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I had a Spinal Tap

05/06/11

  04:31:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3581 words  
Categories: General, Appliances, Healthcare

I had a Spinal Tap

Well, yesterday was May 5th. The day before I had gotten a call in the afternoon that I needed to stop by neurologists office to fill out and sign about 3 pages to send off to Stanford. Since I had late start that day, and these days I typically work to 6pm....it was kind of iffy if I would slip away early enough to do it then...but since I'm taking the 5th and 6th off as vacation....I said I'd probably pop in, in the morning to take care of it.

When I showed up, it was like a stack of 30 pages....though it was only like 2 or 3 pages that needed signatures, the rest similar to the questionnaire that I had filled out before the HLA blood test. Though I went through it anyways....as I did have a few more answers than I had previously.

The day before the Spinal tap, they wanted me to drink extra fluids and to also drink extra fluids the morning of the spinal tap....as well as continue to drink extra after. Problem, is that pretty much every extra cup I drink, means an extra trip to the bathroom. So, I was drinking fluids and pissing lots up to the spinal tap. I went before I left, and I had to go again when I got to the hospital (3 blocks from home).

But, I didn't see a bathroom between the front door and reception desk, the elevator or check in. So, found one after that. Waited for a short while before they called me over for the next thing. I wasn't expecting that they were needing to do a blood draw as part of the CSF Hypocretin test, but they explained that it was part of it and that they wanted to get it now because they needed to have everything done in time the 2pm courier. Spinal Tap had been scheduled for 1pm.

So, they blood tech came to draw some blood....though it wasn't just some. She had 9 vials to fill up....also 4 of them were glass, which made her nervous as she was the swapping vials that were laying on the rolling table.... don't know why there wasn't a spot to hold the vials related to the current draw (and not just boxes of empty vials to use depending on what she needed to get from wherever she went).

After that it was off to get the Lumbar Puncture....I thought that I should try to go again, but I couldn't. I wish I had kept trying....

The procedure was a Fluoroscopy assisted Lumbar Puncture.... They had me lay face down on a table in radiology, and somebody in Manhattan Radiology came to perform the LP. I had taken my glasses off so I could lay my head on side on pillow, so that meant I couldn't see the fluoroscope screen as they were looking for the spot to tap me, etc. It went a lot quicker than I expected.

First it was really cold on my back....and then there was to be a little prick, it felt a whole lot more than that... of lidocaine... and then I thought they would wait a while before doing the LP....but soon there were other strange sensations on my back, and then I felt something shoot down my right leg. When I commented about it, they said the LP was already underway and they had probably just grazed the nerve but keep still, it is nearly over.

During the blood draw, I heard they say something about maybe there was to be MS testing as part of this....I know there were to be other 'routine' tests as part of this, though I didn't know MS testing was part of that. As the spinal tap finished up, I think I heard him say they took a little more than needed.... and then it was done.

After a moment, they cleaned up my back and put a bandaid on the site. And, then had me roll over on my back on to the gurney. And, then it was off to put me in a bed for a while.

When I got to room, they had me scoot over to bed....hooked me up for auto BP checking and handed me call remote. I was to stay laying down for some length of time. They brought me some water, since its important that I drink plenty of fluids...since apparently you need to be well hydrated inorder for the body to regenerate CSF and avoid getting spinal headaches. Though it was kind of hard to drink from a regular cup while laying flat. But, I wasn't really in the mood for drinking anything. As I was sensing the growing need to go. After an hour or so, it was starting to get to be torture. Thought the nurse said she was going to check in on me at 15 minute intervals. Waited about another 30 minutes, before I hit the call button.

Well, they need me to stay laying down following the LP, so they weren't going to let me go to the bathroom. They offered a urinal, but I said I have never been able to use one in any of my previous hospital stays. Only once did they end up cathing me....but then again, I was under C-spine precautions that time. Wasn't sure I wanted to go through that this time....

But, they didn't want me getting up and would only offer a urinal. Well, I couldn't use it.... About 30 minutes later the other nurse came to check on me, and I told her again....she checked and said it would be okay if I went, as long as I was quick.

Uhh, yeah right....I've been having trouble for a long time where I need to go a lot, and when I do go it sometimes just dribbles out. And, then it will keep dribbling out when I'm done. And, this time was no exception....

After I came back...I laid there for another hour, though I got a quick sip of water....because I was feeling thirsty. And, then I think I nodded off (somewhere between mentioning on IRC that my phone's battery was down to 5% and when it was finally time to leave)....because I had a strange getting ready to leave, weird discharge processing session dream. Though not as bad as ones I've had in the past....at least I didn't suddenly realize that I'm naked and in front of women...) But, I woke to find that I was still there....though I was less sleepy now.

During the time, I was spending a lot of time on my phone to pass the time. During which I did a little googling on Lumbar Puncture and Hypocretin-1. Found NIH article that 88.5% of Narcolepsy with Cataplexy patients had low hypocretin-1 levels, and 99.1% of patients with low hypocretin-1 had Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. So, having low hypocretin-1 is a pretty good indicator that you have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. Though there is a chance that you could have it and not have low hypocretin-1. So, hopefully, this be a secondary diagnosis that I have narcolepsy rather than a contradiction....

Finally it was about 4pm and then nurse did come in to go over discharge and after care procedures, and then walk me out of the hospital. Went with having me walk out, because she understood that I was going to be walking home from the hospital rather than be picked up by somebody.

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1 comment

Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

OMG, if I had known the side effects of a spinal tap were going to hurt so much….I’m not sure I would’ve continued with it, especially since I had gotten a diagnosis from a different doctor a few days before it.

05/08/11 @ 13:39
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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