just diagnosed

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just diagnosed

Postby stapes » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:36 am

hi all i was diagnosed with ms on monday last. im really scared although im trying to be really positive. my eye went blurry about 6 wks ago and is now normal again after a dose of steroids. my legs are cramping and im really tired. i have to get a lumber puncture and i dont know what to expect...help!!
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lumbar puncture

Postby rothexl » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:48 pm

hi stapes, i'm totally new to this forum, too- and also have just been diagnosed, so i can really relate to how you must be feeling. i'm wondering, if you already have been diagnosed, why the lumbar puncture? in my case the lp was done in order to get additional information to secure my diagnosis, otherwise as far as i know a lumbar puncture result doesn't make any difference for your treatment.
but just in case you really need to have it done, i'll tell you about my experience:

to be on the safe side, i would definitely take a couple of days or even a week off work or any other obligations you may have, as it is possible that you get strong headaches (i've read a lot that most people don't get that at all, so don't worry too much, but just allow for the possibility).

the lumbar puncure itself is definitely not painful, you will lie down on a bed and curl up in a fetal position, then the doctor will disinfect your lower back and inject an anesthetic and then direct the lumbar puncture needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. this is in a location where he can't possibly hit your spinal cord anymore (it ends above that location), but the sac around the spinal cord which contains the spinal fluid extends below that level, so it is safe to collect spinal fluid at that level).

so it is really safe to put the needle in there, you won't have to watch it either and you also have been anaesthesized there, so it's not going to be painful. you'll just have to lie there as still as you can and try to relax if possible, take your partner or a friend with you, that helps also.

what i didn't get but learned later is that the doctor can additionally use a fluoroscope to make it easier to find the right spot, ask about that!

afterwards, you will need to lie down for at least 45 minutes, some even have their patients overnight, but i was sent home after that. make sure you've got someone to drive you home and then immediately lie down and drink lots and lots of fluid- and you'll be fine. should you get the headaches ibuprofen worked well for me and they also lessen as soon as you lie down.

let me know if you've got any more questions!

all the very best and hope to meet here again!!
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Re: just diagnosed

Postby NHE » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:56 am

Hi Stapes,

stapes wrote:i have to get a lumber puncture and i dont know what to expect...help!!


Here are some posts which discuss lumbar punctures. I hope that they're helpful for you. It is important to consider the orientation of the needle bevel. The correct orientation is parallel with the dura fibers which run lengthwise up and down the spine. This orientation will reduce the odds of a post lumber puncture headache which can be particularly debilitating.

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopicp-34023.html#34023

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopicp-50495.html#50495


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Postby DM » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:56 pm

I had a lumbar puncture in the process to determine my MS. I was really concerned going in, but it wasn't as bad as I thought, the FIRST TIME. Since the neuro couldn't tap into my spinal fluid, I was forced to go through the procedure another time, about an hour later, with a radiologist.

I knew what to expect so I wasn't fearful the second time, until he hit a nerve on my spine, and felt a very strange sensation down into my leg.

All-in-all, wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, and with each freezing needle being inserted into my back, whatever discomfort I experienced, subsided.

Not to fear as I am sure you have experienced more discomfort with other issues in your life. It is not the worst. And after its done, it becomes a distant memory.
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Postby stapes » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:42 am

hey all. thanks a million for getting back to me. the professor said that my diagnosis was based around my symptoms, four white lessions on my MRI and the fact that the VER (i think thats what its called) showed up my eye has having slow messages from my eyes to my brain. i also have cramps in my legs and arms and am really tired all the time. my eye has more or less cleared up now so it just getting used to this gluten free diet, beiing off the cigarettes and trying to look after myself better. the prof said she was 95% sure it was MS and the lumbar puncture was just a formality. Once thats done i start on the injections. im wondering if they will reverse the diagnosis if the lumber puncture is clear but i also know that they wouldnt have given me a diagnosis unless they were sure. in a way its a relief because i know what im dealing with. im determined to live a normal life. i just feel so confused and worried that the lumbar puncture might show that i have a worse strain of MS then what the prof had advised. she was very positive so far and thats whats keeping me positive. im only 34 - god i never thought id have to worry about my health at this stage. but i am so determined to keep positive. i cant let this beat me...
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