Saturday, September 10, 2005

Spinal Headache - Ouch!!!

There were a couple comments regarding complications after a spinal tap, I thought I would blog a response. There is a crazy contrast here between Sheela's artistic pictures and family notes and my medical stuff. I guess this is true insight into our family! If you have any medical questions, feel free to fire away and I will post a response anonymously.

The headache after a spinal tap is appropriately termed a "spinal headache." They say the pain is unbearable. Amazing that two different people in our family had one. There is a 3% chance of getting one if a very small needle is used (more like 15% with a medium size needle). If it doesn't improve with time a blood patch is tried. This is where blood is injected in the space around your spinal cord and it actually clots over the hole left by the original injection.

I read today that some ER doctors call their patients 24-48 hours after their shift to see how they are doing. It really improves compliance (did you call your doctor and make that appointment? are you feeling better with that medication?). I like the idea. Has anyone ever heard back from an ER doc? Just curious.

5 comments:

Leslie said...

Yep - it was years ago, but I remember being amazed that he had called to ask.

You're right about the blog working on two different astral planes - I love it....

So - Dr. Mike - my original issue going into the hospital was a migraine - I've had 'em since I was a teenager. In fact the only times I haven't had them was when I was pregnant. What's up with that?

Maybe all of your aunts will start playing "stump the nephew" OR "crazy family question of the day" in response to your medical posts.... HAH

faveauntcarrie said...

Mike-

Whe Jodi had her spinal, I was in DC and when I got home the day after the test, she was so so so sick - couldn't even move her head one inch. It took three days to get the patch scheduled since it was done by a different practice than the doc who did the spinal. I think the patch was done by an anesthesiologist... does that sound right? If all of these things had been done in the ER, maybe it would have handled more quickly.

Stump the nephew??? OK. I'm in. I have a bad, bad case of contact dermatitis... poison ivy? Allergic reaction to?? Who knows. I definitely stumped the young family practice doc at my medical home yesterday....

Anonymous said...

No, but when I broke my arm and you weren't going to let me go to the hospital, the surgeon's wife sent me a get well card... bet you can't guess who I am, Mike...

shelagh said...

okay, stump the nephew - so what about a doc reporting that the results from an mri scan require an appt. with a neurosurgeon because of concerns...and no other info besides that? then, as i call around for more info i am told medical jargon i do not understand and somethiing about a small malformation in the left frontal lobe in the arterial veins...possibly nothing to worry about??? the appt is on the 21st so i will know more concrete stuff then and will keep you posted just for fun...

faveauntcarrie said...

Shel-

Same thing here, two Christmas's ago. They thought Jod had an aneurysm based on her MS MRI scan. We found out on Christmas Eve that it wasn't an aneurysm needing surgery, but instead was some kind of malformation thing, like our smart nephew said. Probably she had it since birth, and because of the dye they use during her MRI, it showed up that time.
Sometimes this is what I say to the neuros, "Whatever."

We'll be thinking of you