Lumbar Puncture

In the continuing efforts to figure out my chronic headaches, I had a lumbar puncture yesterday; in layman’s terms, you might call it a spinal tap.

When you have an LP (as you may also have heard it called, especially on something like House), there’s a 10-15% chance that you’ll get a severe headache with nausea, but that can usually be avoided by making sure you stay lying flat on your back for a few hours after the procedure and keeping your fluids up. A persistent headache can mean that a proper clot didn’t form at the puncture site and there’s a CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leak– a microscopic leak, not one that comes oozing out your back, so the headache is the only real tip off that you have one.

Amazingly, after staying strictly in the supine position after the procedure at the doctor’s office and then at home (except for the brief trip to the car in a wheelchair and all and then up the elevator home), I avoided getting a severe headache and hopefully, a CSF leak. Imagine my luck, considering I otherwise have a headache everyday, often all day.

Anyway, thanks to Marina and Charles for taking me to the doctor and taking care of me all day yesterday. For the less squeamish, check out this video of an actual LP.