This is the last part of A very long walk.
For those of you who have been reading along and commenting…there is a happy ending and an even better future
The PLAN was that my dad would drive me in my van with the seat laid flat, and my mom would follow in their car. Decatur Memorial advised my local hospital that I would be arriving later that day and that I needed a BLOOD PATCH. They even printed all my records for me to take with me. Yah should be pretty simple right?!?
NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT!!!!!!!
While we did make pretty good time getting there, ( a little over 4 hours) the hospital could not just admit me because I had declined the ambulance transport, instead they tried to seat me in the waiting room.
When you go to the Emergency Room, they take patients in the order of the severity of their injuries, I get that… Unfortunately a “headache” doesn’t rank very high on the list.
I don’t know if you have ever had the kind of headache that comes with a spinal fluid leak, but I promise you, it’s enough to make you think you are losing your mind. I still can’t quite explain it either.
Maybe kind of like the spins, after a night of too much drinking combined with someone smashing your head between two symbols while trying to speak to you in 3 different languages at the same time?
I really think I must have looked like I was losing my mind because I literally laid on the floor in the emergency room to try to stay horizontal. I’m really not a germaphob, but even I would draw the line at that normally.
I was frustrated, my parents were frustrated why couldn’t you just do this blood patch thing?!?!? I don’t remember all of the details that followed other than, I left and went home. Well my dad drove me home and they both stayed at my house with me.
I think some of the difficulty was that it was a holiday weekend. Another issue was that they were not sure where I was leaking cerebral spinal fluid from, and doubted the effectiveness of a blood patch if they didn’t find the right site.
Once the weekend was over, my mother was able to contact the neurosurgeon that had performed my thoracic laminectomy from a few years prior, and he said to bring me right into his office and he would do the blood patch immediately.
So what is a blood patch?
An epidural blood patch is an injection of your blood into the epidural space. The epidural space is not an injection into the spinal cord itself. The spinal cord and spinal nerves are in a “sack” containing clear fluid (cerebrospinal fluid). The area outside this “sack” is called the epidural space.
This is a great link explaining it in more detail. What is a blood patch?
I remember being terrified to stand up after the procedure. I had the doctor on one side of me and the nurse on the other, and I slowly stood up….. Nothing happened!!!!! My head DID NOT explode, there was no projectile vomiting!!! I was still sensitive to the light, but I could handle that. OMG it worked!!!! and almost immediately too!
After going home, I still continued to chug coffee and laid in bed for the next couple of days….just to be sure.
For the next month or so, I would continue to get migraine like headaches, but they were not positional and could be managed with medication.
While I thankfully no longer suffer from those headaches, I plagued myself with the fear of walking alone. When I walk in my house, I grab everything, walls, furniture, people. When I walk outside, I always have someone with me. What I did was to make myself a prisoner to my fear.
Prisoner no more
If you have been reading my blog posts for the last month, you know that I have been in a dark place both emotionally and physically. I don’t want to feel that way anymore!
So I started to force myself to “hit the road” again…. God let’s hope not… I mean walking again.