Had the spinal tap yesterday

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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 667
   Posted 8/18/2006 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok...so it seems like nothing is easy for me...LOL...I might as well laugh about it now,because I cried about it then!! I was scheduled for my Spinal Tap at 9am. I arrived at 8am because I needed to have bloodwork done before I had the spinal tap. I took my papers to Registration(at this point Joe(my husband) wasnt with me,he worked until 8:30 and met me at the hospital). They said they couldnt do the bloodwork because the dr.s office didnt put a DX code on the paper. The lady says to me that she can call the office at 9 when they opened if I just wanted to wait. I told her that was a no go because I had a spinal tap sceduled for 9am. So,I sat at waited for what seemed like eternity for Joe to get up there. Once he arrived I went back up to registration with my Spinal Tap Order. SAME thing!! The dr.s office messed that paper up too!! So...we were *trying* to register...except Joe had to walk over to the office(across the street) and try to get that all startened out. I just started crying...sitting right there in front of everyone! I couldnt help it. My emotions are just tapped out...all I could think of was I was going to have to re-schedule...Joe took time off work,.I made plans for the kids...not to mention I was extremly nervous to begin with and just wanted it done and over with!! So,we got everything worked out with the papers from the doctors office(which from what Joe says they were LIVID! Not because of us...but because they know it was THEIR fault and they had to call the doctor at home and basically got chewed out). So we go to finish registration and the lady couldnt even find my appointment in the system! She says "are you sure your appt was at 9am"...ummm YES! So...she finally found it and says "your appt is at 10am,not 9am...they just wanted you hear at 9am so you were not late". Well...excuse me...but I think this time I was the ONLY one that actually had it together!! Well...with the times anyhow...I guess I cant consider myself THAT together..LOL.. So...that finally got all worked out and we went to Radiology... So...we wait,and wait and wait. Finally around 10:30 they call my name. The tech walked me down to the room I was going to have it done and explained everything they were going to do,what I should feel,etc. So..I flip over onto my stomach and the doctor finds a good spot,I guess...except I had to roll my hips so I was laying really funny and I had to kinda prop my knee up to stay in that position...my knee hurt worse then anything! I felt a little pinch when they adminstered the numbing stuff(cant think of the name of it now..duh) and from that point on all I felt was pressure...lots of pressure...but no pain! It wasnt that bad at all. It was an odd sensation feeling pressure INSIDE of your body like that...but nothing painful...so that was a relief!! Ok...so i totally know I am a little on the paranoid side...but I feel like with good reason! While I was still on my stomach the doctor says to the tech "save that image"...the tech says "I already have"....dummy me! I didnt ask what image...I didnt even think about it again until I was being 'observed'...and then I started thinking,...what image,why do they need to save a image,what kind of image is it...is it something bad,why didnt they tell me,show me...something!!! I dunno...maybe they saw more white spots on my spine through the x-ray? But I dont even know if that is possible?!! So...I flip over onto my back and they wheel me to the hallway. I wait until a 'transporter' came to take me to the CDU while I needed to be observed for 4 hrs! 4hrs...holy crapola!! Why didnt anyone at the doctors office tell me this?!! I knew I needed to lay on my back and rest...but no one informed me that I was going to have to stay in the hospital for 4 hrs,on my back,no moving and no getting up for 4 hrs!!! So...instead of Joe missing a couple of hours,he ended up missing the entire day! Something we just werent prepared for...but oh well,what can we do about it? So,I got the nasty hospital food,a yucky bedpan that I tried SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hard NOT to use but gave in after 2.5 hrs...the nurse was laughing up a storm because she didnt think anyone could actually hold THAT much urine!! LOL...yep,I have heard that before! They checked vitals every 30 minutes and promptly after four hours they had me sit up in bed...whoa...headrush!! Then dangle my feet...no dizziness and no headache...so all was good and they released me. So anyhow that was my last two days...fun!! I have my Evoke testing on Tuesday...I know one thing for sure,I am going to call the doctor's office on Monday to see if I need orders for that(because they gave me NONE) and see if maybe my results came in...we'll see.


Post Edited (colee1979) : 8/18/2006 4:09:54 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 8/18/2006 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Image?? What image??  Could the doctor perhaps have been talking about a different patient, nearby?  The spinal tap -- it's like a needle inserted into your spinal column, and fluid drawn out into a syringe. There is no "image" there to be taken??

Hospital mix-ups seem universal.  I can't begin to tell you about the number of times we've run into the same sorts of screw-ups, over my husband's various illnesses this last year.  Appointments set and broken (and we've not been told), appointments in clinics different from where we went the first time..but nobody told US about that!... different doctors because the other one quit in mid-term...and other crazy stuff.

about all you can do is what you did -- take someone with you who can help sort it out, and just sort of go with the flow.

I'm glad you avoided the headache. Yes, the 4 hour wait is sometimes part of it. -- they want to be sure you don't have the headache, and if you do, that they can treat it immediately.

I hope the evoked potentials get done with less stress for you! It's a good idea to call ahead...but as I've found out, even that's no guarantee that all will be in place when you get there!



...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 896
   Posted 8/18/2006 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
When they did my LP they did it under a floriscope which is an xray and that way they can find the right space to draw the fluid out of.  They were probably referring to that image and they saved it in case they had to restick or something.  I doubt they could have seen any lesions on that type of machine.....but I'm not positive.
I'm glad you have that over and done with, be sure to let us know what you find out! :-)
Michelle ><>
"Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
shouting...."Wow! What a ride! Thank You Lord!!!"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 8/18/2006 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Nichole

WOW!!! U really had a day of it! I'm sorry it was so bad, but thankful that u didn't have the headache! I agree, call ahead and confirm things are in place as they should be, but don't be disappointed or surprised if they aren't when u arrive at u'r destination. Things happen and people are people...faults and all. Hang on and don't let it bother u as much as u can...it'll only cause u to feel bad. Thanks for the update and let us know how it goes on the evoked testing. I hope and pray all goes well and u'll have a great visit!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 8/18/2006 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nicole,

I'm so glad youre spinal tap went so well without headache! Please share the results with us when you get them and best of luck on your upcoming test on Tuesday. I can totally relate to your story about the scheduling problems, has happened to us on more than one occassion. Take care and I hope you get some answers soon.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 8/27/2006 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
As Shellypoo said the image would be an x-ray.
I had the same thing, lay on my stomach they took an x ray of my lower spine which appeared on a screen close to my head, ( I couldn't see it and was too scared to look up ) when it was over I heard the radiologist ask the doctor whether he wanted to keep the image and he said yes. So somewhere out there is a happy snap of my lumbar puncture complete with needle, how lovely!
Good though as if I have to go through it again (omg) they should be able to find the right spot and not hit my sciatic nerve. (sciatic-is that how you spell it? my ability to spell is falling completely to bits)
At least you got some yummy hospital food, all I got was 2 litres of water , drink drink drink! and a 5 hour wait to go home.
Good luck with your results hang in there,
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