This past Tuesday (3/25/14) I "tried" to have a cervical myelogram (I have an implanted neurostimulator and cannot have MRIs as a result, so my neurologist ordered the myelogram instead)…. and it was botched. The idiot resident and medical student, who were COMPLETELY unsupervised, tried for over an hour to get the spinal tap right - meanwhile, I was completely unsedated and was screaming and crying in pain as electric shocks ran down my back, through my stomach, and down my butt and legs. It was PURE TORTURE. I am serious. I have never, ever felt pain that bad and I hope I never have to again - I cannot even describe the pain other than to say it was about a 15 on the 0-10 pain scale.
WORSE, even after all of that, they managed to inject the contrast wrong so it would not flow to my neck, and they got ZERO useful images… I was never even brought to the CT scanner because they failed so miserably. Only at the end did an attending physician come in and tell me that "the contrast wasn't flowing properly and we would have to stop and do this again another day." I screamed that I was NEVER coming back. I was brought out into the recovery area and my husband was furious because I was crying so hard that I could barely tell him what happened ("didn't work… injected wrong… hurt me so bad!!!" was about all I could manage). He called for the doctor, who explained that "sometimes the contrast will get caught up in the spinal membranes and not flow to the neck." The doctor was apparently VERY nervous, according to the hubby. Meanwhile, I was still in agonizing pain from the puncture site down to my toes, and I was not offered any type of pain control at all, even though I was still sobbing uncontrollably. It got worse when I was told to stand up and walk to the bathroom to put my clothes back on… I developed extremely intense back and leg pain that was like a pressure just waiting to explode. I suspect that is because the mis-injected contrast started pooling in my lower back.
Eventually we were allowed to leave and while I never got a spinal headache (probably because they never punctured the intrathecal space) I have had absolutely awful lower back pain since. Often, it shoots down my left butt cheek and leg. I was essentially in bed for two days after the procedure because I was in so much pain… today I am up and around but still hurting really badly. I cannot bend over, I cannot twist at the waist, and even standing long enough to take a shower feels like a major feat of athleticism.
I had slight lower back pain before this but it is from mild facet joint disease down at L4-L5 and L5-S1 and the quality of that pain is different - I can still tell it apart from this new myelogram-related pain - and it was tolerable with a little ibuprofen. Now I hurt from L2-L3 down, largely on the left side which is where those nincompoops were standing during the injection, and I cannot control the pain. I am not on any pain medication yet - I am not seeing a pain management doc until April 22.
Do you think these xxxx did permanent damage?? If not, how long do you think this new pain is going to last? I'm miserable.
By the way, I emailed the patient services department at the hospital and told them what happened, and they were SO concerned they filed a formal complaint against the doctors that did this on my behalf.
Much love and a pain-free day,
Post edited to remove inappropriate language...Liz spine-health moderator.. Please read the Forum rules