Having a spinal tap doesn’t have to be one of the scariest tests ever. People need to educate themselves first. I did! I started off seeing a respected neurologist that comes regularly to my hometown and sees patients.
I started off by telling my recommended neurologist my symptoms. They were
* Tripping and falling
These were just a few of the symptoms I told him about. My neurologist told me he was getting to the bottom of this once and for all. He started out doing a nerve conduction test to rule out certain illnesses. A good doctor can help any test seem less painful. He did!
My neurologist knew what he needed todo. He started telling me about scheduling me for a spinal tap. I was a little apprehensive; however, I trusted this man’s intelligence. He told me that the nerve study test showed what I didn’t have. Now he told me he wanted to do a spinal tap to help determine the reason for my ill health.
He explained how a spinal tap is a procedure performed to examine a person’s cerebrospinal fluid, also known as a lumbar puncture. I asked him if it would it hurt and he assured me that it wasn’t that bad. I needed reassurance and he gave it to me. I was a little apprehensive, however I trusted this doctor very much.
I was told that spinal taps are done for various reasons. A few of them are:
* To test for Multiple Scleroses
I heard all about the possible reasons why I needed to give approval for this test. All these reasons gave me a reason to find out what my problems were really all about. Was it M.S, or was it just all about why I had a tendency toward having headaches.
I gave consent for him to schedule this spinal tap. I wanted it to be over with, however I knew my doctor was not going to stop until he had an answer. That alone made me feel comforted and trusting.
I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. I’m sure it was because of the compassionate anesthesiologist and nursing staff that was there to give me reassurance.
I do remember telling them I was a little scared. The anesthesiologist reassured me what he would be doing and it wouldn’t last long. I just wanted it to be over, so I decided to trust this man’s hands and say a prayer. I did this and it helped.
Then I was told I would feel a little stick and to just relax. I tried and it did help. Yes, it did hurt, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would. A few minutes after he started drawing the fluid from my spine I told them I wasn’t feeling very well. He asked me exactly how I was feeling. I told him I was feeling a little dizzy. He knew the nurses that were assisting him were keeping a close eye one me. I had to hold up my head with my hands. The anesthesiologist kept a close eye on me and his assistance took a hold of both of my hands so I would keep my balance.
It was over within 15-20 minutes. They told me to sit back slowly. They didn’t want my weak feelings to cause me to lose my balance, or cause a headache from any sudden movements while trying to heal my body from the trauma it just had. They told me to lie still. They put up the bed rails for my safety, and told me I had to eat before I left. They sent me up some coffee, juice and Danish. They told me to drink lots of fluids for the rest of the day.
I would advise anyone who is told they need a spinal tap to do so. It helps rule out certain illness. Doctors need this to correctly to treat a patient successfully.
The words spinal tap tends to worry a person more than actually having it. It’s all about fear. I want people to know it wasn’t as bad as I heard it was. I thought when you had this done you were all curled up into a ball. That alone use to scare me. I found out differently. Mine was done by having me sit on the side of the bed, and leaning over the swing over eating table. This helped me hold on to something. I feel it made my experience less painful.
Having a spinal tap and finding out the results are what made my doctor sure about what my other test showed was the real reason for my problems.
This is my testimony; I hope it helps people who are told they need a spinal tap never to fear, their doctor is near.