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Anybody had lumbar puncture and just how painful is it?

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laruemtt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 07:14 PM
Original message
Anybody had lumbar puncture and just how painful is it?
i'm thinking about canceling this particular test. am losing my balance and am quite exhausted most of the time. ENT says ears are fine. am having EMG/NCV, EEG and brain MRI, but i just don't know about this spinal tap business, so just how bad is it?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 05:22 PM
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1. Not bad, not really
You'll be on your side in a bed and asked to bow your back, pushing your backbone out toward the doc. You'll get a couple of injections of local anesthetic, the most painful part of the procedure--feels like bee stings but only for a nanosecond.

You will be told to arch your back outward as much as possible and you'll have to breathe shallowly. You will feel some pressure and you might hear a "crunch" as the space is accessed. They will remove fluid for visual exam and for a few lab tests. They'll put a bandaid over the site and you will be able to get flat onto your back.

There is minimal pain at the tap site, but don't sit up for the next few hours or you are guaranteed to get one of the worst headaches of your life. It won't kill you but you'll wish it would.

Yes, I've had one. I've assisted with dozens of them.

Your symptoms are very serious. Examining your spinal fluid is the next step toward figuring out what is wrong with you. Some diseases can only be diagnosed or ruled out by tests on spinal fluid. After the test is done, they will have a much better idea of how to treat you. The test is vital at this point. Please have it done.

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laruemtt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-08 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. thanks for the advice. i really am considering it......
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-08 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sometimes fear prevents us from making good choices
Edited on Tue Oct-28-08 01:02 PM by The empressof all
I have a severe back injury and several doctors recommended I receive a spinal steroid injection for pain. Despite the fact that I was living in excruciating pain, I resisted getting the injection because I was afraid of the pain. (Crazy right?) The thought of having a needle going into my spine gave me the willies. I finally wrapped my brain around how crazy this thinking was, had the injection and as a result I've had a decrease in pain by over 80%. That moment of discomfort with the needle in the spine was nothing compared to what I had been experiencing.

I've never had a lumbar puncture. I would imagine it's not that much worse than a spinal injection. Women have epidurals every day for childbirth, people have this procudure done every day. You really have the capacity to endure what other people can endure. You will get anesthetic to relieve the discomfort. Then the Doctors will have a better idea of what is going on with you and you can move forward with your life.

I know it's scary....but this is a time that you need to apply the feelings are not facts method and just do it.
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laruemtt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. i've had a series of three caudal epidural steroid injections
for my low back but ended up having back surgery anyway as the epidurals did nothing to relieve my low back pain even though they hurt tremendously. never been more afraid of anything than that back surgery but went through with it. i think i'll see if they can determine anything with the EMG/NCV, EEG, and brain MRI. thanks guys!
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-08 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's awful
I'm sorry that they didn't help your pain. I understand that the more you get the less effective they become. My Dr recommended that I get one every three months or so. I had one almost a year ago or so and still haven't needed to go back. Subsequently I injured my hip and need to get replacement for that and the knee. I'm putting off back surgery until the hip and knee are done. I wish they could just knock me out and do it all at the same time but alas they won't consider that.

Good luck in your search for what's going wrong. I hope your tests show something easily treatable. Keep us posted.
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laruemtt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-28-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. oy. you've been through the wringer!
these old bods can be pretty distracting vehicles, can't they?
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