Pain Clinic tests?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kinsie, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    There's a pain clinic in my town that advertises they treat FM. I have debated about going. Now that I don't work any more I have a private insurance policy, and a $3,000 deductible,with no co-pay on doctors visits. In other words the fees will come out of my pocket.

    When I called to make the appoint I was asked a lot of questions, and one of them is whether I have had an MRI, CAT scan, etc for my initial diagnosis. I have not. I was diagnosed my a Rheumatologist, and he did not do those tests.

    So........if I go, I guess I can expect to be told to have an MRI. I have claustrophobia, and there is absolutely no way!!! I think there is an open-type MRI now, I hope. But, I sure wasn't bargining for all those tests.

    When you all went to a pain clinic, did you have to go through a alot of big tests?

    They also want me to get a copy of my medical records and drug records.

    I want some help with this pain, but I really don't feel good enough to go through all that!

    Let me know how it worked for you.

  2. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

  3. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    When i began going to the pain clinic, I had injured my lower back. Evidently my arthritis had already spread to my lower spine, but I didn't know this.

    I injured my back while cleaning up a flood in my kitchen from a brand new dishwasher that was installed improperly.

    I had to get an MRI. This is an EXPENSIVE test. Getting the MRI read is also very expensive. My test was to rule out a ruptured disk.

    I don't know if the MRI is standard protocol. If you are claustrophic, I'd definitely have them order valium that you take about 30 minutes before you have to go in that machine. If you take valium, you must have someone along to drive you home after the test. Also take ear plugs incase they don't have those special head sets that electronically help to override the noise of the machine.

    The true secret of surviving an MRI is to NEVER open your eyes while you are in the machine. Never, never, never.

    You will be tempted to open them. Tell yourself to "knock it off". Do not open your eyes. The have a fan running inside of the machine's tube so you have fresh air passing over you. This helps. I think I was in the machine about 20 minutes. I also don't touch the inside walls of the metal tube. Touching them helps your brain to figure out how tight the space is. You want to lose yourself in space while in this machine by not giving your body ANY visual or touch information to help calculate the size of the opening that you are in.

    Also, many of the machines move the table that you are laying on UP A COUPLE INCHES BEFORE IT SLIDES YOU INTO THE MACHINE. Close your eyes and don't watch yourself sliding into the machine. Closed eyes are comfort eyes. Trick your body into thinking that you are still laying outside of the machine.

    Also, request that they use something to help support your head from side to side so you don't move your head. The more you are able to follow their directions while in the machine, the faster they are able to do the test and you get out of that machine.

    I know it sounds a bit whacky, but I almost go to sleep with all that noise. They will talk to you between various portions of the test. Breathe in through your nose for the slow count of 4, hold your breath for the slow count of 4, then exhale to the slow count of 4. This is a natural relaxation exercise, Just keep repeating it if you feel yourself getting anxious.

    A copy of my relevant medical records and drug records--YES.

    They will ask you questions about frequency of pain, time of day of pain.

    Anything seem to help pain level?

    See any correlation between pain and a certain activity?

    Anything make pain worse?

    They may also send you to physical therapy---do it if physical therapy is offered to you.

    My fingers have worn out. I have rheumatoid arthritis besides the FM. My fingers are saying "good night".
    [This Message was Edited on 12/05/2006]
  4. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I'm afraid I have claustrophobia so bad that even with valium they could never get me into that tube!! I went with my husband when he had an MRI, and just knowing he was in there freaked me out.

    It's really a problem for me. Maybe the doctor won't recommond an MRI ( who am I kidding?!)

    Again, thanks for the information.

  5. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    Thanks for the "bump".

  6. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I read on another post on the CFS/FM board that there are "Open Mri " machines. I don't know of one in my town, but that doesn't mean that other towns don't have them .

    Ask your doctor about this.
  7. cj368

    cj368 New Member

    There are open MRI machines, however, I'm not sure if they are everywhere. I have closed in issues too and I was able to get through a MRI test with anti-anxiety meds. I also agree that you NEVER open your eyes. I had the urge...but I didn't give in. I'm sure I would have bailed right away. It sounds like your closed in issues (I'm only saying that because I can't remember how to spell the correct word) are pretty severe. I would talk to your dr about the open one. Good luck.

  8. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    Kinsie,I was also one that had to have the open MRI. I was very claustrophobic. Even with this one they gave me relaxing music and a nice washcloth to put over my eyes.:)

    The open one I told my husband reminded me of a Mr. Coffee coffeepot! Well, maybe just wishful thinking on my part (coffee-a-holic)

    The second option is a stand-up MRI.

    In my area the larger hospitals have them both, as do the University clinic in our state.

    Open MRI picture and information:

    Stand up MRI picture and information:

    Good luck and I hope this information helps. :)

    Take care and Kitten Hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  9. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    When I started going to my pain clinic, all they wanted was my records from my doctor which they sent, they then wanted to do a serious of jnjections on me for the pain, but since I have a heart valve replaced, and I would have to be off my coumadin and I couldn't be on anything else my cardio doctor said no way. At first they (the doctor at the clinic didn't like it but thats his problem) so all they can do is make me comfortable with pain medications.
  10. caffey

    caffey New Member

    i was fortunate that my rheumatologist had done all the investigations first and sent everything over. It made everything so much easier. Re an MRI. In Canada
    1. you can bring someone with you.
    2. you can be sedated.
    4. you can bring your favorite cd for them to play
    5. they give you a ball to squeeze if you get panicky and they will pull you out.
    6. I am a little claustrophobic so I close my eyes and keep them closed before they put me in and that has really helped and they ask if I am ok and they are really good about explaining everything before they do it.
    All the best. Just make sure this place is legit. before investing money.
  11. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    Your input was very helpful.

    Thank you!


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