It’s my turn to report something good. Sort of. The lumbar puncture aka spinal tap went off without a hitch. I hardly felt anything. It’s a good thing I didn’t worry too much about it.
I read on all the reputable websites that one must curl into something like the fetal position for the procedure. Nope. That is not how my LP went. My neurologist referred me to one of our more notable hospitals. The one I go to if at all possible for emergencies and surgeries. They have a neuroradiology department and did the procedure with fluoroscopy meaning they used images. I just lied flat on my stomach on a padded table with a pillow while Janet, the friendly technician, took pictures of my spine in time with the neuroradiologist’s pace. I hardly felt the lidocaine injection which is saying something. That usually hurts like a sonofabitch. A “really bad bee sting” as the doctor described it. You don’t say.
I did not feel the insertion of the needle into the spinal area or wherever they put it to get the fluid out. Well, something felt funny. There was, however, no pain. He tested the pressure of the fluid in my spine, and there was a moment that I didn’t feel right. It all happened fairly quickly. Well, I don’t feel right most of the time. So, in the end, it was just another much dreaded procedure that proved to be mythologically horrible. In reality, it was, however, a piece of cake.
You are required to rest for an hour in a recovery area while lying flat on your back. That’s no big deal. They are waiting for your brain to produce the spinal fluid that they removed while observing you for symptoms of the truly much dreaded spinal headache caused by leakage from the puncture. I was fine, thus, I was sent home where I then had to lie flat for 12 hours.
The doctor instructed me to lie flat with my head propped up. I was to drink caffeine and water. Gosh, 12 hours of lying flat while drinking caffeine? A Law and Order:SVU marathon while drinking coffee in bed on a sub-zero cold day? I gotta tell you, it was so hard making the best of it yesterday.
So, if you ever have to have a spinal tap, fear not. It isn’t bad at all. Waiting for the results, on the other hand, might not be as easy.