Lyme Part 2: Spinal Tap
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
It's been a little over a week since I had my spinal tap last Thursday - the procedure itself went well and I am so so so grateful for that AND I got the BEST news EVER!!!!! The bacteria hasn't spread to my brain - so I don't have to get a picc line!!!
I went to the hospital, got in my super cute hospital gown and socks and mentally tried to prepare myself. They had to take my blood again to check for blood clots (even though I had my blood drawn for this a few weeks ago, the results didn't transfer over from the radiology department to the hospital and it had been a few weeks due to the reschedules). I cried, obviously, but I made it through to tell the story! The part that actually took the longest was waiting for the results from the blood test -- once those were finalized, then I was able to go in for the spinal tap.
Unfortunately, they wouldn't let Brandon come into the room with me because it was a sterile room (I even got to wear a hair net) they rolled me onto my stomach on the table where a big machine hovered over me, drew some circles on my lower back, put a little tape here, some paper there, and told me step by step what was going to happen. Thankfully, the nurse let me hold her hand, because yes, I'll be honest with you, it hurt. It wasn't the Lumbar Puncture itself that hurt, it was the numbing injection that was painful. They told me I would feel a burning sensation followed by stinging for a couple of seconds, which is exactly what I felt. Once the numbing medicine kicked in, the started the procedure - it wasn't terrible but I wouldn't want to do it again (as I'm sure nobody would want to do it again -- or in the first place for that matter). They tilted the bed I was on so that it was almost as if I was standing up or felt as if I was going to slide right off the bed -- I guess that helps the fluid come out faster and gets the job done quicker. It took about 5 minutes, and it was over. I was gone for maybe 15 minutes total (not bad, huh?) I had to roll back onto my back and then they brought me back into what they called the "preparation/waiting room" and then I got to see Brandon again!!!
From all the stress and anticipation, I finally started bawling my eyes out - it was officially over and that was such a relief. My next set of instructions were to lay flat on my back for one hour and drink fluids (they gave me a coca-cola) -- apparently caffeine is supposed to be really helpful with these types of migraines. Unfortunately, when we got up to leave, I got really light-headed and had to sit down again immediately. When I tried to get up for the second time, I fainted. Brandon had to go back to work, but I wasn't ready to leave yet - so Maria came to save the day and brought me home after work!
I rested all night and had pizza with Brandon for dinner - yum!! The next day was when the headaches really started to get bad, I couldn't get out of bed I was in so much pain - even a trip to the bathroom was miserable. My mom eventually came down because I couldn't be left alone - it was awful - but mom came and cooked and cleaned and took care of me which was great!
Saturday was when the excitement really started as I ended up in the Emergency Room due to excruciating pain - I was screaming and crying in the waiting room. It was frustrating because when they were getting all my information, they made me sit down, but that made my head hurt, so all I did was scream, until thankfully, when they told me they were going to get me started on an IV, my mom told them (truthfully) that I will faint unless I am laying down, and then they got me a stretcher!
I slept the following days, but was still in INCREDIBLE pain - it seemed as if the night in the ER only stopped the pain for the rest of that night. I ended up back in the Emergency Room on Wednesday and was admitted into the hospital that night. I stayed there for three nights until they finally decided to give me a blood patch (gross, but helpful). Essentially, they put my own blood from my arm into my back to stop the leaking that was happening. I don't really understand it, nor do I care to, I'm just happy to be better. My Dad came down too, which I was really happy about -- then I could show him my apartment!
I left the house for the first time in over a week today - I went to Marshalls, visited with some friends, got a manicure and pedicure with my mom, and now I'm back home sitting on the couch with Brandon as I write this for all of you to read. (Check out those IV bruises).
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, texts, cards, flowers, phone calls, and more. I couldn't have done this without all of you and I want you to know how grateful I am. I will keep you all updated as soon as I know more and figure out what my next steps will be.