Yesterday I had my dreaded Lumbar Puncture (dun, dun, dun)... I think, well now I know, that the anticipation was much worse than the actual procedure.
I curled up on my side as the Dr sterilized the area. After she numbed the surface of the skin, there was absolutely no pain. Once all layers of the skin were numb, she inserted the needle into the spinal column. It was such a strange feeling as she broke through the layers of the skin, apparently I have tough skin. Due to the needle being so large it took a lot of effort to get it into the spinal column, and at that time I felt a lot of pressure. They measured the cranial pressure prior to putting the tap in. Mine was on the high side of normal, so at this point we continue to monitor the headaches and optical nerves. Once the tap was in they drew four cylinders of spinal fluid and removed the tap. As she took it out, she hit a nerve, and my legs started flailing out of control. It was a strange feeling that my body was moving without my brain telling it to do so.
I was really excited to be able to hold my spinal fluid and see what it looked like. I thought that it was going to be a milky/foggy looking fluid, and it wasn't at all. It was so clear and basically looked like water. You could see some cells floating around in there though. I really, really wanted a picture...but because it was a sterile field and I didn't have my phone or camera on the procedure table, I missed out on that opportunity :( How many people can say that they got to hold their own spinal fluid though?
After I was cleaned and bandaged up, I had to lay flat for about an hour as my body reacted to the procedure. Max and my mom were able to join me in the procedure room as I waited it out. Max was such a champ and he waited so patiently. He played the ipad, read some books, did some puzzles, and kept a very close eye on his mama.
As I left, they prepared me for the side effects. The worst, most anticipated one for me, was the "tap headache" I heard people talk about. I have most definitely experienced that, but laying flat and not making sudden movements have brought me a lot of relief. The only thing that I have had a problem with other than that, is some pretty intense back pain. This has actually effected me the most because I was not prepared for it. I sat up last night, in tears and not able to sleep, because of that darn back pain. They said that the first 24-48 hours are the worst, and that there should be much improvement after that.
Thank you to my mama for the emotional support yesterday, and for all the help with Max.
I am SO glad that is over with!!