Tell Me Something Good

I’ve got a fair amount of readers here for which I’m very thankful.  Rather than sit in the dark and ruminate in my own worries, I thought I’d ask.

I have to get a lumbar puncture aka spinal tap.  Oh boy! I sure am excited.  I have a thorough neurologist, and I do love her for that.  You see, I developed trigeminal neuralgia (TN).  The trigeminal nerve is one of the cranial nerves that runs through your face–down your forehead, brow bone, somewhere around the eye, down the cheek, and into the jaw.  Some elderly people will contract shingles, and the virus will attack the trigeminal nerve.  It’s very painful for them when this happens.

My recent MRI was ordered because of the emerging TN presentation.  It’s often a presenting symptom of MS.  I just found out yesterday that my brain looks the same as it did in March.  All the white matter lesions look exactly the same, and there is no demyelination of the trigeminal nerve.  That’s the good news.  I’m relieved, but I have to have the spinal tap because my neurologist wants to see if the recent lupus diagnosis is progressing.  Is there inflammation in my brain? In other words, is my immune system attacking my brain? TN can be a presenting symptom of connective tissue diseases as well.

Hmph.  I’m put out by this.

Frankly, I’d just like the TN to go away.  It hurts like a motherfu…Well, you know what I mean.  It really hurts.

My mother has MS.  She, of course, had a spinal tap in order to confirm the diagnosis, and, as usual, it was a horrible experience for her.  She ended up with the spinal headache from spinal fluid leakage post-procedure.  After watching her suffer as she did, the spinal tap went on my list of Dreaded Medical Procedures that I Never Want.  Of course, I have a friend who endured a spinal tap, and her procedure was equally terrible.  She, too, had spinal fluid leakage as well as a mean radiologist.  It seems that I’ve not met anyone who has actually had a good experience with The Tap.

My neurologist has reassured me that it’s not a big deal.  She is sending me to the Big Hospital here where there is a neuroradiology department populated by very experienced radiologists.  According to her, I’ll be in and out, and I won’t get a spinal headache because it’s rare.

Okay, okay.  I can go with that.  In the meantime, if you or anyone you know have had a good experience, relatively speaking, with getting a spinal tap, then I would love to hear those stories.  They are, of course, not nearly as fun to tell.  Who doesn’t want to hear about someone’s Uncle Harold who got the needle stuck in his spine, had a seizure, inadvertently punched the radiologist, and was nearly drained of spinal fluid? Not me.  Not now anyway.  After.  Tell me after!

I’m agreeing with Chaka Khan and Rufus on this.  If you’ve got something good to share, then I’d like to hear it!

Tell me something good.


8 thoughts on “Tell Me Something Good

  1. Both my younger daughter and I have experienced spinal taps…me for SLE (Lupus)…her because of a low white blood cell count. I worried more than I should have. There is some mild discomfort with the initial numbing injections, but overall I worried for nothing. I really don’t recall any side effects. I was present when my younger daughter had hers and she can’t even remember having had one (she was 15 at the time)…it was that uneventful compared to other procedures. She remained very calm and collected during the procedure. It is a fairly quick procedure, too.
    I hope yours goes well.

    • Oh, thank you! That’s really helpful. The radiology department JUST called and scheduled mine for 1/07. The adventure continues. I guess if I can deal with that hip injection I can deal with this.

      • Oh yes, thanks for that. We’re human after all. I talked to the woman in radiology yesterday, and she explained how it would go. The worst is the lidocaine injection(s). That’s how it was with the hip injections, and that’s how it was with the breast biopsy I had. Honestly, that breast biopsy was PAINFUL due to the lidocaine injections. They went to the chest wall with those. So, if I can do that, I can do a spinal tap. I won’t like it. I won’t, but I’m not worried right now. I’ll get a little squirrelly when I have to curl up on the table. That will by my moment of “May I leave now? I’d like to leave. Can we just say that we did and don’t?”

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