Hellish weeks to come.....

We left off last where I had just taken another dose of steroids at home.... I don't know much about steroids and how they work etc,...

Friday, 1 December 2017

The Foot is investigated...


                   So we left off awaiting a Lumbar Puncture. I understand it has been a long while since the last post but it's been a struggle with new medication and certain developments within my health so I hope you're not disappointed at this instalment of my journey.

                   So let us continue. A Lumbar Puncture.. well how can you describe this to someone who hasn't experienced it. Easily put its where they basically stick a needle and syringe into your spinal cord to extract CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid). In order to do this, the patient (me in this case) has to curl up in what can only be described as the fetal position, this expands your spinal column allowing the doctors access to your spinal cord. The reason they do this procedure is to examine your CSF for a particular protein. Don't ask me what the protein is as at this stage, being needle-phobic, I was more concerned about a large needle going into my spine. Now as far as I am aware, if this protein is found, it's a surefire confirmation of MS.

                   So there I am, laying on my side, terrified of what's to come. I have two doctors in my room, one explaining what is happening, and one (who I later find out is a junior doctor) performing the procedure. I'm told I need to stay perfectly still (yeah... with a needle in my spine.. that's not hard at all!) or it could cause complications. First, they inject the area with local anaesthetic apparently too dull the majority of the pain. I'm told to take a deep breath and they start pushing the needle in. The best description is similar to what I think it would feel like for someone to press a wooden spoon ridiculously hard into one point in your back. Its an extremely dull pain and pressure. Then the jolts start...

                   The jolts were apparently not meant to happen, but what basically was happening was that the Doctor was catching a nerve (leading to my legs) and that was sending what felt like electricity from my back all the way down my leg, making my leg want to move. Resisting this and saying a few choice words.. the procedure continued. They removed the needle and attempted again, the same thing happened, so they try again, and again, and again. A total of four attempts were made when I was laying on my side. The Doctors decided they needed to try a different approach. They got me upright and whilst sitting down bent me over a table leaning on a fresh pillow. A lovely nurse brought me this pillow as my body was going into shock, my blood pressure was not healthy at all and I was sweating what felt like my body weight in sweat.


                   I'm finally quite comfortable leaning on this pillow and those words come again "Big breath" and back in the needle goes. Again I get the electricity like jolts down my leg and all I can think through this entire process is "DO NOT MOVE, JUST DON'T!" They finally get the syringe correctly in place, they ask me to stay still for a few more seconds and they show me the results of all the pain and hard work. A small vial with no more than about 10ml of a clear fluid. They warn me that I am going to experience some severe headaches for the next hour due to the brain adjusting to the drop in the fluid.

                 It's finally over, or so I thought. The Doctors advised they were going to be placing me on a course of steroids. Heavy duty stuff. I agree because at this stage what the hell else am I going to do. My mum comes back into my room with a can of Pepsi (apparently carbonated drinks help after this kind of procedure). I am laying flat, completely flat as if I was a vampire resting in its coffin. I don't want to move due to the unreal amount of pain I'm in. In comes the lovely nurse again to replace my sweat soaked pillow (not a pretty sight). She hands me a clear liquid and tells me its the steroids and to drink in one. As lovely as she was, I won't forgive her for not telling me it tastes like pure evil, I'm talking rancid vomit endusing stuff. Luckily my stomache was empty and I kept it down. They then left me for an hour. Got me a wheelchair to get me to the car and so began my week of pure hell.

             




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