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Whats a lumbar puncture like?

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Unread 10-12-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
peacheysncream
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Question Whats a lumbar puncture like?

Hi,
Im normally in the TBI area of this site but was advised to post here.

I am having periods of confusion, memory loss and complete blackouts waking up in strange places like a shop floor. The paramedics think I am now suffering TIA's (mini strokes) so wish to take a pressure reading from my spinal fluid.

Having seen a fully grown man scream as he had his done I have said no up until now. I know I will collapse again soon but really want another view of this procedure other than the doctors clinical answers.

So what s it really like?

I have had an epidural before but I had been in labour for 32 hrs so the contractions took over any feelings I may have normally exp with such a procedure.....
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I am a 34 yr old female who has played football, as a hobby, for 13 yrs. In July 2012, during a game I was slammed to the floor by two angry guys who hit into me so hard that one of them broke their ribs.

This knocked me back onto hard ground leaving me unconscious. I awoke to chronic head and neck pain, sickness and the inability to see or balance.

The paramedics made me walk to the ambulance, instead of placing me on a spinal board, where I was taken to the ER. I was hospitalised with suspected brain hemorrhage for 1 week, then on complete bed rest for 1 month, in a wheelchair for 2 months.

I have been left with PCS, moderate constant head pain, little short term memory, no memory of the accident, balance and sight problems, depression and exhaustion.

The worst problem is collapsing regularly. This has finally been diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraines , these cause my brain to regularly shut down when I am tired and I then feel the full effects of a stroke (without the bleed on the brain!!) of which the symptoms last 2-4 days.


I have had 6 CT's, 2 MRI's and am under 3 specialists.

I believe everyday is one more towards improvement. Mainly I believe in the power of acceptance not the weakness of complacency or resignation.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
Leesa
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Well, let me see. You lie on your side in the fetal position. They numb the skin with some numbing solution but that's just the SKIN that they're numbing. Then they take this large needle and go ahead and iinsert it -- I can't say it's painful -- it's the horrible PRESSURE that is so uncomfortable !!! It really feels awful.

You are to keep your head DOWN when they're done. They will wheel you back to a room to keep an eye on you. You're supposd to keep your head down for 8 hours. They might send you home before the 8 hrs are over, but you've GOT to lay down in the care on the way home. DON'T SIT UP or you will get the headache from hell. This is WORSE than a migraine and it will make a grown man SCREAM IN PAIN!! If it gets too bad, you'll need what's called a "blood patch." They might not want to do one, but don't let them screw around with you -- if the headach is really bad DEMAND A BLOOD PATCH OR YOU'LL SUE THEM!!!

That's about it. The worst thing about it is the possible headche. And the stupid nurses usually cause them by proping you up or cranking your bed up!! Don't let them do that!!! Take care and I hope it goes well. Hugs, Lee
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Unread 10-13-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
peacheysncream
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Thank you so much!
Good luck to you
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I am a 34 yr old female who has played football, as a hobby, for 13 yrs. In July 2012, during a game I was slammed to the floor by two angry guys who hit into me so hard that one of them broke their ribs.

This knocked me back onto hard ground leaving me unconscious. I awoke to chronic head and neck pain, sickness and the inability to see or balance.

The paramedics made me walk to the ambulance, instead of placing me on a spinal board, where I was taken to the ER. I was hospitalised with suspected brain hemorrhage for 1 week, then on complete bed rest for 1 month, in a wheelchair for 2 months.

I have been left with PCS, moderate constant head pain, little short term memory, no memory of the accident, balance and sight problems, depression and exhaustion.

The worst problem is collapsing regularly. This has finally been diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraines , these cause my brain to regularly shut down when I am tired and I then feel the full effects of a stroke (without the bleed on the brain!!) of which the symptoms last 2-4 days.


I have had 6 CT's, 2 MRI's and am under 3 specialists.

I believe everyday is one more towards improvement. Mainly I believe in the power of acceptance not the weakness of complacency or resignation.
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Unread 10-13-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
Dr. Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leesa View Post
Well, let me see. You lie on your side in the fetal position. They numb the skin with some numbing solution but that's just the SKIN that they're numbing. Then they take this large needle and go ahead and iinsert it -- I can't say it's painful -- it's the horrible PRESSURE that is so uncomfortable !!! It really feels awful.

You are to keep your head DOWN when they're done. They will wheel you back to a room to keep an eye on you. You're supposd to keep your head down for 8 hours. They might send you home before the 8 hrs are over, but you've GOT to lay down in the care on the way home. DON'T SIT UP or you will get the headache from hell. This is WORSE than a migraine and it will make a grown man SCREAM IN PAIN!! If it gets too bad, you'll need what's called a "blood patch." They might not want to do one, but don't let them screw around with you -- if the headach is really bad DEMAND A BLOOD PATCH OR YOU'LL SUE THEM!!!

That's about it. The worst thing about it is the possible headche. And the stupid nurses usually cause them by proping you up or cranking your bed up!! Don't let them do that!!! Take care and I hope it goes well. Hugs, Lee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krD4hdGvGHM

Doc
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Unread 10-14-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peacheysncream View Post
Hi,
Im normally in the TBI area of this site but was advised to post here.

I am having periods of confusion, memory loss and complete blackouts waking up in strange places like a shop floor. The paramedics think I am now suffering TIA's (mini strokes) so wish to take a pressure reading from my spinal fluid.

Having seen a fully grown man scream as he had his done I have said no up until now. I know I will collapse again soon but really want another view of this procedure other than the doctors clinical answers.

So what s it really like?

I have had an epidural before but I had been in labour for 32 hrs so the contractions took over any feelings I may have normally exp with such a procedure.....
I think you have already experienced the worst of it and would likely feel that a lumbar puncture would be a walk through the park, compared to what you have been thru!

What do they expect to rule in/out with the lumbar puncture?
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Unread 10-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
lal209
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Default different lumbar puncture method

I had a lumbar puncture about 18 mos ago to determine if I have psuedotumor cerebri AKA intercranial hypertension. In my case I was given a mild sedative, the spot was numbed and I laid on my stomach on the table while the procedure was done. It was not painful, but the insert of the needle into the canal and then withdrawal of fluid was somewhat uncomfortable. I was able to watch most of the procedure on the x-ray as it was being done and because the sedative was mild, could ask questions about it. I'd always heard horror stories about having a "spinal tap", but this really was no big deal. Don't know how common my experience is, but hopefully yours is similar!

Best wishes and hope you get to feeling better!
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Unread 10-30-2012, 05:19 AM   #7
peacheysncream
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Dear dubious,
They want to rule out TIA's
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I am a 34 yr old female who has played football, as a hobby, for 13 yrs. In July 2012, during a game I was slammed to the floor by two angry guys who hit into me so hard that one of them broke their ribs.

This knocked me back onto hard ground leaving me unconscious. I awoke to chronic head and neck pain, sickness and the inability to see or balance.

The paramedics made me walk to the ambulance, instead of placing me on a spinal board, where I was taken to the ER. I was hospitalised with suspected brain hemorrhage for 1 week, then on complete bed rest for 1 month, in a wheelchair for 2 months.

I have been left with PCS, moderate constant head pain, little short term memory, no memory of the accident, balance and sight problems, depression and exhaustion.

The worst problem is collapsing regularly. This has finally been diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraines , these cause my brain to regularly shut down when I am tired and I then feel the full effects of a stroke (without the bleed on the brain!!) of which the symptoms last 2-4 days.


I have had 6 CT's, 2 MRI's and am under 3 specialists.

I believe everyday is one more towards improvement. Mainly I believe in the power of acceptance not the weakness of complacency or resignation.
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Unread 10-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
Spiney95
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Perhaps it's because I have had so many spinal procedures, I don't think this is a real big deal. Yes, it is uncomfortable but it doesn't take long. As for a spinal leak, while they are rare, they are extremely painful. I can't speak from experience but I understand they are worse than a killer migraine. After all of these years and all of the spinal tests and procedures, I did have a spinal leak after my last pre-op myelogram. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced but responded to the blood patch quickly. I guess it was just my turn. Hang in there and try not to let this make you anxious. Best wishes.
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Unread 12-01-2012, 10:41 AM   #9
lilah_de3tm
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Default thats about right

i agree somewhat with leesa. the best thing to do during the lumbar puncture(spinal tap) is just TRY(easier said than done) to relax and bear with it. it will hurt a little(depending on pain tolorance) or a lot, lots of pressure and maybe spasms and nerve pain. it tends to cause what is called LP migraines that can last for several weeks. best advice i could offer from experience, try not to stay in a upright position for more than 15 mins every couple of hrs for at least a week or two, use caffeine to constrict the blood vessels in the brain for the migraines, and if it is too much to deal with or you cant take the time to heal slowly and properly don't be proud(aka DUMB) ask for a blood patch.
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