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Myelogram fun

Kat_woman38KKat_woman38 Posts: 162
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK so it really wasn't fun, but trying to keep it light, here. The test itself wasn't so bad, I didn't feel much of anything until the dye went to my head, then the headache began. I had the test on Wednesday, it's now Sunday and the headache has lessened, but is still there, enough that I'm taking my Fioricet 4-6 times a day. I'd check my instructions to see if I should go to the ER because of this lingering headache, but they forgot to leave it with the nurse, can you believe that? The poor nurse, she looked all over, had the people in the x-ray department look all over, they couldn't find it. Finally, she pulled what she could find online and printed it out, which stated if I had a persistent migraine like headache to go to the ER if I couldn't control with medication. So far, I have been able to, but how long is this going to last? Is this normal?

I know this may not be in the right forum, I put it here because I had my 2 level ACDF last July, and this is where I usually post. Mods, if you think this would get more results and/or info in another area, please move and thanks in advance! I'm at my wit's end, and I see the bottom of my migraine meds bottle, which I just bought a week ago. Usually only take 1-2 a week. Sorry to whine, just really tired of the headache, and hoping that this is normal but really no way to know.

Hope everyone's having a pain free/pain light Sunday!



  • From what I have read on here, the people that have developed headache after discogram often have the headache last a week or more. Hospitals differ on how soon they want you to come in for a blood patch if the headache persists. As early as I have seen is 24 hours, but I don't know how long after they might still do a blood patch.

    You probably should call your doctor in the morning to see what he wants to do.
  • for your reply, Gwennie. I thought I was going nuts here, and I am sick and tired of whining, but also of hurting all the time. The guy who did the actual procedure told me there is no such thing as fibromyalgia while doing the procedure, too (which I've been treated for for years and is VERY real), and that my migraines are probably tension headaches. He's a real treat LOL! Guess I'd better bite the bullet and give him a call, then. Poop.

    Have a good week, y'all!
  • Here's one link: http://www.spine-health.com/forum/neck-pain-cervical/blood-patch-after-ct-myelogram

    but can't find the one I am looking for!

    By the way, FROG was asking about you on another thread...wondering if anyone had heard from you....
  • Thanks for the link, Gwennie! I had read that thread when they first said they were going to do the test, but had forgotten about it. I'll have to peek around and see if I can find FROG around, too!
  • Wrong Kat, I think that was for Katmouse64 LOL! Seems there are a lot of us "Kats" running about lately!
  • I agree with Z06, you are probably experiencing a spinal fluid leak which is causing your headache. Go to the ER!
    I had a myleogram last year on the Thursday of the 4th of July weekend and suffered with the headache until Monday when my hubby took me to the hospital, they tried a "cocktail" of meds in my IV to no avail, then did a blood patch and the headache was gone within an hour. I did have a light headache for just over a week afterward but nothing like the initial headache.
    Don't suffer any longer, go to the ER. If you are unsure, at least call the hospital and ask then what you should do. I hope you get some relief soon.

    Take care, Pam
  • I came here to check replies and kind of scratched my head a bit...I replied earlier, got sidetracked in the middle by following the link Graham provided, and never actually replied...guess the Vicodin had kicked in, the goofy part of it, anyway!

    I called the hospital this morning and told them what has been going on, including the fact that they didn't give me any kind of home care instructions except for what the floor nurse could find online. The doc that did the procedure is a visiting doc, so she had to call his office and get back with me. When she finally did (I ended up calling her back) he'd said that if the headache wasn't gone by Wednesday he'd do a blood patch then, and gave me a prescription for Vicodin to tide me over until then.

    I'm a bit unclear on the blood patch, though. It's done at the same site as the myelogram, basically, right? And I have to do the 4 hour recovery in the hospital again, just to make sure it takes? I don't mind, as I don't work, but kind of try to let my hubby know, as he is a 3rd shifter and it's rough on his sleep schedule. He took the day off for my myelogram, but since we're not sure if they'll be doing the blood patch or not, can't really schedule for it. I'm just so tired of being such a pain in the pooper.

    Thanks again for the info, guys & gals. Once again, these forums have proven a life saver for me!

  • Anyone out there can help with my questions re: the blood patch? Looks like I might need one. Thanks in advance.
  • Go to hospital after calling about migraine. They tell me they are waiting for me and will buzz me right into the ER area. So no filling out paperwork and stuff.

    Go in ER area and lay on bed and wait for anesthesiologist and doctor. Nurse assists. So they setup this deal where the doc is drawing blood from your arm and it feeds a tube that the anesthesiologist has on a needle stuck in your back. Yes about the same place as the myelogram hole. Since that is where the spinal leak is. The blood literally bathes the whole area. Then it starts drying and clotting and acts as a patch if you will.

    After they did it I didn't stay in there very long. But they did it in the ER area so they don't like to have people there long. Sent me home. I laid down at home and chilled out the rest of the day.

    So it may take 4 hours total from the time you walk in to when you leave Kat. Not so sure about the laying back for 4 hours at the hospital.

    You will need someone to escort you there. stay with you, then bring you home.


  • Thanks Graham :) Our ER is a bit different, though. I'm in a tiny little country town, when I go to the ER, I can be in and out in under an hour, and that includes x-rays and cat scans if needed. Guess I'll find out for sure today, Wednesday is finally here. I think this has been one of the longest weeks I've ever spent!

    Thanks again for your reply!

  • hi kat
    hope all is well by now..read you post a little late
    sorry i know that headache/pressure well..my spine doc did my procedure..then i called told him head pressure was not getting better drinking caffeen..
    he arrange for anesteologist to do blood patch on a sat..was horrible procedure
    they put needle into spine at same time drawing my blood from arm..which seem take forever they need to draw 20cc..and then your blood is in a syringe which doc shoots into spine...as soon as he took needle out wow i was new person...
    but it's not fun at all you have to arche your back and can't move or flinch cause of needle in your spine...i was in very much pain for few days..
    and myleogram didn't show much more than other test did
    i wish you luck and if you have had a lumbar fusion it is much harded to do spinal blood patch...
    so may go thru hell and may not work..i was lucky mine did work....
    the docs said spinal headaches can last 7-10 after myleogram..
    best of luck to you
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Good luck today Kat! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! Please let us know how you are doing!
  • for the replies, watergirl & jayhawk! I have an appointment at 2 today, it's been a week since the myelogram. I'd really hoped this would resolve on it's own, getting tired of seeing this guy LOL! Now, hoping they find something on the test that will make it all worthwhile.

  • Hoping that your blood patch is successful and that you will return home feeling much better and the headache will just be a distant memory.

    Take care
  • Hey Kat,

    By the time you read this you should be at home and done I hope. I didn't tell you about the pain from the needle in your back for the blood patch. It's about the same as when they do the myelogram. Good thing is that pain is quickly outweighed by how fast that headache stops. You should be feeling significantly better. The freight train should not be running around in your head. You shouldn't be feeling high pressure in there. Unless there is a lot of air ;-)

    If you didn't feel a major improvement then it may not be "patching" the hole sufficiently. Sometimes it does take a 2nd blood patch to do the trick.

  • And believe it or not, they didn't do the blood patch! They started the IV, and the doc came in. He sat me up and asked what happened, when I said nothing, he said I didn't have a true spinal headache I told him it's the exact pain I've had since the myelogram, but apparently it's just a regular old headache, according to him, and a blood patch wasn't necessary. He said it would resolve in a couple days. I was nearly crying, I really thought they'd do this thing and the headache would go away.

    I'm no stranger to headaches, I get them all, tension, cluster, migraine, you name it. This is unlike any of the others, but apparently if it doesn't get worse when you sit up, it's not a spinal headache. Sigh.

    And Z, maybe all that air in there is why I HAVE the headache :))( Actually, the myelogram didn't hurt a bit. Just a tiny prick for the numbing agent, I didn't feel the big needle at all. One thing about this doc, he's a turd when it comes to dealing with people but he's a magician with a needle.

    Thanks again, everyone, for your support and info on this. I may be back to whine a bit LOL!
  • whine away-thats what we are here for
  • Whine away if it helps.
    We can take it!
  • Moving fromp is horrible with a spinal headache. That would make me get dizzy and want to throw up.ight train picks up speed and nd quiet made http://www.greywinds.comit somewhat tolerable. Ay food or drinks. As soon as I sat up. Up came the food and fluids.
    Thatid iter 2 days. I would personally be aft http://www.greywinds.com surgeon. The fluid they use for tblems with some people. Hopefully http://www.greywinds.com it just goes away.
    As flogram test. I wish. It was way worm I have had from beginning to egain.
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