August – September 2010 Issue

I speak from experience, and House owes it to its viewers to depict lumbar puncture and its aftermath a bit more realistically. Let me put it this way: I recently saw an episode from a few years ago where an ex-patient shows up and, with no explanation, shoots House several times with a rather large handgun. And my first thought was “I bet they gave that guy a spinal tap.”

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4 comments on this post.
  1. Topi:

    Au contraire. It’s not that they took the fluid, but because the hole is still open. While the hole they made is still open the fluid will seep out into your tissue when you stand up and this will expose the top of the spinal cord and cause the headache.

    If the hole is closed immediately, using blood patch, the headaches stop immediately.

    First time the operation was done to me I had to kiss my ass so that they could get the needle in. I have a friend who is anesthesiologist and he suggested that I ask the blood patch. The doctor treating me didn’t like to be told what to do and so she declined, gave me coffein pills and sent me home on friday. Monday morning I went back to the hospital and asked for the blood patch. Instaed of giving it to me immediately they put me on iv coffein solution. When that didn’t work I got the blood patch. The operation is easy. Some blood is drawn from you and injected into the same hole the punction was done. The blood coagulates and closes the hole.

    I sued the doctor and was given compensation for unnecessary pain.

    After that I’ve had have the operation done three times more and got the blood patch immediately afterwards.

  2. admin:

    You’re right, of course. I was being a bit facetious. I actually had the procedure done four years ago and had forgotten about the blood patch. The guy who did it, Dr. Rammohan at the OSU MS Clinic (great doc, now retired), had done so many of them that it was over very quickly and didn’t hurt at all. By the time the headache developed, I was at home 50+ miles from the clinic, so returning would have been difficult (and I wouldn’t take a dog to the “hospital” near us). If I ever have it done again, I’ll ask about it right then.

  3. Carol the Dabbler:

    Unsolicited Suggestion: I cannot speak from personal experience, thank Heaven, but once heard a talk by a former MS sufferer whose rather advanced case (with frequent wheelchair days) cleared up when she switched to an all-raw diet. Last I heard, she was teaching aerobics.

    If that piques your interest, but you’re not ready to dump your kitchen range, let me point out that just about anybody can benefit from adding a green smoothie to their regular daily diet (for examples, see

  4. Gordon Schumacher:

    As a recent reader, I didn’t know you had MS; an ex of mine was diagnosed with it while we were involved. There was some new medication which was in the last phase of clinical trials, and apparently it worked wonderfully – it apparently is supposed to stop the symptoms from worsening. The catch is that if you *stop* taking it, then the symptoms progress to where they would have been had you never taken it… so there was a class-action suit (settled out of court) to ensure that the patients who were in the clinical trials whose financial/insurance situation would not allow them to continue to get the medication would have it provided to them.

    Don’t remember what the stuff was called off-hand, but I could find out if you’re interested.

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