Post Edited (littlechina) : 9/1/2007 10:02:39 PM (GMT-6)
Little China pretty well described my experience with spinal taps too (i've had 3, for various reasons). A bit of discomfort, no real pain, no after effects other than a bit of a sore back the next day after the third one.
Your symptoms aren't real typical of MS, but a spinal tap can tell a doctor a lot more than just whether you have MS or not. I suspect he's looking for all possible causes of your symptoms, and the results of the spinal tap might be able to help him focus on what is going on with you.
It is scary to be sure..but then, so are most procedures and things we have to do that we're not familiar with. Asking for a valium beforehand is a good idea, and be sure to tell the doctor about your anxiety and crying, as that might be a clue as to what is going on with you do. A lot of metabolic problems can cause problems with emotions, too...after all, everything in the body is connected.
Take care, and let us know how it goes.
Hi there. I had an LP last September. I was camping and developed a headache along with a bad stiff neck. I let it ride for a about a week, then I decided to go to the ER. I guess those two symptoms together can mean lyme disease/mengititus. Besides, I was paranoid before I arrived at the hospital (from googling symptoms) I was convinced I had one of these. They did a CT scan of my head, Bloodwork, Urine work, EKG's etc. Everything came back normal. My symptoms didn't go away, in fact they started getting worse so I was freaking out. I demanded an answer. I kept going back and they kept throwing me out. Well, I went there one last time and talked to the doctor. He told me the only way they could rule out any of these illnesses 100% is by a spinal tap (LP). You guys I am the biggest wuss on this planet, I have phobias of needles etc. I was just sooo upset and needed to be sure. I did it.
Im not going to lie it hurt a little bit. Mostly an uncomfortable pinch for about 3 minutes. I had nurses in there holding my hand. Its mostly scary thinking about it then actually having it. NOW VERY IMPORTANT!!!!....GET A PATCH IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LP.
Like many others, I developed the worst headache in my life. The worst pain in my life. It was debilitating. The only relief was when I was laying down. The reason for this is the carbon dioxide levels in your brain are unbalanced due to missing spinal fluid. When your laying down, theres no pressure. I was at a point where I was crawling around my house for 3 weeks wanting to kill myself.
Im not trying to be negative here, you need to know the facts. The funny thing is...everything came back normal. I was diagnosed with stress. Can you believe that? So after all that BS/symptoms I was experiencing, it was nothing. I was in worse shape after all the testing, then previously going in.
On a positive note, my headaches did eventually go away. (3 weeks) They would not prescribe me any barbituates for the pain. They only gave me Reglan. So best of luck going in, just talk to ur doctor and see if you can get the patch right after its done. Hopefully u can!