I'm starting to think this is going to be a million part story. But, I really want to capture this whole event so I can go back to it years from now when things seem bad.
The weekend came and went. Unfortunately, Mere had her embryo transfer on Friday afternoon leaving us both on bed rest for 48 hours. Fortunately, we are blessed with an incredible network of friends and family who stepped up and took care of the girls (and us). It really is amazing how many people come out of the woodwork when the going gets rough. It made us both realize that we are at home here, this is where we belong, these are OUR people.
Monday morning came and we were back at the med center. Before they started a woman came in the room and said, "I need you to sign this paper saying that you will pay for this procedure if your insurance doesn't because we don't have preapproval on this yet." I said, "NO!" and she left. This time, Dr. VH did the stick and it was 100 million times BETTER. In fact, the stick wasn't even painful. When he ran the dye up my spine that hurt, a lot. But, it was fast and I knew it was coming. They got me through the scanner and into recovery. While I was laying there, my phone rang, it was Dr. H's office (the previously mentioned neurologist). The person on the other end was calling to inform me that insurance had approved the CT of the spine but not the brain, blah, blah, blah, blah...so on and so forth. Basically, I told her that we would have to deal with it later and that they were repeating this whole mess because Dr. H had messed up in the first place. Luckily, Dr. VH heard about all of this and put an abrupt end to it...no charge...leave her (me) alone. We were thinking that we would be there all day again for multiple scans, but no so. Dr. VH came into the room with the characteristic, "I have good news and bad news. The leak is really big. I can't tell exactly where it is but I think I can get them to the right region." Ohhhh, ok.
After a few phone calls and some more discussion the anethesiology resident showed up in recovery. She was working with Dr. G (anethesiologist) and he was going to do a blood patch. Dr. G and Dr. VH spoke and decided to put the patch in the region of T3-T7. Off to the procedure room we went. Again, I was face down on the fluoro table while Dr. G (well, his resident) guided the needle into my spine. They hit a nerve, I jumped, and they had to pull out and start at a lower position. Once they got the spot and threaded the catheter up my spine, the nurse went to draw blood from my hand. "Are you a hard stick?" she asked. "No," I said. Ok, well, at least I never knew I was a hard stick until that moment. So, I'm on my stomach with a needle in my back and my hand hanging off the table. 3 sticks with an 18 gauge needle later, they got blood. Dr. G slowly put the blood into my spinal column (a blood patch) and told me to tell him when the pressure became pain. After about 18cc's of blood, it became painful. They pulled out the needles and let me sit up, slowly. The difference was amazing. There was still some pain, but NOTHING like what I had been feeling. I could move my neck around without pain and I could sit up without feeling like my head was going to explode. No nausea, no ringing in my ears, yeah!!!! They watched me in recovery for awhile and sent me home with instructions for "taking it easy" for a few days. I went home that night and stuck mostly to the sofa. The next day, I took a shower, a LONG one. By the time I was dressed, the headache and nausea were back, so was the fear. Long story short, I was put back on strict bedrest for 2 weeks.