next step lumber puncture!!!

ok secretary just phoned to say letter on its way but consultant would like to do a lumber puncture! now I’m terrified, has anyone had one and has anyone got advice? but not like horrible birth stories!

Hi Coco, I found it a breeze. Just a sharp scratch for the local anaesthetic and then some pressure low in your back. I hardly felt a thing. I also didn’t suffer from any headaches which can be what happens to some people. I lay flat for an hour afterwards and then went home. I hope it goes well for you. Don’t worry about it! Teresa xx

Hiya :slight_smile:

Yes I had my LP a cpl of weeks ago and there really isn’t anything to worry about, it was completely painless and only takes a few mins to do.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend the next 2 days laying in my bed doing nothing which was great ! The longer you can lay down flat the better I think, and drink plenty of full fat coke / coffee for the caffine, as this is what’s meant to ward off the headache that some, not all, ppl can suffer with.

For me there was no hint of a bad head, just a little tenderness where the needle had gone in the next day but really, nothing major at all and I felt absolutely fine so try not to worry and good luck !

Ness x

Hi Coco,

I will not go into detail and everybody reacts differently however my actual lumbar puncture went ok (the anaestetic needle is a bit sore). However I suffered with an horrendous headache the day after that lasted 9 days where I could not even sit up. I would suggest like Ness did that lying flat afterwards would be good. Ness is also correct with the caffeine as the only way after 9 days I got my headache to ease and go was by taking caffeine tablets as they shrink your blood vessels. These can be bought over the counter in any pharmacy and are only about £3 for 48 tablets! I just wanted to say that as no one told me and I could have recovered much quicker if I had known about the tablets! Hope yours goes well and just remember it will be worth it if it gets you the diagnoses as being in limboland is so hard.

Shona x

Hi Coco,

Great news you’re getting a lumbar puncture. Just to pass on what I WISH I had known!

My lumbar puncture wasn’t scheduled, they just sent me straight from MRI as they saw something on the screen. So I basically got given a doctor who hadn’t done that many before, and boy, did it show. So my advice would be, ask how many they have done and if you’re not comfortable, ask for someone else. The doctor took over one and a half hours (honestly) to do mine, kept on hitting the bone, but by the time he was ready to give up, I was just determined to get it over and done with. Luckily, after all that, it was positive.

i was then sent home after twenty minutes. No advice about headaches, etc. So, PLEASE do drink loads of coke and coffee and lie flat for at least an hour afterwards to avoid the headache from hell. Really don’t want to scare you, just learn from my mistakes! I went straight back to work then collapsed with pain, and it lasted over a week. So easily avoided.

Because yours is planned, you should be fine and loads of people sail through them. Preparation is key! And take some time to chill and be pampered.

Thinking of you!



The actual procedure is not painful; in fact the only thing you feel is a scratch when the anaesthetic goes in. The actual removal of fluid is just a feeling of pressure if done properly. I must stress if done properly; do not let anyone practice on you insist on someone who is experienced.

It’s after you MAY get something called ‘the headache from hell.’ To cut down the chances of getting this you should lay flat for at least 3 hours do not even get up to go to the loo; use a pan. Drink at least 2 litres of classic Coke, not diet; it’s the caffeine that aids replenishment of your CNS fluid. Being your drinking a lot take one of those bendy straws otherwise the bed will get more Coke than you. If you want a change of drink very strong coffee.

These things will drastically reduce your chances of getting a headache that could last about 8 days. If you have a couple of days off work and rest if you do not get the headache, if you do 10 days off work.

If the headache last more than 10 days you could need a blood patch; especially if there’s a wet patch on the bed in the area of the spine after a nights sleep. See GP; this is rare.

Good luck.


Hi, mine was a bit of a nightmare and after several attempts I told her to stop, I only found out afterwards I was her first patient she had done one on . I went again and the doctor who did it was very experienced and it was over and done with quickly, a bit of a headache but lying down afterwards and cola seemed to help. Good luck and don’t be afraid to ask if they are experienced. Karen

Hi coco

I am glad to hear that you are getting further testing, hopefully all goes well.

Good luck

Claudette x

thank you everyone for the reassurance, this whole process is frustrating and stressful (as you know!) your support has kept me going. THANK YOU! :wink:

forgot to say thanks for tip on caffeine, been meaning to get new cafe-tier now I have a great excuse!

Next step LP for me too so I am watching this thread with interest :slight_smile:

I’m not worried about the LP but the headache after. My kids had best behave!

The worst bit for me was the backache. The consultant was brushing up on his skills and the nurse supported him. I know people say not to let them practise on you, but although it hurt I think that everyone has to learn. Who would have the ability to do it if everyone said no?

midnightmoon yes it’s the headache I’m bit scared of so off to get some nice coffee! Anon, although I agree that everyone has to learn, I did ask the secretary if I could have someone experienced! especially as come July there will be intake of new doctors! thanks Claudette I hope you also get your answers soon. anon I hope you don’t have to wait to long for results, keep us posted xxx

Most people recommend you drink loads of caffeine afterwards to avoid the headache, but if you suffer migraine, and find you can’t normally tolerate caffeine very well, take it from me, DONT DO IT! Just keep hydrated, lie down for an hour or two, and if you do get the headache, take your migraine meds (advice given to me when I was admitted to A&E several days after). If it doesn’t clear up after a day ot two, ring the doc, or the ward, as you may need a blood patch, which just seals any leaks which could be causing the headache. (By the way, if you do go down the coke route, it doesn’t have to be full sugar coke, diet is fine, as long as its not decaf! same goes for the coffee, obviously!) The prodedure itself was a doddle. Good luck x

thanks Hunny I just posted to you on midnight blues post! I will go for a little diet and lots of water. x