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Have to get spinal and mri [brain...why so many pills

April 21st, 2005, 12:53 PM
OK I went to the neurologist,i have to get a spinla tap and mri,she said i passed the test[walking and doing different things in her office]my question is she gave me a scrip for 180 neurotin pills and 5 re fills why would she give me that many???????????????????????????????????

April 21st, 2005, 01:06 PM
What are they thinking you have agian. I mean why are they doing all these test? Did you ask your doctor why so many pills and what they are for. How many do you have to take a day and how many times a day.

April 21st, 2005, 01:18 PM
Mulitple Sclorosis....She wants me to do that so we can rule it out,we went over my neck mri and she showed me the spot so she wants to check out the brain..I am not sure why so many pills,except that she does think i have it,and wont tell me

April 21st, 2005, 01:18 PM
Usually neurontin is started on a schedule - you typically begin with 100 mg at first and work up to 300 mg tid (s 3 x a day). So maybe she gave you a schedule with the script and that is why there are so many???

April 21st, 2005, 01:48 PM
Yeah she did give me a schedule but what exactly are they for,i told her i have pain in my neck and i take vicodin,why would she put me on something that is less powerful

April 21st, 2005, 02:07 PM
It is not less powerful than vicodin - just very different. It used to be mainly a med for seizures but has been proven to be great for chronic pain - nerve pain in general actually. I myself have both prescribed it and taken it. Follow the schedule carefully and as you go along, you should find you need to take less vicodin which is a good thing! :)

Some people call it a "feel good" drug since it also has some anti depressive qualities but I cannot say personally that it made me feel any differently, <g> I have had patients tell me wide ranging things about it - that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, a true miracle (from a teenager with bone cancer) to others who did not find it worked except that it did help them sleep.

Be sure to follow the schedule tho.

April 21st, 2005, 02:16 PM
Cyberkitten, is it ever prescribed for shingles?

April 21st, 2005, 02:32 PM
Actually, yes, it is indicated for shingles and many docs now prescribe it for the pain of shingles -which can be severe, as you may know. Since it is nerve pain, nerontin has been quite effective for some patients with shingles.

April 21st, 2005, 02:42 PM
I see it is used for alot of different things,just want to be sure because my neck pain can be severe at times,and somedays it takes more vicodin then prescribed.....I just thought it was alot of pills to prescribe

April 21st, 2005, 02:50 PM
So what is in it??Is there a stimuli>>>Is it narcotic???I have so many questions i am thinking she wouldnt have given me so many if she didnt think i had MS...

April 21st, 2005, 03:15 PM
She could have just given them to you for the pain or just in case. I do not think this means that she thinks you have it. Did you ask her any questions of give her nay conerns you may have? :D

April 21st, 2005, 03:17 PM
I would not think that actually - neurontin is often prescribed in large amts- especially depending on how odten one sees a doctor of course. It was initially for epilepsy but is now prescribed for a number of things - and has been shown to be effective for chronic pain. In MS, it controls dysesthesias (pain caused by MS lesions) and the pain caused by spasticity.
I suspect that why she has given you the script if she is leaning towward
that diagnosis - has it been confirmed yet?

I am concerned that you have to take more pain meds - have you told your doc? Maybe you would be benefit from a long acting medication? (MS Contin, OxyContin - which is really just the same as what it is vicodin delievered over a 12 hr period - and minus the acetaminophen). That said, I think you will find relief from gabapentin (generic name for neurontin) and find you need to take less.

April 21st, 2005, 03:32 PM

April 21st, 2005, 03:34 PM
No. No - I am concerned you have to take more pain meds! (Dispensing medical office online is different than in person ;) ) The gabapentin should mean you can take less - that would be a GOOD outcome! I don't think it means she thinks you have MS either - she is trying to treat your pain I think and gabapentin is great for nerve pain in particular.

April 21st, 2005, 03:34 PM
That is what i dont get,i feel with this prescription she is leaning towards me having ms,this tuesday i go and get the mri on my brain,ans someone is supposed to be calling me to set up the spinal tap.

April 21st, 2005, 03:36 PM
Gabapentin is prescribed for so many things that I'd never jump to that conclusion. (some say for too many actually but that's another story - there is anew study now that claims it will help hot flashes - too small a sample tho).

Ask for a sedative when you have a spinal tap.

April 21st, 2005, 03:40 PM
She gave me a scrip for one xaxax for my mri,i am extremeley claustrophobic....And yes i have heard i wll want something a little stronger for the spinal,can they just put me out when they do that??

April 21st, 2005, 03:43 PM
They could but they rarely do - for adults anyway. I often anesthsize my little patients (do that for MRI's too tho often they have to have an MRI after just landing on a helipad after a harrowing trip and tho medicated, they are terrified andtheir parents are in shock).

They usually give you something to make you drowsy tho - every place uses different protocols. I often use versed (it tends to make you forget what happend).There is always a risk to being out like a light - better to use versad or something lighter.

April 21st, 2005, 03:59 PM
I am dreading this,i keep thinking do i really need to do all this,if there was only one spot on my spine?????I did the walking test and stuff and she said i apssed with flying colors...

April 21st, 2005, 04:05 PM
It really is good I think to have the tests. Then you will know for certain and there won't be any questions in your mind. I have what are better known as "nerve blocks" every three months or so (for my chronic pain) and while they do not treat the pain as well as I'd hope, they do cut it down about 40% and that is worth the effort. (I still have to take pain meds) They are very similar to a LP (lumbar puncture) or spinal tap and I ask for diazepam IV and my chronic pain doc, a friend, gives it to me. She is an anestheologist so she is very good. Ask your doc how often the person doing your procedure does it?

I think you will find it is fine. Have you ever had a myelogram? I don't think it is as bad as that.

I have never had an MRI (can't with to much metal in my spine even tho we have a machine that suppsoedly will not do anything - I am not taking chances, lol) but the older kids I have ordered it for - some think it's kewl, others take their MP3 palyers. walkmans and listen to music. We also have a TV /DVD Player for the kids on our MRI machine and they can choose their movie. Ask for that, lol

April 21st, 2005, 04:08 PM
Awww Heidi,I was not aware you are going through all this,but I hope everything turns out ok... :love:
CK,wow you are certainly a good person to have around,a world of information,just great :thumbs up

April 21st, 2005, 04:30 PM
I just looked them up and even on my ins they are not cheap..Thanks Chico i just went in because of neck pain never guessing all this would come about................

April 21st, 2005, 04:48 PM
I have no advice or information that might help :o I just wanted to wish you the best :)
I hope things work out well for you ... you will be in my thoughts and prayers :angel:
Be sure to keep us posted as we are all concerned :grouphug:

April 21st, 2005, 04:50 PM
Thanks,Tuesday i get the brain mri,cyberkitten do u know what it means when they say mri with contrast???What is the difference with contrast or without

April 21st, 2005, 05:03 PM
Sorry for the delay - in the middle of dinner and I ran by the computer, lol Contrast is just another word for dye used in an MRI. It is injected in a vein so that the output can be seen more easily.

It works a little differently than dye used in scans or Xrays tho. It alters the local magnetic field in the tissue being examined. Normal and abnormal tissue will respond differently to this slight alteration, giving differing signals. These varied signals are transferred to the images, so the various tissues and processes can be visualized better than without the contrast.

April 21st, 2005, 05:11 PM
Ok i did not know about needle s*** i dont think i can do this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

April 21st, 2005, 05:23 PM
It's nothing really - just like having an IV. (Maybe it's easy for me to say - I once had the same IV in for 11 days in an ICU and I regularly have to have arterial blood gases drawn so I am more immune maybe). If you do not like IV's ask the doc for something to relax - in addition to the xanax. But xanax should help.

April 21st, 2005, 05:27 PM
Will i feel the dye going through me??Dumb question i know,and is the iv in my arm the whole time...

April 21st, 2005, 05:46 PM
I'm sending prayers and positive vibes your way Heidi. Hang tough, we are all here for ya.

Please keep us updated all the time!

April 21st, 2005, 06:02 PM
You should not feel the dye (Tho often referred to dye, it is actually the element gadolinium. You can read about it here:

Contrasts are different chemical components that react with magnetism in a certain way where certain anatomy or tissues can be viewed. In MRI, the gadolinium reacts to the magnetism and radio waves allowing certain diseases, surgical scar and anatomy to become visible.

For that matter, other than a small picky feeling when the IV is inserted, you should not really feel the IV, unless there are problems - which is rare, esp for such a short duration. (and there is no such thing as a dumb question.)

Someone will insert the IV prior to the MRI and it will liklely be in your vein throughout the procedure, yes.

Good luck!! :grouphug:

April 21st, 2005, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the info,,,,i am a little freaked out about the whole thing.... :sick: :sick: :eek: :eek:

April 21st, 2005, 11:47 PM
Hey!! Finally something medical I have done before!!!

I had an MRI with the dye about 2 years ago. I am TERRIFIED of needles, and this one almost made me pass out which was good, because I stayed still :p (it's hard to stay still under pressure :) ). The dye feels warm (which is nice) and then you breathe it out and it tastes a bit funny. Not bad, just weird. Be careful though, because apparently quite a few people are allergic to the dye (they'd probably be ready for it though).

In the end it was no big deal. I asked if I could see my brain, and the tech said no, it's just for my doctor, but then I asked him, but what is it that you get from this test? So he showed me my brain in 3-D. The dyed veins are really neat. My brain was a lot more normal than I thought it would be... :D It's weird to see things from a textbook in real life... I mean I've seen a human brain in Anatomy, and touched it etc, but it's different when it's your own :love: (why I don't snowboard anymore).

All in all, I rate that test way better than a full glucose tolerance test or even going to the dentist for a cleaning... Two thumbs up!! Of course, since I hate needles, I always go private (they don't poke around as much), and it cost me around $500.

In the end, I had no physical reason for having migranes and deteriorating vision after my concussion (from snowboarding), so I just had to live with it... (But then I got an athletic therapist who specialized in head traumas to fix me up. She moved all my skull bones back into place. I hit with the back of my head 4 or 5 times before I finally stopped flipping... It felt like i had a concussion all over again but my eye sight got a bit better once she moved all the bones foreward and they stopped putting pressure on my optic nerve. I urge anyone with post-concussion syndrome to see her... Really-- sorry I got way off track).

As for the spinal tap, never had one of those, but apparently I have to get an epidural if they decide to fix my hernia, and I want to be asleep for the epidural...

Really, good luck with all this. I know how not fun it is doing "doctor's rounds". I hope everything turns out good.
:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

April 22nd, 2005, 12:58 AM
Hey, doctor's rounds aren't so bad - espescially if you're the doctor :crazy: . Sorry, I could not resist!

Heidi it won't be so bad, really! You're prob worrying for nothing. I have had scans with IV's and they are OK - definitely better than the dentist and epidurals tho I put epidurals up there with my facet injections ("nerve blocks". You could ask for versed - then you may not recall the whole experience!

Prin, you should see what we can do on the computer with all the MRI graphics and images. (Create a screensaver with your brain waves - I seriuosly think we ought to offer this as a revenue generating thing at the hospital, lol) It is way kewl!

Tho I have to say re: "I always go private (they don't poke around as much) - I doubt that has anything to do with the private clinic. Poking has everything to do with the kind of veins you have and the ability of the person who is inserting the IV. I have collapsed veins (too many tests I guess over the yrs tho I know it's almost impossible to find veins on someone who has been an IV drug user over the yrs OR a long time cancer patient (Thank Gawd for portacaths, esp for "my" little ones!). I have never been to a private MRI clinic in Canada but I've had many tests in Boston (private and expensive hospital, sigh -- and this was as a child, long before I became a doc AND when I was studying at univ in Boston before anyone jumps on me for practicing med in Canada and going to the US for medical care and later for the follow up) - and it so much depends on the patient, their experience or rather their veins' experience and not at all with private or public. I think the only plus for private MRI's are the wait times but given our wait times here and the cost, I would not opt for a private clinic in Canada. (IF I could even have an MRI). With my veins, when I need bloodwork - esp arterial gases - I ask for a friend who is an IV nurse and make sure she is working BEFORE I scedule the procedure.

We HAD the best MRI in the country last year - now a hospital in Vancouver has bought the latest model from the same company. We use ours for research and have an agreement with the university (one of many actually and fun to negotiate (NOT!) - I also am on my hospital Board). Private clinics are for profit so they tend to cut corners - we sold them an old one. (We tried to sell it to a vet clinic but they had a better one.)

It is the newer models that have the TV and DVD option - so wonderful for big and little kids alike. One of the techs I work with says he used to love Finding Nemo and now well... lol The older machines are also the smaller ones that can cause clautophobia more.

So for the MRI, ask for the machine they have that has the fun tech gadgets - I want one with a personal PC so I can dictate Email and Freecell moves. I suspect the hard drive would be wiped out pretty fast by the electromagnetic waves tho, haha

On a related subject - my nephew teaches snowboarding so I shudder every time I hear of accidents. He does tell me about some rather silly parents tho who let their kids try it sans lessons. I used to ski but had to give it up after all my spinal surgery which was a long time ago now so I won't be strapping on a snowboard anytime soon. Seriously, I am sorry to hear of your fall Prin. Hope you are OK now except for the hernia.

And Heidi, don't let it all freak you out too much. It is really not that bad. A long time ago - as a small child facing open heart surgery - I was one of the first people to have the heart lung machine used (which means I am older than dirt I guess tho I emphasize the fact I was very very young at the time - practically not born, lol) - I decided I had to think of all those experiences as an adventure. Who would I meet? What new things would I discover? I must have driven the med ppl crazy but I got a free medical education before I ever packed for Harvard, lol

Anyway - I am at work early b/c I am waiting for the helicopter to bring in one of my patients from a smaller hospital where her parents brought her initially so I better go get ready - tho I arrived to have them tell me their ETA is delayed. (ughh!)

April 22nd, 2005, 01:06 PM
Maybe I just had bad experiences, but I still think private is better. You get what you pay for. My veins are tiny. They put the elasticky on my arm and they wait... and wait.... and wait... and nothing comes to the surface. They have to feel deep in my arm to get it right. And the private ones I have gone to won't poke until they know where it is.

As for snowboarding... I disagree with the lessons. I tried to become a certified teacher and the way they are teaching now is SOOO BAD and so dangerous. Unbelieveable. I would just pay anybody I knew who has been snowboarding for a long time to teach your kids. Chances are they've been hurt and know how to avoid it.

For the health... My migranes are better (I was taking 3 or 4 tylenol a week for two years, my poor kidneys..) but I have arthritis now. Yey snowboarding. I can tell you how determined I was though-- I broke 2 ribs, pulled an ab muscle, pulled all the tiny rib muscles, broke my nose, scraped the entire length of both of may arms (my fault for riding in the half-pipe in a t-shirt), and my concussion. All on different days. If I didn't drink so much milk, I'd probably have broken bones in there too. I loved it. If you didn't ache the next day, you didn't try hard enough. Now I know better... :D

April 25th, 2005, 06:40 PM
Thanks for all the advice tomorrow is the mri,i am getting ready to leave work and go get my xanax....I go tomorrow at 4:00,i am just soooooo claustraphobic,i do not like the feeling of having to sit in there for an hour,like i said if i had to climb 50 flights of stairs i would i panic,sweat and basically freak out when i am not in control or feel like i am not in control

April 25th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Good luck Heidi you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Here is a picture to cheer you up! He will even share a treat with you if you want. LOL He has one hid in is upper lip!

April 25th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Did you tell them about this extreme clausterphobia?

April 25th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Good luck from Chino!

April 25th, 2005, 07:12 PM
Good luck tomorrow Heidi!! I bet it won't be half as bad as you think!

Prin, we'll have to agree to disagree on the priv-public thing tho I diubt one can make an assumption based on a few hospitals and staff. (Unless you did your own survay - what fun that would be, kiddin!!)

As for my snowboarding teacher nephew - he's been doing it for yrs (since his teenage yrs) and gets lots of compliments and parents who specifically demand him. In another yr or so, he'll have a real job at MIT so he'll have to readjust to just doing it for fun. I know nothing about certification in that field- do not even know if he is but he does teach at a lodge that is larger than some small towns - and at $28k a yr for tuition, I hope his parents are getting their money's worth for his recreation/biz degree tho he's been offered a ft time at MIT working in computers - not comp sci but just creating web/intranet sites for the biology dept so hopefully it'll encourage him to study actual programming (He has some very basic undergrad courses to start with tho).

I'll be thinking aboutyou tomorrow Hediho.

April 25th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Good luck tomorrow, Heidi! We'll be thinking of you.

April 25th, 2005, 11:47 PM
Heidi, you'll do just great! Couldn't possibly be as bad as getting your tattoo! I remember when I was a little kid and my mom taught me to say that eenie-meenie-minie-mo thing while getting a shot to take my mind off it. I still find myself thinking that when I get a shot! :p And Cyberkitten, you're really great to share your expertise!

April 25th, 2005, 11:48 PM
Good luck Heidi. I don't think you will be IN it for an hour though, so I wouldn't worry about that. Maybe with all the prep, but you're sitting up for that... Anyway, I won't go into details again because you're supposed to be asleep!!

Ask them to see your brain.. :party:

April 26th, 2005, 07:24 AM
Good Luck Heidi :love:
I too am a bit claustrophobic,just close your eyes and think of something nice,at least it does not hurt..
I hope for the best outcome and seeing you are in the US,that you have insurance.

April 26th, 2005, 07:29 AM
Good luck Heidi, my prayers are with you, and I hope all goes well today :grouphug:

April 26th, 2005, 09:49 AM
I love u guys thanks,i go at 4:00 today,pu my xanax yesterday,also have a soma....I know it is not the nri where i have to lay in the bed like one,there is a tv and i wll be sitting up..

April 26th, 2005, 11:10 AM
That's not so bad for your claustrophobia then? I guess thay have to do your neck too, eh?

Good luck. :)

April 26th, 2005, 01:04 PM
I did have my neck done before,that one was fine,this one seems like i am gonna be a little more locked in there,they found a spot[plaque or something] on my neck that is how this how came about...

April 26th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Good luck, Heidi! My thoughts are with you.

I had some dye injected. They said it was radio-active. My biggest fear was my parts glowing at night and keeping me up...

April 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Oh my god that is to funny.... :D :p :p

April 27th, 2005, 09:39 AM
Well i couldnt do it,he put the thing over my head it has like three bars that wrap around your head,i lasted about ten seconds and told him to please take it off,he said she should of given me at least 2 valiums,xanax he said does not work as well,i left a message with the neurologoist to call me in that and re scheduled for firday at 2:00 unless you are claustraphobic u wouldnt understand,i cannot sit in that thing for an hour,it will take everything i have got not to freak out,they need to have me as close to being knocked out as possible...

April 27th, 2005, 10:12 AM
Ask for a sedative when you have a spinal tap.

Holy great info in this thread....and Hope all goes well Heidi, try and keep positive! :grouphug:

I had no idea that you could sedate for a tap... mine was excruciating... cause locals on me wear off so fast, I felt the whole last 10-15 minutes of 'digging'.

If you are unsure of the meds, I would ask your doctor to explain why she prescribed them and what she thinks they are going to improve... and you can always get a second opinion, some actually recommend it when it comes to serious health problems. After all, to err is human and Doctors are human after all.
I find that nowadays you really have to stay on top of your own medical treatments and know everything about the why's and what's.

April 27th, 2005, 10:12 AM
awww you poor thing!! Well, at least when you go on Friday, it will be a little more familiar to you (sometimes helps) and they will properly sedate you this time. Claustrophobia is a tough one, some people think they are "a little" and then certain circumstances reveal--oh boy!! "a lot". :o

Sorry you have to go through this, I'm sure it'll be better on Fri. :thumbs up

April 27th, 2005, 11:01 AM
I have had a spinal before,they really doped me up for that,i am not concerned to much with that..Yes claustraphobia is no joke,i am gonna try one more time friday.....I just dont know isnt there any way around an mri for ms??????????????????Some other tests

April 27th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Don't worry, nobody is judging you for stopping the test. We've all done it at some point in our lives.

Why not speak to the neurologist about alternatives?

Good luck again. :)

April 28th, 2005, 02:08 AM
I was wondering and thinking about you Heidi! Sorry to hear it had to be rescheduled but it is probably just as well since now they know exactly how clautophobic you are and can be more attentive and aware of your unique needs.

Take care! Thx for the update!! I wondered at them gicing you xanax but every eprson is different and has a different medical/drug history so I thought maybe there were allergies, diazepam did not work well for you, that kind of thing. I do think it will be much better. better yet us versad if they will use that or a combo if diazepam and demerol - both used in doing colonoscopies and the like.

Good luck with the next test!!!! Take care of yourself!

April 28th, 2005, 08:52 AM
I don't know if it is the same thing I had, but the one I did had the machine measure my head and move these plates in and out, and finally set up so close I could move my nose up just enough to touch it. My biggest fear was the computer was going to decide there was no way someone could have a melon that big, and suddenly move in a few inches and squish my head. Finally I fell asleep and it was a lot better. Except when I woke up and forgot where I was...

If they give you a sedative, can they give you one that will make you sleepy?

April 28th, 2005, 09:56 AM
Prin that is what i am about to do,i laid in bed all night and that is all i thought about,i really cannot do it,i would have to be really really flying and out of it..there has got to be another option,i just cannot do it,the fear is to strong

April 28th, 2005, 10:40 AM
It's just a thought, but, can they put you out for this (general anesthetic?)

I mean, if you absolutely need the test done, do you have to be conscious?

I really feel for you, I have been a scuba diver for many years now and dealt with many claustrophobic people, witnessing first hand the helpless panic that consumes you.

Do not feel as though your fears are neither real, nor justified.

I instruct divers to "view" the panic, breathe in, wrap your arms around it, encase it, control it, and as you expel your deep breath invision the feelings being pushed far away from you across an entire field of space.

Kinda loses impact over the internet...but I'm usually a pretty good "coach" :o

April 28th, 2005, 11:25 AM
It is a horrible feeling,i will have to ask her for other options,i dont know if they can put you out or not,the place where i am supposed to go is not in a hospital,it is in a medical plaza....

April 28th, 2005, 11:51 AM
My husband is on the neurotin (sp) or the generic for a anger disorder that showed itself after his gastric bypass and is also on 3 10/500 hydrocordone for pain because he has severe arthritis his hands are crippled our 1yr old has more strength in her hands that hubby has. With the Hydrocordone he has been having worsening memory problems :( he has full long term memory but his short term memory is horrible Dr says its from the hydrocordone. I hope that everything goes well with your neck. I myself have problems with my back called central spinal stenosis and buldging disk at L4 & L5 so I have pain going down both legs all the time they want to do surgery and cut vertebrea to make more room for my spinal cord but its to risky high chance that I would come out paralyzed and I have 2 little children to worry about so I will pass. GOOD LUCK AND HOPE YOU GET GOOD NEWS.

April 28th, 2005, 02:23 PM
The doctor called said i could see if my ins would cover doing it in a hospital under anethesia..I still dont think i could afford the 20% of what i would have ot pay,and she gave me the address of one more place i am gonna go look at tomorrow that is an open mri..

April 28th, 2005, 07:01 PM
Heidi, I can sympathize with you. I had my first experience with claustrophobia when I had bronchitis and bronchial asthma. Feeling like I couldn't breathe, I became horribly claustrophobic. Then, watching my mom have an anxiety attack in the emergency room was so similar. They could measure the amount of oxygen she was getting, yet she felt like she couldn't breathe. Don't have much to offer you, just some support and understanding!

April 29th, 2005, 09:30 AM
It really is a horrible thing i dont understand why i have it,but when he put me in there and tightend the head thing i just panicked,the thought of not having control just freaks me out,i would never make it in jail.....And i know he is right there behind the glass and there is a tv i can watch,but i just cant do it...