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Old 02-05-2008, 11:19 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Thumbs up Saw NS Today

I know I posted a message late last night about my upcoming appt today, but I'm guessing I had too much on my mind and must not have clicked submit...LOL Anywho...

My doc was really nice! As many of you know, I was really worried about this given my past experiences. Basically it came down to him offering me another lumbar microdiscectomy, but I told him I'd much rather just fuse it and (hopefully) be done with it. He agreed that given my research and understanding, having almost equal back pain to my leg pain as well as back pain all these years after my last surgery, that I've had surgery before on the same disc, and that this is a large herniation...a fusion was perfectly acceptable.

We'll be talking more on the specifics of the fusion on my next appt later this month. He ordered a new MRI with contrast since the base (Air Force) did it without so he'd have better pics as well as a myelogram. I asked why the myelogram since I've heard not so nice stories about it...LOL....he said it was so he would have a clear picture for surgery (whether there is any calcification anywhere, etc. and to look more clearly at my thoracic herniation). He does think that due to the size of the lumbar herniation that he will have to do a posterior fusion, even though he typically likes to go in anterior. But again, he said that may change after he gets the scans back. I'll be having the MRI first on the 18th at 6:30am (which means I have to leave my house at 5:30am) and then the myelogram directly after.

I do have to taper off my Klonopin so that I am off it 2 days prior to the myelogram. I am to talk to my prescribing doc as to how he wants me to do that. In the meantime, does anyone have any experience with that? I am taking 1mg 3x daily. I'd have to have that accomplished by the end of the day Friday the 15th which is 10 days. I just don't want to have any icky feelings...LOL

I knew I'd be feeling this mixed bag of emotions after my appt, which is anxious to do it and get it over with, but nervous as hell. LOL
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Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2008, 02:32 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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I hope the fusion gives you the good results I had with mine. I didn't have to go off my pain meds before the myelogram so that is a new one for me. I didn't have much trouble with my myelogram. When the dye was injected it was quite uncomfortable but that was the only bad part. I stayed flat on my back for 24 hours like directed and never got the dreaded headache. So it is possible to have a pretty easy time with it.

I hope in several months you are here telling us what a relief it has been since getting the fusion.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:33 AM
Kathi49 Kathi49 is offline
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Shanti,

I wish you well with ALL of it!

As for the Klonopin, yes, I have experience in tapering off. Not a pretty story. BUT...I don't want to scare you either since everyone is different. I took and still take 1/2-1 mg ONCE a day. But you need to know my CNS is messed up anyway.

You didn't say how LONG you have been taking it. 10 days is a FAST taper for 3mg of Klonopin daily. However, talk to the prescribing doc FIRST. And I am not so sure why you were asked to stop it either. I was on it for both fusions and it wasn't an issue. Can you explain his reasoning? Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:03 PM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Shanti,

Good luck with everything, I didn't have to go off my klonopin prior to surgery,howerever,
I only take .75 mg per day. Kathi made a good point about talking to the doc prior to changing your dosage.

After your myleogram make sure you stay down do not lift your head, Mark was right to not take chances with the dreaded headache. Also, if you do get a headache and it lasts more than a day call the doc or go to the ER. This may be cause for concern. I am sure the doc's will give you a care sheet with this info on it.

Kathy
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:12 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Thank you Mark, Kathy, & Kathi

To clarify, I was told to go off the Klonopin because of the Myelogram, not the surgery. The nurse came in to set everything up and tell me all about the procedure and such and she listed basic meds I'd have to be off. I asked if Klonopin fit in there and she didn't know. She went to talk to someone, but I'm not sure who...the doc I guess...and said that I would have to go off it. I was doing some research last night and could not find anything about Klonopin being contraindicated for a myelogram. The major meds are anti-d's, insulin, blood thinners, etc. I called the actual clinic I'd be going to for the Myelgram and she said Klonopin (or clonazepam) was not on their list of "no-no" meds.

I too have gone through surgery while on Klonopin with no problems. It was supposed to have been just for this Myelogram due to the dye and risk of seizures. But isn't Klonopin supposed help prevent certain seizures? I'm wondering if it had to do with the fact that I told her I was taking it for the muscle relaxant properties because she said muscle relaxers had to be stopped as well.

Have any of you had a Myelogram while on Klonopin?
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Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2008, 06:51 PM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Shanti,

I have been on Klonopin since before the back stuff started. I have taken through all testing, surgery etc. Remember tho I take 1/2 the dose you do. Myleograms are pretty standard testing before back surgery, take a breath, and relax. It really will be okay. Just remember drink as much fluid as you can after and dont lift your head to avoid the headache.

Take care
Kathy
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:54 PM
Kathi49 Kathi49 is offline
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Shanti,

No, I am sorry I have never had a Myelogram done at all.

I would really check into this Klonopin issue though. Please talk to the doc more in depth about it. You just wouldn't want to go into withdrawals while having a Myelogram done. My tapering schedule just for the ONCE a day .5 was about a month and actually I was taking it slower than that! So, please, this concerns me, talk to the PRESCRIBING doc. It is just that my own humble opinion is...tapering from 3 mg a day over 10 days is just way too fast. But again, I know everyone is different. Really research this though.
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C3/C4 ACDF - 2004, C5/C6 ACDF - 2006
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Lumbar Facet Rhizotomy L4, L5, S1 (left side) 2007
Retired - DOD/Defense Finance & Acctg/IT - 2005
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2008, 10:24 PM
Laura Laura is offline
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Shanti,
I agree with Kathi. I am pretty certain the nurse was mistaken about you needing to be off klonopin, it just doesn't make any sense why you would need to be. Klonopin doesn't lower the seizure threshold (quite the contrary, if you WERE to have a seizure during the procedure, this is exactly what they would be giving you, or something very similar), nor does it affect how your blood clots, I believe the other consideration.

And irregardless, 10 days is not an appropriate, or safe, time frame to come off 3 mg/day. Although chances are you would be fine, if we want to talk risk factors, the risk is higher that you would have a seizure from the klonopin withdrawal within the 72 hours you were off than you having one from the procedure itself. If it were me and I couldn't get this easily resolved, I'd just keep taking my damn klonopin and keep my mouth shut. (But then right now I am pretty fed up with dealing with medical people who don't know what the hell they are talking about, don't get me started.)
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2008, 11:23 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Thanks again for the replies! This really helps me. My hubby called the radiology department 2x today and they insist there is no issue with the Klonopin.

Laura, I agree. I knew 10 days would not be enough. I wasn't even thinking about the length of time when I was there because of everything going around in my head. At this point, I figure if the tech says the med is not on their list, then there is no problem. Not that I don't trust my doc or anything, but I trust the people doing this daily a bit more..LOL Plus, I've read during my research of people taking valium and such prior.

Thanks again, so much!
__________________
Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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