See Alike in...

Alike App

Browser

TheBigSpook

732d

Anyone had a lumbar puncture before? I had one this morning and I feel like I’m dying. What was your experience? Gimme the deets. I’ll share mine if anyone wants to hear about it 😂

Top reply
    • TheBigSpook

      721d

      Okay I’ll tell my experience. Sorry I was AWOL for a minute. I went in for a lumbar puncture because I have papilledema (optic nerve swelling) caused by intracranial hypertension. Scans and imagine came back normal so next steps were to test opening pressure and take samples of CSF to see how high the pressure was and if there was any kind of infection or irregularities in my csf. So I go in, I get in my scrub bottoms and my hospital gown top, and they take me in to the big procedure room. They had me lay on my stomach (I had a pillow thank god) and opened up my gown. Scrubbed my back with soap and draped it with a sterile sticky square with the hole in the middle. They had a radiology tech wheel up a huge X-ray arm to hover over my back so the doctor could see exactly where to put the needle. He marked on my back where he wanted to go in (L4-L5 left side) and injected me with a big dose of lidocaine. Shit fucking BURNED. But it went numb pretty quick. Then he asked the tech for a 22g 3.5 inch spinal needle. I thought to myself “I should’ve taken a klonopin” and I felt the pressure as he pushed the needle through my skin, but I felt no pain. Then he got to my spinal canal and I felt him give a hard push and the needle poked through, which HURT and it poked a nerve that sent a zing down both of my legs and up my spine. Opening pressure was measured. OP should be 20cm of water, mine was 37. Then he sucked up 20mL of my brain juice and had the tech divide it into 5 test tubes to send to the lab. He cleaned me up, put a lil bandaid on me and told me I was okay to stand up whenever I was ready. He left and the nurses tied my gown back up and lowered the table down, and I sat up. Big mistake. Instantly, I had an INTENSE, IMMEDIATE thunderclap headache that I only don’t rate at a 10 because I didn’t go blind or throw up. So I call it a 9. It lasted for about 15 minutes. I clutched my head and yelled out, started crying, laid back down, the techs were super worried about me. Then the tech realized and told me “you know, I’ve never seen CSF come out that fast before. Usually it takes about 20 minutes to take a sample but for you it only took 2. Your brain is probably having to adjust to the sudden decrease in pressure.” Oof. I had a super tender spine for about a week, but only on the inside. Pushing on my back from outside didn’t do anything. And I’ll randomly get pinches or an ache where the needle went in or little zings down a leg, but otherwise am all healed up.

    • TheBigSpook

      721d

      Okay I’ll tell my experience. Sorry I was AWOL for a minute. I went in for a lumbar puncture because I have papilledema (optic nerve swelling) caused by intracranial hypertension. Scans and imagine came back normal so next steps were to test opening pressure and take samples of CSF to see how high the pressure was and if there was any kind of infection or irregularities in my csf. So I go in, I get in my scrub bottoms and my hospital gown top, and they take me in to the big procedure room. They had me lay on my stomach (I had a pillow thank god) and opened up my gown. Scrubbed my back with soap and draped it with a sterile sticky square with the hole in the middle. They had a radiology tech wheel up a huge X-ray arm to hover over my back so the doctor could see exactly where to put the needle. He marked on my back where he wanted to go in (L4-L5 left side) and injected me with a big dose of lidocaine. Shit fucking BURNED. But it went numb pretty quick. Then he asked the tech for a 22g 3.5 inch spinal needle. I thought to myself “I should’ve taken a klonopin” and I felt the pressure as he pushed the needle through my skin, but I felt no pain. Then he got to my spinal canal and I felt him give a hard push and the needle poked through, which HURT and it poked a nerve that sent a zing down both of my legs and up my spine. Opening pressure was measured. OP should be 20cm of water, mine was 37. Then he sucked up 20mL of my brain juice and had the tech divide it into 5 test tubes to send to the lab. He cleaned me up, put a lil bandaid on me and told me I was okay to stand up whenever I was ready. He left and the nurses tied my gown back up and lowered the table down, and I sat up. Big mistake. Instantly, I had an INTENSE, IMMEDIATE thunderclap headache that I only don’t rate at a 10 because I didn’t go blind or throw up. So I call it a 9. It lasted for about 15 minutes. I clutched my head and yelled out, started crying, laid back down, the techs were super worried about me. Then the tech realized and told me “you know, I’ve never seen CSF come out that fast before. Usually it takes about 20 minutes to take a sample but for you it only took 2. Your brain is probably having to adjust to the sudden decrease in pressure.” Oof. I had a super tender spine for about a week, but only on the inside. Pushing on my back from outside didn’t do anything. And I’ll randomly get pinches or an ache where the needle went in or little zings down a leg, but otherwise am all healed up.

    • Llamasizzle

      731d

      Oof yeah this was painful even with the area supposedly numbed. But after it was over, I didn’t notice any lasting effects

    • hazyeclipse

      731d

      Please do share. I'm supposed to get one at some point and I'm terrified. I'm already afraid of needles and invasive tests and having a big ass needle in my spine for 15 minutes sounds horrible, I would freak out. And then the risk of a bad headache later, when I already have suspected low cranial pressure and I have orthostatic headaches and other symptoms

      • anemone

        731d

        @hazyeclipse mine wasn't in for 15 minutes or even close, it was a couple of minutes at most. and please don't take my bad experience above as the norm - doing a lumbar puncture on the spot in the ER, especially as an overnight ER doc and not someone who frequently does the procedure, is an absolutely terrible idea and you could not pay me enough to do it again. since yours is being scheduled rather than on-the-spot, you're far more likely to have an easy experience. if you're especially concerned, maybe bring your concerns up with your doctor - they may be able to suggest things to help you be successful in your procedure. mine took imaging and a very comforting tech to help ::v you could see if something like that, or maybe an anti-anxiety med of some sort, might make it possible for you

    • anemone

      732d

      uuuUUUUGH yes i have, but mine wasnt a scheduled procedure or anything, it was in the ER because i had what appeared to be meningitis and had a fever of 103f+... and because my body was all fucky my nerves were going haywire, so even moving my head on the pillow gave me an intense pins-and-needles-like pain. before the puncture i was cracking jokes, smiling through the pain, etc - because for some reason when i'm having my worst physical symptoms, my mental/emotional symptoms seem to disappear, at least for awhile. they had me get in position, still cheerful. got given instructions, including the "if you start to feel pain or numbness shoot down one of your legs, just sat 'right' or 'left' so i know how to readjust" that im sure you heard. (no matter that i also dont know left from right... think its something from my autism, its always been this way.) the guy kept missing somehow so it went on several times, i was sobbing and yelping left and right (literally) and close to blacking out, and it's the only time i've reached a 9 on the pain scale. i was trying my damnedest to communicate and be still through and the guy still treated me like i was being annoying, said something passive aggressive about "well i guess we can't get one". later they had me go in for a spinal tap with imaging, and everyone on that team was nothing but kind - one of the techs even offered to hold my hand while it was done (and i accepted). it was still at least a 7 and i still cried a lot but it was done right the first time and being treated it turned out that i didn't have any sort of infection detectable in my spinal fluid. none of the doctors could find a reason but they decided it was "most likely from ibuprofen" - which turned out to be correct, but they said that was usually only seen in cases of high dosage so my pcp at the time, my mother, and myself all thought they were full of shit. (i later found that it's significantly more common in sle and other autoimmune connective tissue diseases, and i have connective tissue issues and a positive ana and had recently been sent by my pcp to a rheumatologist for concerns about sle. go figure ::p ) i also had the reaction with a different nsaid with the same approximate duration of use. i did also have a new and weird back pain for at least a week after, but it went away with time. might have been related to being so still for so long. i also had balance issues afterward and they've only somewhat improved, but that may be from the meningitis, the failed attempts in the er, being bedridden in the hospital, or a number of other things, so i doubt that's too relevant for you. please feel free to share your experience as well

      • hazyeclipse

        731d

        @anemone was in the needle being in there causing the horrible pain? Or just when the inserted it? What did they give you for pain?

        • anemone

          731d

          @hazyeclipse they didnt give me anything for pain afaik, no local anaesthesia or oral painkiller or anything. i was given tylenol while in the hospital, but not with the primary intent of using it as a painkiller so not right before the procedure; it was intended to lower my fever. i think part of why it was so immensely painful is that it was so uncomfortable... so it was painful both being inserted and while in. the fact that all my sensations were heightened to the level of pain was also part of it, and the probable inflammation of the area may have also been part of why it was that painful.

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Want to chat or share? Download the Alike app now and get complete access to Alike.health's unique features.

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free
100%
Free

Download Alike for the full experience

JOIN

View All

Bupropion

night sweats

paranoid

Valium

sertraline

palpitations

Anxiety (Including GAD)

Depression

palpitations

Depression

Valium

Bupropion