of injecting the disc is they are trying to recreate the pain in the disc that is causing the problems. The mylo is like a road map of your spine, they can actually see nerve sheaths fill when doing a mylo. It is a very definitive test.

You have a pretty busy schedule from the sound of things, take care of yourself & keep us posted....Susie


Thanks for the tips! They did tell me to drink lots of fluids and gave me some good discharge instructions. They actually told me that caffeine helps, so to drink lots of it to keep from getting 'spinal' headaches.

That discogram thing sound horrific. I can see why they would shy away from that. I mean, if you can tell that a disc is problematic without that test--then I don't think anyone would ever be ok with having something like that done. In my case, it isn't just my discs causes issues, so I don't think that a discogram would have been helpful anyhow. I actually never heard of either of these tests before, though. But yeah, hopefully they get a good 'look' from the mylo and can tell me what it showed them.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16273
   Posted 1/20/2012 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I am glad they gave you some good instructions. So many times these tests are done in out-patient setting and the patient does not get good instructions on what to do or not do for the next 24 hours. I am sure they got good films on you, moving around during the test is the big no no because the films will be distorted and not clear.

You are correct about a discogram, it is one test I would refuse because of the possible risks involved, tearing a disc and even herniating a disc from too much pressure-has been known to happen. Like I said, a lot of drs will not do have this test done on their patients.

By chance if you start getting a headache get yourself back to the hospital so they can do a blood patch. Do not try to tough it out, the headache will not go away until a blood patch is done. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, stray.

So far, so good on the headache front. I keep knocking back cans of Pepsi Max because I don't drink coffee or tea. lol!

They described that blood patch thing to me too, I don't really get why or what a spinal headache is or why blood 'cures' it. Either way, thanks for the advice. I hate headaches anyhow.
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16273
   Posted 1/20/2012 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Patrick you have not had a headache until you have the spinal headache, lol, they are just horrible. Yes, the blood patch works like a charm too.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 1/20/2012 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
That sounded horribly painful... sorry
Posterior cervicothoracic decompression and instrumented fusion (three levels) for spondylosis and stenosis with severe radiculopathy.. surgery performed 3/31/11

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 1/20/2012 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
straydog said...
Patrick you have not had a headache until you have the spinal headache, lol, they are just horrible. Yes, the blood patch works like a charm too.


I'll just try and keep it that way, thanks! tongue
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