Lumbar Puncture Headache

I write (or type) into my I-phone by the dim light coming in through the hall.

Sam’s been flat on her back in pain since Thursday.

All went well with the lumber puncture. At least that was what we thought at the time. Apart from the two hour delay because no one had ordered the necessary FFPs for the transfusion she needed to restore her platelet count. Oh, and that Sams file had gone missing! I suggested they’d locate it on level 4 in haemotology where Sam saw Greenwood on Wednesday. I was right! The radiologist wasn’t happy to go ahead with the LP until the transfusion was done.

Lovely Sue arrived in time for Sam to be wheeled down to level 2 by the orderly. We were able to wait by Sams side until everything was ready. We prayed with her as well and all was cool when we left to grab a coffee. My niece, Kate arrived soon after that and was there to hear how well it had gone. Straight ahead, no complications!

The rest of the day Sam slept fully peaceful from the sedation while I chatted to Kate and the nurses in 12a.

At 5.30pm, five hours after the LP, Sam sat up and felt pain in her neck and pins and needles down both arms. We waited for the doctor who after getting her to do a series of reflex type tests felt content to send us home.

We arrived home at 7pm after a long day and Sam decided on an early night. Grant was off work Friday so he arranged to take Sam for the routine 10 minute chemo push at the hospital and they planned a relaxing day together. I took the opportunity to take a casual day of teaching, a re-entry to my ‘normal’ life and the chance to earn money for shoes!

As I prepared to leave the house at 7.30am, Sam called me into her room. Unable to lift her head off the pillow and with shooting pains down her spine. I wondered suddenly if I’d done the right thing.

I phoned the hospital, filled them in and Grant came early so she could be seen to straight away…things went down hill since then.

And so we find ourselves in a private room in ‘aged care’. Sam has a ‘text book case’ of Post Lumber Puncture headache. She has been flat on her back since Friday morning in an attempt to get rid of it.

The neurosurgeon explained that when the needle left Sam’s spine the hole didn’t close. This causes fluid to leak from the brain. The MRI showed how Sam’s brain has sagged and now rests on the top of the spine. No wonder she is in pain.

Now we wait.If Sam didn’t have leukaemia it would be fixed with a blood patch but it’s too risky in her situation. I wait by her side so grateful to be the Mum of such a brave, Godly girl. Grateful to Emma and Jack for coping so well at home with Reid. Grateful to Reid for offering to drive out to bring us dinner but settling for cup a soup instead!

On Wednesday Sam has the last chemo treatment for this phase. A long day of fluid IV and chemicals! Not nice but it gets us to the next phase called Consolidation.

Tomorrow we’ll be told the date for the next bone marrow, either this week or next. So we wait, rejoicing that it comes to an end! That we’ll somehow be better, more equipped for life through all this. We count the blessings that cushion the journey. Visits, phonecalls, SMS, emails, twitters that remind us that people are praying and that we will make it! Stronger, enlarged, more compassionate!

Thanks for your continued interest in reading my blogs! It’s therapy for me even if you just skim for what you want to know!People tell me they want to know! So I continue to update you. God spoke to me so clearly the morning of January 28. He woke me with this verse ‘in Him I live and move and have my being.’ (Acts 17:28) I wrote it in my journal before I left for school that day. In the amplified it adds ‘he made from one origin all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth. Having definitely determined their allotted periods of time, the fixed boundaries of their habitations, so that they might seek God, and feel Him And find Him. He is not far from each one of us.’ As I considered that he ‘fixed’ it, I believe He will fix it. God holds us in the palm of His hand. As we seek Him, He is very close. In spite of all this frustration and pain and confusion, He is making a way for us. A highway in the desert! We determined a long time ago to live in Him and on that solid rock we stand.
Clare X

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