Got My MRI Results Tonight

15 Apr

This picture is from 2010 I don’t have a current one yet.


Got My MRI Results Tonight


Friday I went in to have an MRI of my C-spine and Thoracic Spine. My right hip and Lumbar have been hurting also but the doctor wanted to work from the top down first. About 1 hour and 45 minutes before the appointment I received a call that said I need to “rush to the imaging center asap doctors orders”. So my dad took me as fast as we could.

This is most likely my 4th or 5th MRI but my memory is bad. I laid on my back as usual and was sent all the way in the machine as expected. What I didn’t expect is the excruciating pain in my back laying on that table. It was mainly on my lower lumbar at the top of the hip/pelvis.

The pain was a radiating “toothache” type pain where it would not give up (which is not unusual with us spoonies). On a ill person’s pain scale it was at least a 10-12 where I was biting my lip, grunting and holding back from crying out loud. I had tears in my eyes and could barely talk back to the MRI staff as she asked me questions. I wanted so bad to move and get out of there but I learned from a bad 2.5 hour MRI experience in the past not to move one muscle or you have to do it all over.

When the “bleep, boop, arghhh, grrr, tock” sounds from the MRI machine ended I was so relieved. It was a little over and hour of not moving. For those that never had an MRI it is very easy if you can lay still and you are not claustrophobic which I am not.  The sounds will drive you insane though. I just never had so much pain while laying in one. The lady said “wow great job you must be a pro at this”. I went to stand up and could barely walk or see and ran into everything on my way out using the wall as a guide.


Around 7pm last night my Neurologist called with the results. I am still waiting for the Neuro surgeon to call me (the one who let it go this long). My Neuro doctor is about the only guy I really like as far as doctors and he even wrote “lyme disease” in my report without rolling his eyes.

The doctor literally said “Bryan I am worried, you do not do anything you need to stay on the couch and even if you get one bump you will have full paralysis”. He said since my last two MRI’s things look worse and the flattening of the spinal cord is worse. I also learned of a cyst on the spinal cord now which has me curious if it is lyme since mine has been in cyst form. The T-Spine also showed a bulging disc but not bad. My L-Spine is where most of the pain resides also so I know once I have that done it will show wear and tear.

Hi Bryan,
This is your MRI of the cervical spine repost as you can see you have degenerative changes and disc herniation at level C5-C6 and causing moderate spinal stenosis and flattening cord there is also mention about small cyst formation. The findings showed further mild progression from 8/10/2010 MRI of C-spine. Your thoracic spine also showed mild degenerative changes, but nothing serious,
My recommendation is same as I mentioned previously that is  to get consultation and treatment with Dr Schneiderman.
Dr. Suga
CLINICAL INDICATION: ICD-9 723.0. Cervical spondylosis, bilateral
upper extremity radiculopathy.
Comparison: August 10, 2010.
Technique: Sagittal T1, T2 and STIR sequences, and a
three-dimensional axial T2-weighted COSMIC sequence, through the
cervical spine.
Findings: The craniocervical junction is intact. The cervical
alignment is satisfactory. The vertebral body heights are
maintained. There is no bone marrow edema. Disc desiccation is
present at C2-C3 through C6-C7. There is early marginal
osteophyte formation and mild loss of disc space height at C5-C6
and C6-C7. The imaged portion of the posterior fossa content
reveals no mass effect. No intrinsic spinal cord signal
abnormality is observed.
Evaluation of the individual disc levels demonstrates:
C2-C3: Trivial disc bulge is present with a slight broad-based
left paracentral disc protrusion, without significant spinal
canal stenosis. There are mild uncovertebral degenerative
changes, and mild left-sided facet arthropathy changes are
present. No significant foraminal stenosis.
C3-C4: Uncovertebral degenerative changes are present
bilaterally, with mild left foraminal stenosis. Trivial disc
bulge is present without spinal canal stenosis.
C4-C5: Mild uncovertebral degenerative changes are present, with
mild left foraminal stenosis. Trivial disc bulge is present,
without spinal canal stenosis.
C5-C6: Moderate spinal canal stenosis is present as result of
disc bulge and a superimposed moderate-sized broad-based central
and right paracentral disc herniation. A small amount of
associated superiorly extruded disc material is present at the
central position. There is moderate cord effacement with
flattening and abnormal concavity of the anterior spinal cord
contour, and flattening of the bilateral posterolateral cord
contour is. The herniated disc has mildly increased in size and
the degree of spinal canal stenosis has mildly increased.
Uncovertebral degenerative changes cause mild bilateral foraminal
C6-C7: Borderline spinal canal stenosis as a result of disc
bulge. Uncovertebral degenerative changes narrow the left lateral
recess and mildly narrow the left neural foramen; left lateral
recess narrowing has mildly increased. No right foraminal
C7-T1: Normal.


Impression: Mild to moderate cervical degenerative changes.
Moderate spinal canal stenosis with moderate cord effacement at
C5-C6. Borderline spinal canal stenosis with left lateral recess
narrowing at C6-C7. Degenerative changes at C5-C6 and C6-C7 have
mildly worsened compared to the August 10, 2010 study. Stable
milder degenerative changes at other levels.


I know many of you have had this surgery and are waiting to have this surgery. I will stay positive and I know there is a good chance this will get rid of a lot of the pain, stiff neck, neuropathy, numbness, headaches….etc that have been bugging me from the discs. I will most likely consult with my LLMD but at this time the Neuro is telling me it is a must have and as soon as possible.

I think I have chosen that the fusion is not for me and I want TransCorporeal MicroDecompression (TCMD) on my neck if I qualify. It is done but just drilling a hole in your own bone and they fix the bulge through the hole instead of getting a new bone or plates and screws. It is said to be better and the latest and greatest thing.

Here’s a link that talks about the surgery and has videos.

– I thank you all for the support and kind words. I am still very ill from lyme and depression from other things going on so I try to be around for support when I can. I wish you all well on your illness journey or your loved ones and I hope you find some sunshine on those dark days. Try to stay positive and never give up better days are ahead.


22 Responses to “Got My MRI Results Tonight”

  1. Tami Stewart April 16, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    I’m so sorry you have to go through all this crap! I’m telling ya, when I read stories such as yours it makes me feel like a big baby for complaining and feeling so lazy all the time. I sincerely hope your doctors will help you find some relief!

    Two things you wrote caught my eye…. One was the reference to ‘spoonies’ I’m wondering what you meant by this word? My last boyfriend told me that sometimes I slept bent at the waste on my side (somewhat of a fetal position) and that was the first thing I thought of when I read it. Second, your Lyme is manifesting in cyst form – can you elaborate on what other type of cysts? I’ve had two surgeries in the past few years to remove cysts – one from sinus cavity and one from uterus. I forget the size but both were pretty hefty! I guess I never really connected them to the Lyme. Now I have cysts in both breasts and the mammogram results read “98% chance that it’s non-cancerous”. Normally, I would be so freaked out about that but I have so much going on that I haven’t given it much thought. Getting ready to go for a 6 month follow up.

    • 49erBry April 16, 2013 at 12:30 am #

      Hi Tami, “spoonie” refers to someone suffering from an illness that has little to no energy each day. Basically the chronic illness community. “The spoon theory” is a good read and something you can tell your friends and family who do not understand your daily struggles with energy. You can read more about it here:

      As for the cysts I will keep you in my thoughts that it is just a normal cyst. Good luck with the follow up. Cysts can be from auto-immune diseases also but Lyme (spiros) once chronic can go into “hiding’ and turn into a cyst where it hides and shields itself from antibiotics. Not all of your spiros will be in cyst form.

      Cyst form: Dormant form bacteria are not mobile and do not cause symptoms. Can survive antibiotics, starvation, pH changes, hydrogen peroxide, temperature variation, and most other adverse conditions. Converts back to spirochete form when conditions are favorable.

  2. discovertroy April 16, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    Bry, this is has left me speechless! You are one tough cookie, putting up with the pain, the illness and f*^kwit Dr’s. Please keep us informed of your progress and get as much rest as you can. We are all thinking of you. Stay strong!

    • 49erBry April 17, 2013 at 12:10 am #

      Thank you Troy. Thinking of you as well and I hope you have better days. Keep up the fight.

  3. Linda Belden Drury April 16, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Your MRI results “comments” bring to mind what mine said. But I found a fantastic pain management doc who has made all the difference imaginable in my life. I’m not trying to sell you on anything, but I wish you would go to his website and listen to some of his taped radio talks. He speaks every Saturday morning on several radio stations, welcoming calls from folks, and answering them on air. He has done me a world of good, and may be able to keep you from having this surgery. check him out at OR at ….this is NOT an ad, I’m merely passing on first hand experience and suggesting you at least listen to him for a bit.

    • 49erBry April 17, 2013 at 12:22 am #

      Thank you Linda. I was using flexeril and trying to put off surgery for 2-3 years now but I think it is time. I can feel my body getting worse and I was in a wheelchair recently. I fear my spine may give out soon. I will check out the link though thank you.

  4. Kelley April 16, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    My heart breaks for all you have to endure. My 13 year old niece has lyme and now she is unable to walk and has such horrid tailbone pain. We are still fighting to get her well !! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Praying for your healing !!

    • 49erBry April 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

      Kelly I am sorry to hear that. I am sending all my best to her and hope she will be out of that chair and enjoying her life soon. I saw a few kids in wheelchairs at the Lyme walk, it was so sad. Thank you.

      • lukestayathomedad May 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

        Your spinal problems are “major” so I would never offer medical advice. Knowing you are a researcher I assume you have looked into Chiropractic care? I go weekly and my body still doesn’t hold until the next visit, but hopefully, in time, my body retains the corrections. At the very least my Chiro has helped many of my other joints affected by Lyme. Bart ate my feet to the point of being unable to walk barefoot, only boots (1 pair) or rainbow sandals. This guy has worked magic on my feet. I was able to wear sneakers and go for my first run in 18+ months. Keep up the good fight!!

      • 49erBry May 10, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

        Thank you for your feedback. I think I will continue some sort of PT.

  5. Alex January 25, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    You are going through a lot and I suppose I am going too but still haven’t had the MRI of my spine done yet, I’ll have it done in February and March (in fact I have to do the entire spine and head). I had head MRI which came back normal.

    I started flaring since September (lyme flare) which completely affected my spine this time and it looks that it’s not getting any better.

    Best Wishes

    • 49erBry January 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      Yeah it all started with spinal stenosis in my 20’s then herniated discs that were extremely painful. Lyme is slowly deteriorating my spine I guess. I wanted my lumbar MRI but the neuro didn’t do one but I know that is where most pain comes from. So we just did the middle and upper spine. Good luck with your MRIs. I hope you have a god neuro.

      • Miss Diagnoses March 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

        Oh my God. I never connected my herniated disks to Lyme. I just found out about the Lyme in 2013. I was misdiagnosed as only having fibro for at least four years, but I’ve known about the disks since 2009 and almost got surgery. How did you find out about the connection? Thanks.

      • 49erBry March 15, 2014 at 12:34 am #

        I didn’t really know about the connection either. I’ve had lyme about 31 years now and I guess it has had time to ruin my spine. I have been in accidents but it seemed like when my lyme got worse my discs starting popping. I was told by my LLMD about the connection first and then my neuro surgeon was actually familiar with lyme so he was the one who told me the surgery will be a bad idea for now and to get the lyme under control first so it doesn’t ruin the spine even more. You may want to ask your neuro surgeon about lyme or get a second opinion. Good luck with everything.

  6. Miss Diagnoses March 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    WOW! 31 years? Very sorry to hear that. I guess you were undiagnosed for a long time. You probably have a post somewhere explaining it, but I’m a brain foggy today so I couldn’t find it. Anyway I just looked at Dr. Burrascano’s symptom list, and one was “unexplained back pain.” So I have herniated L5-S1, L4-L5, and L3-L4. And about four years ago I went from spine surgeon to spine surgeon looking for a discectomy or laminectomy, and no one would do it because they said the herniations were too small and I was a bad surgical candidate. They also said that my pain was out of proportion to the size and placement of the herniations. Now I know it must have been the Lyme (I just found out about the Lyme in 2013). Sorry to ask you this, but I googled and couldn’t find it — does the Lyme make the actual herniations worse or just make the pain worse? You are the only other Lyme blogger I found with disk problems.

    • 49erBry March 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      I hear Lyme can deteriorate the spine such as Degenerative disc disease (DDD) can do. Or it can speed up the process of DDD if you have that, i’m pretty sure I have it or at least they said I did (pre-lyme DX). The lyme caused my bulging discs to explode. I haven’t left the house in 3 years and the only activity I do is walk from my bed to the couch so there is no way I was in an accident or too physically active when they exploded. Lyme can make the pain worse and do all sorts of things to the spine. Lyme has made my muscles, nerves, bones all in 10+ severe pain for the last 5 years and before that it was just a 5 on the pain scale most of my life.

      Like me, you probably would not be a good candidate for most laser or non-invasive spine surgery. If you have a neuro or neuro surgeon within your medical office you use for your GP and specialists they are about the only ones who would be willing to do the surgery is what I found. Spine institute and all those denied me saying mine was too complicated. Do you have a good neuro surgeon? If they are not educated on lyme they may not know how to help you. Getting surgery with lyme can cause many risks and complications. You may not heal fast, if you have been on antibiotics and you get an infection some antibiotic may not work well….etc. My neuro said getting the surgery would not get rid of the pain only getting rid of the lyme would (but we know lyme doesn’t go away only remission for the lucky ones). Sorry these heart meds make me feel funny I am rambling on. But yeah I will bet it is the lyme ruining your spine if you unless you do a lot of lifting, physical work or get into accidents alot? I wish you all the best, get different opinions. Oh by the way my nurse today she told me she had a spinal fusion and she said it didn’t help, her pain is worse and she has limited movement.

      • Miss Diagnoses March 16, 2014 at 12:38 am #

        Yeah, I have degenerative disk disease too. All the surgeons turned me down except one neurosurgeon, who offered to do triple fusion. Unfortunately I read such bad reviews of this guy I decided not to do it. Apparently, he operates on people and “disappears” when they have complications afterwards. I haven’t heard great things about fusions, and since I have contact allergies to nickel, gold, and methyl methacryate (used in bone cement), I don’t even know what they could use.
        I didn’t get all these allergies until the Lyme. Actually, I’m not really sure when I got the Lyme, but I started feeling awful around 2009, and was diagnosed with fibro even AFTER a positive Western blot from Labcorp, of all places, which an IDSA doc dismissed. So I might have gotten the Lyme in 2009, or I might have gotten it earlier and it reactivated.
        My back improved somewhat with acupuncture and osteopathy. I went from an 8 pain level to a 4. Now I do physical therapy, but the acupuncture and osteopathy made that possible. I think 8 out of 10 physical therapists are idiots, but I found two good ones. I think I had at least 5 MRIs (cervical and lumbar) and a myelogram. The myelogram was hell on earth.

  7. Ginny August 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    I know how you feel about the MRI’s, especially when the lumbar pain in acting up. I just had my 11 in May for the lumbar and it was hell, exactly how you described, and the same thing happened after. They put me in a wheel chair finally. Anyone knows if you have lumbar problems and you have to lay on your back you need something under under knees to get the pressure off the lower back. I have all the same problems as you from the cervical spine all the way down, but no surgery. White matter lesions on r-frontal lobe. Diagnosed w/ Lyme in 09 after being sick since HS and I am now 44. Have been reinfected 2x, once last fall with fever and debilitating migraines. I thought the headaches I had before were bad enough. Now I see a neurologist for botox. My pain doc who gives me my morphine 150x a day and vicodin and baclofen for breakthrough pain still thinks I have MS because I have a nystagmus in my right eye. It’s just more comfortable for them then tick borne diseases; they know it. He wants to put a neuro-stimulalor in my back. My neurologist now after being reinfected last month, this time with a rash;1st time, and the fact that my migraines got 10x worse after last fall’s tick wants to do another spinal tap to test for neuro-lyme. The last one was for MS. The more I look into it the more I don’t think I should do it. I had the headache after it and they say your migraines get worse anyway just from the procedure. Also the testing when using a non-lldoc is not accurate, and he should have enough with the MRI. Unless they are willing to also send a test to Igenix I don’t see why I should do this. I am sick of stupid doctors that act or actually think they know what they are doing when it comes to Lyme D. I wouldn’t have gone in for my Lyme rash if I hadn’t also had an in-bedded tick that had to be removed. The last one a month before my husband couldn’t get all of it and it became infected & left quite a scar. He actually looked at it and said yep that’s a L rash. Then he needed a magnifying glass to remove the deer tick it was so small. He put me on 10 days of dox. but told me I only needed to take it for 7. Then he asked if me could keep the tick for his collection. He asked me where I was infected. He pulled out this pamphlet that looked like it was 20 yr’s old. He said I guess you could have gotten the ticks in that part of WI, showing me the map. I told him that ticks carry other diseases besides Lyme disease. It was like he went his whole life as a doctor thinking there was only 1 kind of cancer and discovering there was more. He said that the pamphlet doesn’t say that. He is an IMDr. was very nice and was truly looking out for my best interest, but just uneducated and uninformed. I find that majority of Dr’s that would say they follow IDSA guidelines don’t because they don’t even know them. I know how you feel, but at least you have a LLdoc to run some of these things by. The rest of it, it is very hard to describe. I have described the lower back or my upper back/neck/shoulder like putting cold on that tooth, you know the one, but it doesn’t go away. And I hate it when people say I should try yoga or some other relaxation when all I want to do is stick a ice pick in my back. I had a 20 lb great lakes fishing weight fall on my foot and break it and didn’t care because it got my mind off my back. The only reason the doc found out about it was I couldn’t stand on my toes, not that I could before. I said I don’t care about my foot, just do something about my back. This whole thing sucks, and we have Lyme Disease. My husband said maybe I should let the Doc diag. me w/ MS. People react different to MS than Lyme. The note of oh is so different in the two. The get over it you were on antibiotics and the caring helpful understanding. Our society is brainwashed with incorrect information which doesn’t help us at all. Sometimes I think I start to believe it myself. Stay strong. There is a Beautiful Day out there for you.

    • 49er Bryan August 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

      Sounds so familiar. I was diagnosed with MS but they couldn’t find any large lesions on my brain. I asked for the lumbar MRI since I know that is the worst part of my back but the neuro only asked for the c-spine and mid back to MRI, so I know I still need to get one to see how many herniated disc, injury, pinched nerve, stenosis, cysts I have down there. I was going to get a stimulator but I was told to stay away from any surgery no matter how minor but it may be due to my weak immune. I hear they work pretty decent but it depends on the person I guess. We are on similar doses of pain meds (morphine ER 150mg per day, Norco 40mg per day) but ti doesn’t seem to take the edge off anymore. You don’t really need a spinal tap for neuro lyme you should try the lyme culture and they should be able to tell from symptoms if it is neuro, I hate to see you get th spine puncture. The smaller ticks (nymphs) are usually the carriers of lyme. Stupid docs should know lyme is everywhere they don’t need a map! ugh I hate doctors. And yes I hate when people say you should do yoga it may cure you lol. I hope you can get a solid diagnoses and get on some good treatment. Keep me updated. I am not sure if it is MS but you never know you may have MS and Lyme. I have so many illnesses together so it was hard for doctors to diagnose each one and be sure. The lyme culture is 98% accurate so I highly recommend it, the igenex tests for me were negative, indeterminate so they weren’t very accurate. If you go to you may find a good lyme doc in your area by contacting Barb. I recommend a nature path for testing and they are rally helpful. Good luck

  8. Jennifer September 23, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    I have been looking for spine pain management when I came across your blog and I find it such an interesting read. Thanks for posting.

    • 49er Bryan September 24, 2014 at 2:03 am #

      Hope you found a good one. I have a good neuro/spine surgeon and my pain doc is good if you try them. Good luck

    • 49er Bryan September 24, 2014 at 2:03 am #

      Hope you found a good one. I have a good neuro/spine surgeon and my pain doc is good if you try them. Good luck

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