Friday, February 26, 2016


My doctors have now told me that a little DEX to manage the pain is OK on the current medication study.  DEX can also have a treatment benefit, in addition to pain relief, and I suspect that the study authors are at least slightly interested in that result too.  My daily medication log will now include the DEX, if any, and the dosage.

It's working quite well - one 4-mg tab of DEX seems to last at least 30 hours before the pain returns.  I've had three tabs so far, with a fourth due today if needed.

My main doctor at Mayo would also like me to come there (180 mile round trip) for another scan.  In emailed messages he suggested PET/CT, but I then suggested PET/MRI if available (it's brand new), because it might provide more information about my spinal issues with less radiation exposure.  I haven't heard back, but he may be checking on it.  I'll do what he recommends.

I also asked for a prescription of smaller DEX tablets, perhaps 2 mg instead of 4, to see if I can get almost the same benefit with half the side effects.  Maybe.

The St Croix Valley Runners are getting together for our monthly "happy hour" party at a local brew pub tonight, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.  I'll bring gluten-free chips & dip.


  1. I found your article interesting. I couldn't count the number of 'scheduled' PETs and MRIs that I have had. I believed neither contained radiation - and in the pure sense of the word - they do not.
    I was always curious why my reports were titled "PET/CT Results", well sure enough, included in PET was a CT component that did contain radiation. Oh well, live and learn.

  2. Yep - I'm no expert, but the PET means "positron emission tomography." A sugar which includes a radioactive substance that emits positrons is injected into the blood stream and settles in areas where sugar is being taken up, like cancer cells. That is radiation, coming from inside us, shining outward for the machine to see.

    But I have read that the CT, which is x-rays from the outside, is actually the larger part of the radiation dose in PET/CT, even when they use low intensity CT.

    Way above my pay grade here. The bottom line, I think, is that the doctors believe that the risk from the radiation is less than the risk from not knowing what is going on.

  3. Glowing remarks, Don !! (Pun intended)

    Yep, I'd also like to know from whence the pain cometh...

    Drive safe.