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    Old 06-12-2008, 06:01 AM   #1
    johndo555
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    Spinal tap follow-up

    Hi all,

    Just to say that I finally got the dreaded spinal headache.
    It started about 48hres post-puncture and it lasted for about 5 days.
    I am now feeling better though I can still feel it lingering somewhere at the back of my head (literally!).
    The nurse tells me they don't really know what causes it or how to avoid it.
    Some people with huge leaks and who don't get rest after the spinal tap don't get it while others do get it.

    Piece of advice for those who get it: just lay down when you have it. In my case it always disappeared while I was lying down and it only came back when I stood up or sat.

    I'm not sure that the caffeine helped, but maybe.

    J

     
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    Old 06-12-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Did you get the patch? Spinal Tap headaches do not usually resolve themselves- they will continue, unless you are patched, usually.. spinal tap headaches are caused by the change in pressure in the central spinal fluid- when it is taken out of you, if you do not stay horizontal long enough for it to re-center, the headache results...
    Are you feeling better? And, have you gotten any results yet?
    Take care of yourself..
    N
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    Last edited by MSNik; 06-12-2008 at 06:17 AM.

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 06:30 AM   #3
    johndo555
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Hi MsNik,

    No I did not get the patch. The lady at the hospital told me that in 7 years they only have given the patch twice. The headache has resolved itself in about 5 days. I still feel a little bit of something but it gets better everyday. The way I understand it is that as long as the hole inside is still opened, the liquid leaks and the weight of the brain pulls on something in the head, hence the pain (but I might be wrong). It takes a few days for the hole to heal (it doesn't heal as fast as a vein for example). The blood patch may be used to close up the hole more rapidly. On the web it is said that most spinal headaches resolve on their own in a matter of days. I was blessed enough to be able to take some days off from work...

    As for the results they are not all in as of yet. I'm so anxious to get them!

    J



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    Did you get the patch? Spinal Tap headaches do not usually resolve themselves- they will continue, unless you are patched, usually.. spinal tap headaches are caused by the change in pressure in the central spinal fluid- when it is taken out of you, if you do not stay horizontal long enough for it to re-center, the headache results...
    Are you feeling better? And, have you gotten any results yet?
    Take care of yourself..
    N

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 08:44 AM   #4
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Well J, wish you the very best of luck and a quick recovery. My docs would disagree about your explanation, but then, im NOT a doctor and only know what Ive been told. Ive had 2 spinal taps in the past few years....if you are feeling better, then continue with your physicians advice. At least you know there is an option if you are still feeling badly down the road.
    Feel better, and please let us know about your results.
    Nikki
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    Old 06-12-2008, 09:09 AM   #5
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    It seems in Canada they're less likely to do the blood patch. At least Eastern Canada. I was not offered this. Instead, I was put on migraine meds by IV in the hospital, and the headache was gone the next day when I woke up.
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    Old 06-12-2008, 10:26 AM   #6
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    I will sure do. The nurse at the hosp. told me that in the end they did not understand exactly why the spinal tap headache happened. I've looked on the web these past few days and I've seen so many different conflicting information regarding this!!! In the end, I'm glad I'm feeling better and I pray it won't come back.

    Thanks!

    J



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    Well J, wish you the very best of luck and a quick recovery. My docs would disagree about your explanation, but then, im NOT a doctor and only know what Ive been told. Ive had 2 spinal taps in the past few years....if you are feeling better, then continue with your physicians advice. At least you know there is an option if you are still feeling badly down the road.
    Feel better, and please let us know about your results.
    Nikki

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Maybe. They told me they would do it in case it was required but they found it happened not that often. I think they preferred I wait at least one week. I'm glad for you that it resolved in a matter of days, even with the IV. This headache is so terrible! It was impossible for me to function normally with it. I felt as though my brains were sinking down in my skull...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nenu View Post
    It seems in Canada they're less likely to do the blood patch. At least Eastern Canada. I was not offered this. Instead, I was put on migraine meds by IV in the hospital, and the headache was gone the next day when I woke up.

     
    Old 06-12-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johndo555 View Post
    Maybe. They told me they would do it in case it was required but they found it happened not that often. I think they preferred I wait at least one week. I'm glad for you that it resolved in a matter of days, even with the IV. This headache is so terrible! It was impossible for me to function normally with it. I felt as though my brains were sinking down in my skull...
    Well, I went to the ER, and I think when they looked at how bad I was (sheet white, blood pressure through the roof) and the fact I told them "I can't sit the headache will make me pass out", that's when they went migraine treatment route. It worked! I felt fine the following day, however I was still doing the steroids at the time, so I wasn't feeling fine from those (side effects).
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    Old 06-12-2008, 06:53 PM   #9
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Twice? Must have been me, lol. I had a blood patch twice. There is NO WAY I could have lived with that pain for 5 days, you are my hero.

     
    Old 06-13-2008, 06:12 AM   #10
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Don't think too highly of me!!!
    My headache was probably not as bad as yours.
    Each person's is different.
    And it completely went away when I was lying down.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimpossible67 View Post
    Twice? Must have been me, lol. I had a blood patch twice. There is NO WAY I could have lived with that pain for 5 days, you are my hero.

     
    Old 06-13-2008, 06:47 AM   #11
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    The headache won't come back, John.

    You are right that the headache can definitely be varying degrees (and of course each of us has a difference tolerance level too. ) When I had a LP in 1991, it was botched in BIG way. I spent the next week in the Brain Trauma Unit under 24-hr nurse watch. That pain was, by far, the worst experience of my life.

    They were very afraid to give me epidurals after that, but I don't think my kids ever would have come out if they hadn't. After more then a day in hard drip-induced labour, they finally conceded . . . but only after I signed my life away. I did get the spinal headaches from those too, and it wasn't pleasant , but it was nothing compared to the botched LP experience.

    Glad it's over with and hope you start to get some answers.

    Cherie

     
    Old 06-13-2008, 08:14 AM   #12
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johndo555 View Post
    Don't think too highly of me!!!
    My headache was probably not as bad as yours.
    Each person's is different.
    And it completely went away when I was lying down.
    Definitely each is different. Mine was barely tolerable standing, crippling sitting, and worse than standing lying down.

    I do have a history of migraine as well however. Perhaps that factors in, perhaps not.

    The IV migraine stuff worked! Even though I panicked when they started it because I could taste it, and it was dreadful.
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    Old 06-13-2008, 05:37 PM   #13
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    Re: Spinal tap follow-up

    Oh mine was horrible pain and the pressure in my neck, whew! It did relieve when I laid down but even if I had to have a short up to get to the bathroom, I was dying. By the time I went back to the hospital for the second blood patch, I was throwing up from the pain. Not a pleasant experience

     
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