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Pain during and after X-rays...

TTLCTTTLC Posts: 876
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
Does this ever get easier? Do you ever need to take extra medication while having your X-rays done and a few days afterwards?

I am still recuperating from the CAT scan done on my thoracic spine and the X-rays taken of my tailbone...from last Thursday. I swear, I feel like I was a human punching bag... my upper arm muscles are so tender (both feel bruised) and the same with my whole thoracic area. I am used to being a walking spaz... but this is ridiculous. Thank God Advil and Flexeril are helping the inflammation and spasms.

I haven't had X-rays done (with the exception of chest X-rays a few weeks ago to rule out pneumonia) since June 2009.

I haven't heard from my Neurosurgeon yet, but my PCP called me early Friday morning with the results. The CAT scan showed a lot of things going on in the T6, T7, T8 area... losses of height at 50%, kyphosis, depressions on endplates, calcification in the ligamentum flava and... that's all I know for now. My tailbone has two dislocations, which explains my sitting pain.

If my Neurosurgeon requests an MRI, I honestly don't know how I am going to manage this without extra medication.

I am curious to know if any of you need extra medication during and after X-ray adventures...?

Thanks and Happy New Year to my Spine-Health family!

Tammy :)


  • i hope you are feeling better soon. :D this is something i have never had trouble with thank goodness but i feel so bad that you have!!! get your rest, you know you are a sweetheart!!! :X L and spiney hugssss, >:D< Jenny :)
  • I don't need extra medication for X-Ray's but, when it comes to MRI's or CT's (anything that I have to lay down), I do. Usually after I get home I go straight to bed, take my meds and turn my heating pad on high, and just lay there for hours. I hope that you get to feel better soon. Take care,

  • Dear Jenny,

    Thank you for being such a sweet friend. Your continual encouragement always helps, particularly when I'm having "one of those days".

    I hope your tummy is feeling great these days. Thank goodness we can turn the page on 2009, eh?

    Take good care of your sweet self... I think of you often! >:D<


    Tammy :X
  • Hi Tipper,

    It's nice to meet you and I thank you for the well wishes.

    It's good to know that others need something extra to help with the X-rays and scans. The tailbone X-ray was done laying down, but at least I had a little bit of padding to lay on. The minute I got home, I actually did do a long heating treatment and took my pain meds. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist after my X-rays, so my hair was pretty much standing on end by the time we made it back home.

    Speaking of that psychiatrist visit, she thought I might do well with Trazadone for sleep? Well, I decided to try it that Thursday night and I was absolutely loopy. I did much better with the stuff last night, so I'm willing to stick out the goofy side effects.

    Thanks again and take good care. It sounds like you've been through a lot and I hope your pain pump trial goes well.

  • I also take Trazadone for sleep and OMG that stuff is amazing! It took me about a week to get used to it, I was loopy every single day until my body got used to the medication, so I am glad that you are getting used to it already. I hope that your issues can be solved really soon, it sounds like you are in a lot of pain.....
    Thanks for the welcome, so far I really like this place and the support that it offers. Take care,

  • :D

    I think it's perfectly natural for your pain levels to increase during x-rays and MRI's. You're already in pain and, if you're like me, I need to keep adjusting my body to stay out of pain. Laying in one position while having tests can certainly make you miserable.

    I had two small cups of liquid valium for my last MRI -- I was so HAPPY (LOL!) -- the valium was for my nerves as I'm clautrophobic but I think it helps the pain levels by not letting you tense your body up more because of the discomfort.

    Bless your heart, Tammy, I sure hope the doctor can fix some of your issues -- being in pain 24/7 is no picnic. Glad you have someone who gives you extra TLC.

    Wishing you pain free days ahead in 2010.

    Take care of you!

  • Hi Judy,

    Happy New Year!

    Thank you for your reply and for sharing. You always bring a smile to my face!

    I am DEFINITELY going to request these Valium shots for my next X-ray... which will more than likely be the MRI tunnel. If I need my tailbone put back in position, I will request these again. I sure hope they can do something for that thing... as I will feel so much better. It's amazing how much pain that little bugger can create.

    Yes indeed, we are going to make 2010 a good year.

    I hope you are getting adequate pain relief and the new year has been good to you, so far.

    Take care, Judy. O:)


  • When I take my Trazadone. I appreciate the feedback, as this is another brand new medication my body is being introduced to.

    I can't believe all of the medications I have taken over the past year. I've been able to taper down on the Oxycontin (120mgs versus 180mgs), but that's about it for now. If I need to go up again, that's fine. I'm doing my best to just go with the flow and not stress.

    Thanks again and have a good night's sleep.

  • My pain is worse today after doing a couple of xrays on my shoulder for my two year followup. I've learned how to keep the mechanical pain down in my shoulder and avoiding certain moves. I do keep things moving, but not to a level that is pre accident. Working the area only makes it worse, 4 different courses of PT kind of proved that.

    Anyway, just the few simply moves for the Xrays flared everything right up, as usual.

    As usual the ortho said, "do what ever you want".
    I said that is not the problem, the problem is doing what I want brings on pain, pain the I can't or don't have a means of managing well. He said, sorry, that's all I have to offer.

    I think deep down if I wait long enough time and other influences will make this not so bad.

    Yes, Xrays hurt.
    Yes, ask for the Valium if your going in the MRI.
    Unless you are allergic to it all it will do is give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling and probably a good nap thrown in to boot!

    Hope things get seen and help is in waiting in the wings
    I'm waiting for summer...
  • I'm sorry an x-ray or MRI brings up more pain for you and sorry to hear about your fractured tail bone. I take a break through pain med and a sedative before any tests. I found the bone scan was the most painful as I had to stand for about 10-15 minutes without moving and I was in extreme pain at home after. I try to meditate and practice deep breathing during the tests especially the MRI. Hope you're feeling better soon. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Wrambler,

    I really appreciate your reply. I don't like to hear of extra pain from anyone, but it's been good to hear from others who also experience what I do with these scans and X-rays. I really like what Judy said about the liquid Valium. I have used it a few times and I'm not allergic to it. Those MRI's just hurt sooo bad and we're in there a long time. Last MRI I had done, I was in tears when they moved me back from the tunnel. I had to sit for quite a while, just to be able to move back onto a gurney.

    How are you doing with your medication from the psychiatrist? Have you found a good combination?

    Are you still on restrictions from the doctor? Just was wondering if your HR department has ever addressed anything with you. It's a shame some people have lousy HR representatives. I would have been out the door, if I didn't do follow-up's with our engineers and had their most recent status in the system.

    Thanks again for your reply, Wrambler.

    You take good care, k?

    Tammy :)
  • Dear Charry,

    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate what you have shared.

    I haven't had a bone scan yet and from what you have described... I wouldn't do very well at all. I can't stand still for more than 3 minutes, before I need to start swaying or pacing. The pain is too much to handle. I hope you don't need those scans very often!

    Deep breathing is what gets me through the tough times. There are times I do get sharp nerve attacks with breathing, but they don't happen that often. It took me a while to figure out what those pains were, but since I've been on nerve medication... I notice if I take a nerve pill during one of the sharp nerve attacks... it subsides rather quickly.

    Thanks again and I hope your day has gone well.

    Take good care,

  • Not a peep from HR!
    It's been almost 2 months now!
    My restrictions are pain...
    None of my doctors places any real restrictions on me, other than don't do a lot of repetitive motions and keep lifting down to below 50lbs or so. No end date set, dr would not mark them as permanent either. That's what baffled HR I guess. I figure it will all just lay there in a file till someone makes the person dealing with my case do something!

    I'd be beating on the door asking them to figure out what they are going to do, except, sometimes when people are pushed the easiest thing to do is get rid of the person pushing! I'm getting paid, my immediate supervisor is happy, the people above him are oblivious to my status, so, instead of kicking the sleeping dog, I'm stepping over it for now!

    I don't think the decision as to what to do with me will be different if I wait for them. I was reading something recently that lead me to believe since they have chosen to retain me for this length of time that it will be harder for them to let me go without due cause. By modifying my actual work they are more or less accepting me as I am.

    I'm glad to read you can recover from your ordeals, but the experience sounds awful! I had a shoulder arthroscopic dye injection followed by an MRI with contrast before my replacement surgery. That was as painful or worse than my accident! The doctor kept hitting the bone in my shoulder with the needle...I shudder to even think about it, yours experiences sound as bad!

    My med combination works well for me, except as usual he does not give me enough valium to last a month so I have to be real careful and sometimes just let my back spasm and ache. He writes the script and tells me take one, wait an hour then if needed take another, never has one done the job! He allows me 4 a day, not enough! He writes the script for 90! I have another appt with him next week, I hope I can convince him without begging to give me enough to actually take 4 a day for a month! I usually get low on meds when I wake up at 3:00 am, I know the only thing that will stop it and let me go back to sleep is Valium. So, I take it and go back to bed. Today is a crappy day, I woke at 3:00, but did not take it because I know I am running low, just miserable right now.

    The Lamictal for Bipolar seems to help the pain too. But it can get strange in here (my mind) sometimes :O
  • Thanks Wrambler...

    I have followed your posts ever since I joined. We both entered the Chronic Pain world by accidents. I remember what you were going through prior to your SCS implant and I was very happy that you have been getting good results with your SCS. Having the SCS implant has allowed you to continue working at your job and support your family.

    There are challenging days you go through with pain and the moods, but you have a great deal of determination. You continue to seek out additional help from doctors... when needed. You always go the extra mile. Your family means the world to you and I tell you what... they are very blessed to have such a strong (yes strong) husband and father. Your sons will benefit from seeing how you handle very difficult situations and they will blossom into very good men.

    Finding the right combination for your bi-polar disorder, isn't easy. It's generally a trial and error process which can take months to find the right combination. (I have a friend who is bi-polar and have supported her willingness to never give up in finding the right combination of medication. She's doing very well these days).

    I hope you can get the extra Valium on your next visit. You do not abuse drugs, you have simply found one that is helping you to continue having quality of life. That is my goal... just getting to the point of being active every day, but in my kitchen. I won't over do it, but I miss making homemade bread, the cookies and everything my family loves to eat. Mike has been great in the kitchen. You couldn't find a better assistant... lol. My goal is to need less help in the kitchen. Everytime I bake or cook, I have to do this goofy ritual of, "Uh oh... need to start swaying", "Okay... need to walk", "Need to sit", Need to lay down"... then repeat that chorus a bunch of times. While I'm resting, I do remind myself that I need to be thankful that I am walking. I was so close to paralysis and I need to be thankful for another chance to have use of my legs and bodily functions.

    Regarding the HR person...let that sleeping dog sleep. It appears that's what the dog does best. You've done your part with returning the information requested from HR, so just keep on... keeping on!

    I cringe, everytime I think of a needle hitting your bone! I'm going to remember this during any future scans or X-rays. Laying in that tunnel is nothing compared to what you went through with that needle.

    I have an appointment with my Neurosurgeon on February 4th. If I need an MRI done, I know what to ask for to get me through the tunnel and I will remember that my pain could be a lot worse.

    Oh! My son is doing well on the Lamictal. He started taking it about 2 weeks after you did. I was a bit apprehensive... normal for a mom, but it's working well for him. He's on the 100mg dose at night.

    Thanks for sharing, Wrambler. Keep up the good work. :)

  • Thank you! >:D<

    Very kind words indeed!
    They mean a LOT to me

    Still going to send you a PM :$
  • Tammy,

    Usually for X-rays I'm ok, just on the table for around 5minutes, if it was longer I would need extra meds. CT's, MRI's etc I definitely need extra meds. Like a lot of Chronic pain patients I can't stay still very long, I pace the house, sit a while lay a while, etc. you know how it is. Good luck Darlin, please don't take offense, I spent several years in the south and call everyone darlin or honey. Even call my best friend (male 6'3" around 300lbs of muscle) darlin, lol.
  • and I really needed one! :)

    I just got back from my PCP's office and I have a bladder infection, on top of everything else.

    You know... I'm in some kind of viscious circle over here. From Thanksgiving I have had bronchitis, sinusitis, something Christmas Eve, the horrible CT scan adventure, the discovery that my tailbone is dislocated in two places and... I can't remember any more... lol!

    I'm pumping the cranberry juice and have my heating pad going. I'm going to knock this infection out good.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing... I really appreciate input from others.

    You take good care, sweetie pie!

    Tammy ;)
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