Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Procedure and a Blog Break

Today I will be seeing my neurologist for a lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap. I had no idea that a spinal tap was anything other than a really loud band that I never listened to until I had to experience my first one 9 years ago. It is not a difficult procedure, but one that can have some pretty serious complications if it is not done properly.

Essentially, I will be going to the neurologists office where he will be inserting a large hollow needle between two vertebrae and into the spinal sac in my lower back. First, he will check the pressure of the fluid and then decide if any needs to be drained off in addition to the small amount needed to be sent to the lab for analysis. Once the needle is removed, I will need to stay very flat for as long as it takes for the little hole to stop leaking and heal over. It is this leak that causes the headaches that I am known to have had with past procedures.

For a better explanation, you can visit this link. It goes into really deep detail, though.

I will be away from my computer and lounging flat on my back in a pillow less bed for a few days in any case, but hope that this one will heal quickly for me. My last one took me 14 days to be able to sit up again without excruciating pain. See why I've been trying to put this off? Unfortunately, a lumbar puncture is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis of Intracranial Hypertension so here I am.

I am looking forward to some resolution from this. It should give us some answers as to my headaches and vision disturbances, and to know where to go from here. In addition, it will hopefully create a baseline record to work with in establishing or disproving the diagnosis of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension that I have lived with for the last 9 years.

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. Thank you! I hope to be back to my usual lurking and occasional commenting on your blogs soon!

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