Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

having cervical & thoracic

JulieAJJulieA Posts: 1,420
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
I am having a cervical & thoracic mri today (with and without contrast).

I have to admit I am having alot of anxiety about going into the mri and the thought of laying flat for 45 minutes is killing me.

My NS told me to take 6 mg of zanaflex (instead of my normal 4mg dose along with my painmeds) so that is my plan. I asked on the phone if they can pad the table. They said they could a little.

I have had several MRI's over the years and I never have had anxiety, but last time I had the thoracic mri I was in excruiating pain and I was shaking & crying. The results were some one blury. I know we are supposed to lay still and I tried but also last time she forgot to give me the hand held emergency button. What if I forget to ask for it and she forgets to hand it over?

Someone please tell me that the zanaflex will work...





  • If I took 6 mg of Zanaflex, I'd be so relaxed that I would probably fall asleep. I definitely think it will help you. Zanaflex is a Godsend for me and I use the same dose you do. Just time it right, close your eyes and allow your whole body to relax while you are having the MRI. If you can, get them to give you a towel or something to cover your eyes. I find it easier to have my eyes open during an MRI, but don't like seeing that tube above my face (at least when I could have MRI done prior to getting my SCS). Hopefully you will either fall asleep or be so relaxed you don't feel any pain! Good luck.

  • not sure of the time difference between us (I am in the UK), but I am hoping that your MRI went / is going / will go calmly and successfully today.

    I hope that the zanaflex will help to keep you comfortable so that you can lie still.

    I am probably too late to suggest you taking a calming music CD with you.

    I also wonder if they will be able to scan your neck and let you take a break before starting to scan your thoracic spine, if necessary.

    I am scheduled to have a full spine MRI done in the next couple of months, and this has worried me too. I have only ever had one part of the spine scanned before. All three will probably take some time.

    After your last experience, I doubt very much if you will forget to ask for the emergency button!

    Thinking of you >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • Thanks Peeps. I am picking my daughter up in a little over an hour so she can drive me home. Trying to stay calm.

    I imagine they will let me take a break between. I will ask. Also they do have a cruddy radio & head phones I can use. I will bring something in case I can use my own cd.

    Thanks for the support.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    I pulled this one from a post I made almost a year ago.

    No matter how many times I've had a MRI , I still never enjoy going through it.
    The MRI's are much better than they were 10 or even 5 years ago, but still.
    I had one last Friday and was totally prepared going in for it....

    1 Take some of your pain meds or muscle relaxers PRIOR to going in. (You want to be relaxed, you could also have 2 or 3 Martinis before hand, but then you will have the urge to go to the bathroom inside the tube)

    2 Arrive at the center upbeat and knowing that the MRI is going to be easy this time. (Mind over matter, this is a piece of cake, I will show them)

    3 Think happy thoughts as you disrobe and put on those hospital gear (About now, the only thing you are happy about is that the newer hospital apparel actually covers your butt!)

    4 Scratch all possible parts of your body that will somehow itch inside the tube (This is always a problem, you prepare yourself, you convince yourself that you will not itch. Problem is shortly after inside of the tube, you know you were lying to yourself)

    5 Laugh with the technician, telling them, ah, MRI's are a piece of cake (this helps build up your confidence)

    6 Start to think of the ocean, vacation, your team winning, as you start to slide into the tube. (So far things are going good)

    7 Oh oh, wait this tube got much smaller than last time, my arms are getting crushed, I cant move (Start to think, I should have went on that diet last month, its not to late to chicken out and press the buzzer to let you out)

    8 Slowly you start to sweat and its coming down close to your eyes. You know the moment it hits your eyes, its going to burn and sting, and you know you cant do a thing about it (You start to try to turn your lips up and blow real hard to stop the sweat drops from coming down your face)

    9 The drums and the banging start - At first you are scared, but welcome the distraction. (But after a while, the whole tube starts to vibrate, you think something has gone wrong, maybe I did leave a piece of metal on, and its going to come smashing up into my face)

    10 The technician says over the loudspeaker, "Is everything ok", you respond, sure, no problem (But in reality, you want to tell them, stop it, turn the machine off, I really dont need this MRI)

    11 The tube starts to move out, you say to yourself "Its over!", you are beaming with joy.. (Then the technician tells you, I am going to inject the contrast and then you only have 5-10 minutes more .... No What, I am NOT going back into that tube, forget the contrast, my doctor can read the MRI without that)

    12 Real panic starts to set in. (You are clammy, You are sweating through those hospital pants which is NOT too comfortable. You try to dream, doesnt work, you try to think of your first date, doesnt work, for a second you open your eyes and ARGGGH, you are staring up at the top of the tube which is about 1 inch from your face!. Your stomach starts to turn, you try to take a deep breath, but nothing works)

    13 The tube starts to move out again ( Its over , its over, its over )

    You get up acting real strong, saying to the technician "Hey that was easy, piece of cake" You go back to the changing room, get dressed again and get ready to pick up the MRI CD and go home..

    The technician greets you. "Sorry, we had a little problem, the film did not work correctly, we need to go through it again"

    There you are , on the floor, crying whimpering like a little child..... No, NO NO
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com

  • Let us know how it went.

    Hopefully you will be telling us it was much better than you anticipated.

    Ron, I love it! =))

  • Good luck, Julie, I hope all went well.

    PapaRon, thanks for bringing out that classic post. It covers every disgusting moment of an MRI. You'd think if they could put a guy on the moon, they could make an MRI with a bigger tube and less noisy.

    I usually practice before mine by lying in a couch-bed that's been rolled in with two 2-year-olds on either side of the couch banging spoons onto pans. It's quite similar...

    Let us know how you got on, Julie. Waiting for the results is no fun either.


    PS In my humble opinion, it's not you who should ask for the emergency button, they should give it to you so it's their fault, not yours. Should be standard procedure.
  • LOL @ Ron :)

    Wew... Done for today! When I went back the tech came to talk to me about breaking them apart. Good news is I made it through the Thoracic MRI.... Bad news I have to do the Cervical Monday and go through it all again.

    I had a new tech this time. She was great. She gave me a lavender eye pillow and put the radio on (couldn't hear it though). The table had about 1 inch of dense foam they said they couldn't add anymore or it would mess with the test.

    I took my long acting meds 2 hours prior and then about 30 minutes before the test I took 2 oxycodone 5mg & 6 mg of zanaflex. My pain was well well managed to begin with, I started hurting pretty good the last 10 minutes (right before the injection but she wouldn't let me up or stretch).

    I did have some involuntary movement (my arms & legs have their reflex's going off) but resisted the urge to scratch my nose/face.

    I had to remove my nose peircing... I have long nails and couldn't so I had to go out to the waiting area and get my daughter to do it. PIA getting that thing out... I don't know what I was thinking when I had it done!

    I was hoping to have the CD to look at tonight but they aren't giving it to me until Monday when the cervical is done.

    That is it in a nutshell :)

  • I finished the MRI of the cervical today and finally got to see my images. I really hate being pace in the torture tube.

    The cerical spine looks like c8/t1 is now bulging (dermatome adds up to the electric shocks I sometime get inside my arms down to my wrist). I am not a doctor but the rest of the cervical looked good to me.

    It looks like T4/5/6/7/8 disc's have now all extruded into the spinal colum pressing on the thecal sac :( I think last time I had 2 tears and the rest were bulging. I can't belive how much worse they look over last time.

    t9/10/11/12/L1 are very ugly with 12 being the worst on the lower thoracic.

    The second opinion sugical consult this week should be fun! I hope I can get a copy of the MRI report by Thursday.

    The MRI tech & radiologist wanted to be sure that I was seeing someone right away and asked for the appt date from my referring NS.

    Just wondering what is the highest levels of recorded fusion on record and how the person copes?

    If anyone wants to see the images PM me your email and I will send some out.
  • Julie,

    Glad to see all is done and behind you. I actually tend to get into the 'brumm-brumm-boom-boom-mak-mak-mak' noises and I fall asleep! The last two they had to wake me up when they were done!

    Hopefully your appointment will now answer some more questions for you. Have they, or will they have you undergo NCV/EMG? This go around for me, the x-rays and EMG gave tons more answers than did the MRI!!!

    Please keep us updated woman!! Oh Ron, now that was funny what you posted about enjoying ones MRI!! Rofla!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • 1. Bring an eye mask and put it on b4 you slide into the machine. Then if you open your eyes, you can't see anything.

    2. If you don't have eye mask, close eyes before you slide into machine and do not open them til it's over and you are removed from machine.

    Bonus suggestion. Play the backwards counting game. If they say it will be 8 min for the first segment of testing count backward from 480 (seconds) to zero and see how close you come. Keep repeating for each segment until you come really close; a stupid mind game but helps pass the time with out too much thinking.

    Ps when in doubt, take Xanax or Valium and hopefully sleep thru it!!!

  • I was thinking of you and wondering how you got on with your appointment this week.

    It looks like you have several discs that are bulging into your thecal sac, but hopefully none are compressing your cord. What did your second opinion doctor say? And what about the MRI report?

    I don't know what the longest length of spinal fusion is, but I would imagine it would be for scoliosis correction.

    I am still awaiting my full spine MRI, but hope that it will be done before my consult with the neurosurgeon mid October, so we can review the results. I am still getting those tightening spasms around my chest every day.

    How are you feeling today?
    I hope that you have a good weekend.
    It is my birthday tomorrow, so I hope to be spoiled!! ;)

  • Well, Yesterday I had a message that my old NS cant make it to my appt and that I have to reschedule.... I am so sick of this crap. He will not even be in town. That was supposed to be the 26th...

    The second opinion NS would like me to have at least 1 more ESI just to verify that T7/8 is my pain generator (I think last time we did that one I had some relief for part of the day). Then she would fuse (minimally invasive) XLIF T7/8. I now have endplate edema on both 7&8 so she knows there is some serious stuff going on. She wants to make sure it isn't osteomylitis (sp). She likes the XLIF for the T-Spine so you don't have to cut through the chest. Recovery is much quicker etc.

    So I am definately looking at another fusion. When and what style is still at question. I am afraid 1 level wont cut it and I will go through the whole process again. The good news is that she can add a level pretty easily. They remove the whole disc and replace it with a cage filled with BMP. She said no hardware is used.... Frankly I worry about the lack of metal (some people I know have had their cages shift0 not fun).

    That is where I am at. I am glad you finally got the images. I hope you get your mri soon. Promise to send me the pics. I love looking at them :)


  • well, if you need to have a fusion on your thoracic level, this XLIF that your surgeon is talking about certainly does sound much less invasive than most thoracic fusions. Ultimately you want to be put into a position where your pain is diminished and you can get on with your life again. Although none us would chose to have spinal surgery, especially a fusion, if that is the path to achieve pain control, then in the long run, it should be worth it.

    Have a good Sunday :D

  • OK I called my old NS office and we are rescheduled for next Thursday the 15th (I see my PM at 1:45 and my NS at 3:15). They must have recieved the report from the radiologist because I always have to wait weeks before seeing him (if not months).

    The pain in my upper back has not left me even for a few moments for the last couple weeks. Yesterday I had a couple orders come in and I had to put away 32 cases of product by myself.... I should say I had to load them into my van by myself. I had my daughter help me get them unpacked and put away. Still, between last night and today my pain is off the charts.

    When I got to the ditributor and saw all my orders were in I started to panic. I probably need a weight restriction in place with my employer. I will try to talk to my NS about it at our next appt.

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.