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is there a reason why the procedure did not deaden the area I was to have surgery on?
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In the hands of a good doctor, the lumbar puncture is fairly routine. Although there can be complications, they are unusual. the biggest problem with a dementia patient is understanding how important it is to cooperate with the instructions. It is more difficult if they can't follow instructions. I believe you might want to ask what they are looking for and what treatment would be planned if they find what they think it might be. All treatments are not appropriate for dementia patients. If I wouldn't opt for the treatment, I wouldn't do the test to get the diagnosis in the first place.
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My ME/CFS specialist does them to eliminate anything else before he makes a diagnosis of ME/CFS.
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I personally had a couple of them. I was having seizures and the doctor needed to check for something within the spinal fluid. I do not remember pain from it but I was scared and you have to lay very still in a tight fetal position while the fluid is removed. I too would want to make sure that it really needs to be done especially if the person is of diminished capacity and unable to follow directions. I am suspicious anymore of tests and of their necessity.
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If the person doing it is very capable in the procedure, there is nothing to worry about. My ME/CFS Specialist as done 100's, if not 1000's, and I had no problem with the two he has done on me. The only problems I had was not following instructions to remain flat for several days so the bubble from the spinal fluid removal has time to fill back up. If that bubble goes to your brain, you'll never forget the headache it gives you!
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My mother had a spinal tap about 3 weeks ago and the change was remarkable. She has normal pressure hydrocephalus. She will be having a brain shunt put in this Friday to constantly relieve the pressure. The spinal convinced her to seek the treatment that would continuously do what the tap did for a few days. She had no trouble with the tap and she is 83
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Thank you all so much. I am more relaxed about the procedure now.
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My father had one about 2 weeks ago. It was done in the doctor's office and I was in the room. It did not look fun but my dad indicated it wasn't too bad. He did not indicate any painful reaction to the procedure. Recovery was laying flat for a half hour or so. Instructions were to keep the area dry for 24 hours and to drink some caffeine (don't know why). Dad indicated no problems afterward and was fine the next day. He is 75 and is seeing a neurologist, having some trouble with leg weakness and the doc wanted to rule out certain things. Dad also had to have some blood drawn, which was sent to the lab in conjunction with the spinal fluid.
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I have had two in my life. Not the most comfortable things, but I did not have any trouble, other than not liking to have to lie on my back for hours. They are suppose to deaden the area before they do the procedure.
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Not quite the same but similar to the one women get during childbirth.
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What age loved one do you mean? My son had one as a child, I watched and there was no problem at all. They wanted to do one to my mom at 86 for hip surgery but her arthritis was so poor they couldnt and she had to have general anesthesia. It was to prevent her dementia from worsening from the anesthesia, which it sure did. Sometimes you have to have it, if they suspect meningitis or something, I wouldnt worry about it at all. Didnt many women used to have it during childbirth? good luck, just make sure its an experienced anestisist and not someone in training at the big hospitals.
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Yes. I watched as my husband writhed with tremendous pain on his face and he even yelled out. The hematologist/oncologist could not find out why he has a persistent anemia, so he thought a spinal tap would give some answers. It did not reveal anything abnormal, and my husband (who has a high level of pain threshold) does not EVER want one again. You do not say why a doctor wants to give a spinal tap, but if we had more information that would be helpful. Spinal taps are given to detect meningitis, leukemia, etc. We need more info.
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The spinal cord ends a few inches above the spot where the needle is inserted. Nerves branching off the spinal cord dangle loosely down through the thecal sac in what is called the cauda equina ("horse's tail"). Because the needle is inserted well below where the cord ends, there is almost no chance of cord damage or paralysis. Sometimes, the needle may brush against one of the nerves in the cauda equina, but this only causes damage in about 1 out of 1,000 people, and usually heals with time. More commonly you feel a brief electric twinge that goes down your leg. About 30% of people experience a headache but you will be advised to lay perfectly still on your back for an hour after the procedure. My husband did experience headaches for about 4 days after. Hope it helps good luck.
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That's kind of scary. What is the reason? If it's for diagnosis, how badly do they need the answer? Will treatment change?

If I needed one, I would want to be sure that the person who will do it has a LOT of experience. I think the worst usual side effect is a hell of a headache, but can there be permanent damage?
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