Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Adrenal Images

A few weeks ago it occurred to me I didn't need to beg someone for an adrenal MRI, I already have one! D'oh. Never mind me while I make this into a long story. ;)

I had one done earlier this year: I went to the ER for severe flank pain. Ok, wait. Actually, I went to my regular doctor for severe flank pain. He said it might be appendicitis or it might be a kidney stone and he ordered a scan; an ultrasound if memory serves me right. That night I couldn't get out of bed and my husband was being less than understanding. He was solo on child duty and told me if I was in that much pain I should go to the ER. So I did. Mistake!

I ended up with an appendectomy. I have lots of scar tissue and a hernia repair done at my belly button, so the surgeon and I talked beforehand in the OR and agreed that he should avoid the mesh. I don't respond well to most pain medication, specifically demerol and vicodin plus most others don't affect me as they should. I don't know why and I've been like this all my life. I've been given the 'druggie' eyeball by doctors before, but it isn't like that. Heck, I took 45mg of morphine before I went to the ER and I was still hurting so bad that I went in. All that did was paralyze my intestines and make me look like a junky to the surgeon. *sigh* I came out of surgery in my usual style, which includes waking up screaming in pain. I swear all of the surgeries I have and come out of in such severe pain, because they don't know and don't listen to me at all about what pain meds work and what don't, these surgeries are seriously messing with my psyche. :( My ever-so-helpful [NOT] husband kept telling them to give me more morphine. Umm, the drug that wasn't helping me so that I went to the ER to begin with? Until they gave me so much I almost stopped breathing. Nice.

The internal meds doctor on call caught ahold of my labwork and freaked out. My 8am cortisol level while I was in the ER was 1.1 which is quite low, but normal for me. A normal range is 8.0 to 23.0. He immediately put me on 60mg of Prednisone and 60mg of hydrocortisone. I haven't been off steroids since. Since I can't get off steroids I am done with any cortisol testing that really means anything. Nice.

Since I came out of surgery still in the same pain I came to the ER with, it seems I didn't really need the appendectomy after all. I left the hospital after a 7 day stay with a card for a pain management doctor's office and a date for nerve block surgery.

In the meantime, during my stay, the pain mgt doctor ordered an MRI. It was this thoracic MRI I realized, just a few weeks ago, might hold some pictures of my adrenal glands that could shed some light on my constant pain (now on a fentanyl patch) and final diagnosis.

Here they are: