This Is (My) Spinal Tap

Thanks again guys for all your prayers, you’re seriously the best and please know how much I appreciate it.  Everything went fine yesterday, or I guess as great as could be, but I am feeling it today!  A spinal tap is certainly something I would prefer not to experience again.  Actually, Eric and I were trying to think of things I haven’t had done in this cancer journey and we narrowed it down to blood transfusion and bone scan.  There’s probably more but that’s all we could come up with.  So essentially I’m saying, I’ve been through and experienced a lot of pretty crazy stuff over the last 2 years and now I can add this to the list.

Ok, I apologize if I’m sounding dramatic, it wasn’t horrible but is was pretty uncomfortable.  But I think it was made a lot more complicated by the fact that it was a young doctor’s first try at it.  She was nice and certainly knowledgeable but she had another doctor talking her through it and it was clear that she was not 100% confident in doing it.  The older doctor was so much talking her through every little step that I would find it hard to believe if this wasn’t her first one.  It’s cool, everyone’s gotta start somewhere, I get it.  But when someone’s poking a needle into your spine, I certainly feel better with someone with confidence and experience, but what can ya do?


So the process goes like this: first you sign off.  Haha always a great sign!  Then you gown up.  They made my “boyfriend” (husband of 7 years) leave for this.  I actually was flattered that we look that young.  Score!!  So then the doctors came back in and had me lay on my side curled up in the fetal position while they felt my back and tried to find the best spot to stick a freaking needle in.

Then comes the lidocaine.  Oh the sweet mercy of a numbing drug!  Always appreciated, never taken for granted.  After that came the horrible part.  It took about 5 unsuccessful sticks before they finally got it.

So I’m laying there and I can feel the needle go into my back, I feel pressure and discomfort, and I can feel the needle coming up against resistance and then little pops and it going further.  It was making me ill.  Just so we are being completely honest, and I’m not proud of this, but every time I heard her tell the other doctor “I’m feeling resistance” as she’s poking around in my spine, I had to resist the urge to say, “you’re gonna be feeling the resistance of my fist against your face if you don’t get it where it needs to be soon!” I would have said it jokingly of course, and I’m glad I didn’t, but the temptation was there.

The longer it took and the more unsuccessful tried there were, I began to panic that with each pass and each time she stuck that needle in, it wasn’t going where it needed to go and after a few minutes of each try, it needed pulled out and tried again.  So on the sixth try the older doctor guided it and I could tell that one was gonna work and it did!  Then you just lay there for a few minutes while the fluid is collected.  At that point it doesn’t feel like anything and the casual conversation could ensue.  Once they have enough fluid (maybe 30-40cc total of I had to guess) they pull the needle out and you’re good to go!

I wanted Eric to get pics but I’m glad he didn’t because I think it would have made her more nervous.  But anyhow, I survived.  It wasn’t terrible but I won’t lie, it’s up at the top of my list of least desirable procedures!  My head hurts and my back is super sore but it’s all good.  We won’t have any results probably for a week or more but I’m just glad it’s over with.


15 thoughts on “This Is (My) Spinal Tap

  1. I was going to recommend you take 1/2 a Xanax to decrease anxiety. Personally if it were me IMO I would let Dr A know that having a resident/first timer do it was not appreciated .

    1. I still have that pill! I should have used it but an saving it for next mri honestly. And Dr. A didn’t order this one, it was my neurologist Dr. B (probably have most of the alphabet covered in Dr initials by this point lol). We missed you today!

  2. So glad you have yesterday behind u.
    I was thinking and praying for u.

    I had a spinal tap after suffering from spinal meningitis – when I was 7.
    I remember it vividly to this day- and still remember the name of the dr.
    Who did it- and I could draw his face if I had to. And that was 38 years ago.
    Some things u never forget!

    Thank u for sharing ur journey with us. U probably will never know the depth u are touching and reaching others! You are living how the gospel tells us to live: living for Kingdom Purposes!
    Thank you for making that choice ! It’s an inspiration to me.

  3. You are a better person than me. I could not have endured all those attempts. Glad it is over praying for good results.

  4. Be glad they didn’t hit a nerve when you got it done. In case no one told you, if you still have your headaches and they aren’t getting better in a couple of days, call the doc… You might need something called a blood patch to help your hole heal. Best wishes!

  5. You are always in my thoughts and prayers Kim. Keeping your faith focused on God, you have been a blessing to me in so many ways. Loving you my sister in faith. Wish I could take some of your tests for you.

  6. Hi Kim, My husband has stage 4 melanoma. Thank you for this blog. This has really help me. He just started Keytruda just has treatment #3 last thursday. we find out next month if its working. He has some good days. He says he feels a little better since the treatments started. The Cancer in his right thigh hurts the most. Did you experience pain in the areas of the cancer? I pray to God this works. I cry everyday. And i’m a strong women. You are taking this like a champ. Thank you again for writing this

    1. Hi Jessica I am so sorry for what you’re too mg through. I’ve often told my husband that I think I have it easier than him because I don’t think in could handle if the tables were turned and it was him With cancer. I just prayed for your husband and family now and will continue to do so as the Lord leads me. And I want to let you know that YES I had pain in my known areas of metastasis once I started Keytruda!! Hopefully that’s an encouraging sign that the drug is getting in there an kicking butt! Keep me updated if you think of it, hang in there ❤

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