Hi Eleanor -
I had 2 spinals in less than 2 weeks a couple months ago. My neuro does not perform this type of procedure, so she sent me to the local hospital. An anesthesiologist did it in the recovery room, he took 5 vials of spinal fluid and showed it to me. The fluid filled just a little over the tip of the vials. It was over in about
an hour. I was told to go home and lie down for the rest of the day and drinks lots of water. No problems at all, a slight back ache like uppity stated, but that was it. No real pain during or after.
Well... 5 days after the test, my neuro calls me and tells me that the anesthesiologist didn't take enough fluid for the MS test, they got enough for all the other tests, but not the MS one, and told me I had to go in the next day for another one.
This time it took about
45 minutes, but the anesthesiologist told me that I more than likely will get a headache because he used a larger needle this time and filled the whole vial up. Told me to go home, and take it easy for the rest of the night, drink alot of water and caffeine drinks, alternating each hour. When I got home, I felt fine, just a little back ache, instead of lying down this time, I laid back in a lazy boy, drank lots of fluid, but went to my son's hockey game that night, when I probably should have kept my butt in the chair.
Next morning woke up with a slight headache, progressively got worse at work until the point of me leaving work crying and barely able to drive myself home. I called the anesthesiologist and he told me to lie down and if the headache persists until the next day, to come back into the hospital for a blood patch. I went to bed, stayed laying down for the rest of the night, as long as I stayed laying down, my headache was a dull roar and bearable, although the minute my head got above my heart, I would pray for my head to just fall off or just for me to die. It was horrible.
I ended up going back into the hospital the next day for the blood patch and the procedure took about
1/2 hour, but I stayed there for about
1 1/2 hours for a bag of fluid on top of the blood patch. As soon as the anesthesiologist put the blood into my spinal cord (or area of) it was like night and day, the relief was so wonderful. I can only imagine it was like a junkie getting a hit of whatever they are hooked on.
Now after all of that... Everything came back normal. BUT if I was asked to do it again for a dx, I would go through it all once again in a heart beat. I hope I didn't scare you, but I thought the details may help you understand how important this test can be for a dx.