I am a 18 year old female and I was involved in a car accident in March 2007. I was at a complete stop and and two cars rear-ended me( the 1st car that hit me.....their car was totaled and the one behind was messed up)..No matter what i do the pain is always there, most of my pain is in the center of my spine and the left side of my upperback and middleback area.The left side of that area gets numb and tingly. I've had 8 MRI'S(3 cervical, 3thoracic, 1 lumbar, 1 sacral). I was told I have 3 cervical bulging disks and one thoracic bulging disk. I was given a variety of pain meds,muscles relaxers, and anti-inflammatories(Nothing worked). I went to physical therapy for 2-3 months but was discharged because they told me they couldn't help me any longer. I did ultrasound therapy,traction,exercises,stretching,tens units, 1 adjustment and massages.I recieves 3 trigger point injections in May.I then started seeing a neurologist and had an EMG and NCV study and both came back normal. I then recieved 4 cortisone injections and it didnt work. After my orthopedic said he couldn't help me anymore he referred me to pain management. I recieved an cervical epidural on Septmber 21st...... and that didnt work either(that doctor told me after the 3rd epidural that i would need surgery).I did not go through with anymore epidurals because my parents wanted another opinion. After a year and a half in pain, and seeing numerous doctors(10).....I am very close to solving the mystery. The most recent doctor showed me in some x-rays I took last weeks that my cervical disks are very unstable...meaning when I bend the disks move with me...which is not suppose to happen. He suggested a discogram to pinpoint the pain and to see see there was actual leaking in my disks. Needless to say I will be in a "twilight" state during the procedure, I am scared beyond belief of getting an IV(because my veins suck, it took more than half an hour to get an IV in when I got an cervical epidural) and of being somewhat awake during the procedure. I was wondering if anybody had a cervical discogram and how did it go? I have read some horror stories online with people calling the procedure "medieval torture" and I am terrified now! I have the procedure this wed. morning :(
I hear your terror in your post. I am sorry you are feeling this.This is a normal reaction to procedures that we are not familiar with. I am done some research on this test. The procedure involves inserting a needle through skin and deeper tissues (like a "tetanus shot"), so there is some discomfort involved. However, your doctor will numb the skin and deeper tissues with a local anesthetic using a very thin needle prior to inserting the needle into the disc. Most of the patients also receive intravenous sedation and analgesia, which makes the procedure easy to tolerate.
The biggest risks (though the % of complications are very small) is a reaction to the dye, infection in the disc and a flare in your pain. If you have had any tests involving dye contrast this should not be a problem. If the worst happened and you developed and infection there are many powerful drugs available to take care of that infection. And if you experience a flare, which is more common, it should subside in a few days. I assume they will give you additional pain medications to help you through this time.
And unfortunately this is like any thing else you will encounter, some people have a more difficult time than other people. When I had my first baby I heard horror stories about the pain, (before epidurals) and how this person had this complication and that person had a different complication, and this person's baby almost passed away. I was scared to death. I am happy to tell you that having a baby was very easy FOR ME. I started my pregnancy at 17 years and a 113 lbs. I produced a 10 lb healthy baby boy.
If you trust the physician that is conducting this test and he has done this procedure many times before that should bring you some comfort. I would ask how many of these procedures he has done. And now they can (and ask for it) "freeze" those veins before they insert a needle. You will find that anestheseologists and those associated with surgery type procedures are MUCH better at placing an IV than the average nurse.
Please keep us posted and let us know how you are doing. I would keep in mind that at last you will have answers and correct treatment. We will be thinking about you. Best of Luck to You and Take Care, Tuck
I agree with the above posts. I also have a very hard time with my veins. They have a lot of scaring due to all of the IV's I have had with my 33 surgeries and all sorts of other things. This is what works for me. I accepted the fact that I have a hard time and that it may be hard for them to start the IV and it may hurt. I go into it now knowing what I am facing and accepting it in advance. If they have good luck that day I think wow that went so much better than usual. If they don't have good luck I think well that stunk but I knew it would happen. It may sound simple but I think knowledge and acceptance really help. It takes the fear of surprise away because I am already prepared.
Don't listen to or worry about horror stories they are always out there for anything that can be done in a medical setting. People have good experiences and bad ones we just hear a lot more about the bad ones. Try to set all that aside take a deep breathe and relax as much as possible. When we are tense that makes everything worse.
Tuck makes a great point too. Some people especially the ones that start IV's frequently are just really good at it others aren't. Hopefully it will all go very smoothly for you at least it's not your first time with the IV and you know what to expect good and bad.
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