When I opened my eyes, I felt so warm and cozy. I was swaddled like a newborn baby in soft warm blankets. I also felt a strange sensation on my lower legs, which I found out later was an electric massager to ensure I didn’t develop blood clots.
My mom and nurse were in the room, and I asked them when I was getting an x-ray (that was the last thing I remembered hearing before I passed out).
The nurse chuckled and said I had an x-ray about 45 minutes ago.
I guess I lost a chunk of time!
That night, I was made to walk. I thought the nurse was crazy, but I understood how important it was to get my blood flowing. C-section pain is no joke!
The next couple of days were a haze of visitors, nursing, hugging my little girls, and taking painful slow walks in the halls. However, I noticed that I was dealing with a headache that increasingly got worse.
By the end of the second day, I was in tears. The pain was absolutely unbearable! When I sat up, it felt like my head would explode. The only relief I got was when I lied down in bed, but then it felt like my head was underwater. My ears buzzed, and I felt off.
I was so grateful to have a healthy baby boy, but I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even enjoy him.
The doctor came in to examine me, and she explained that I was experiencing a spinal headache. She said the epidural must have pricked my spinal column and caused a microscopic leak of cerebrospinal fluid. It probably happened during the mad rush of putting me upside down and then wheeling me into surgery (all while I had the epidural needle in my back).
My options were to wait it out, drink lots of fluids, and increase my caffeine intake for up to TWO WEEKS, or get a spinal patch, which could possibly give me immediately relief.
I was in so much pain, I didn’t hesitate at all! Spinal patch it was! The doctor explained the procedure to me, but I didn’t even pay attention – I just wanted a chance to get rid of this massive headache!
Within 30 minutes, I was put on a gurney and wheeled into the OR. Once there, two nurses sat me up and one drew blood from my arm. Once the blood was drawn, the anesthesiologist came in and had the nurses hold me down on each side as I sat up and hunched over.
I started to become tense at the realization that there was no going back. Also, the fact that the nurses had to hold me down was alarming. They told me it was to ensure I didn’t move at all because my blood was going to be inserted into my spinal column with a syringe.
The idea is that the blood platelets would seal the hole in the spinal column that was causing the leak.
As the needle went in, I thought I would die. I let out a scream, and the nurses gripped me hard. Within seconds, it was over. The doctor told me to wait a little bit and then lift my head up slowly.
I couldn’t believe it – the excruciating pain was 100% gone! I was one of the lucky ones who got immediate relief from the spinal patch.
I’m sharing this story to put this information out there. I felt like some kind of anomaly when it happened to me, but it turns out, it’s not that uncommon.
To learn more about spinal headaches click here.