Like I was being crushed under gravities weight.
With unbearable pressure pulsating in my head was
the ache of struggling to console, barely in a position
to hold my newborn right. But if I didn’t lay flat,
the immense pain took me down within seconds;
melting to the floor, heart palpitating and
ears ringing unable to hear while upright.
A tiny hole,
I went in with a simple goal to soak—ease what I thought
was just labour pains away; hoped and prayed I’d
be functioning and have more mobility again.
Except, small leaks sink big ships—and there I was.
In the midnight quiet, captive in waters drawn for
relief. What began as a tiny peep became the
loudest noise I’d ever heard. At first, I was unsure,
stunned in disbelief and fearful of what was happening.
A tiny hole,
A struggle to get myself out and facing
Just 3 days old, my baby now outside
his first home, only steps away struggled to
breathe. Gasping and choking while it felt like
I was lost out at sea. It felt impossible combating
the pressure and the pain but I made it
to him with strength pulled from every atom
in my body; fought with
every fibre of my being while
Punctured. Suffering from a tiny hole
that had spinal fluid leaking.
A tiny hole,
that needed to close.
In 2019, I briefly mentioned in a blog post my two week experience with Lumbar/Post-Dural puncture headaches.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the epidural I was so thankful for would soon leave me in tremendous pain. The anesthesiologist punctured my lumbar and I was basically leaking spinal fluid in my body for almost 2 weeks while I suffered horrible spinal headaches, skyrocketing me to pain levels I never knew I could reach. This period of time was incredibly difficult but our newest addition was still quiet, calm and patient as he sensed my suffering with every feed, diaper change and cuddle.Once More, With Feeling
It was a pain I thought would never end. After doing research when we realized something was very wrong, my husband, newborn and I took a trip back to the emergency room to be seen. The wait time was an excruciatingly long waste of time (more than 3 hours of having to sit upright as I wasn’t given a bed to lay in) as the doctor told us that there was nothing to be done until a week or so had gone by. By that time, they may try another procedure to fill the puncture site that had a possibility of working. Until then, the only thing I could do was wait out the pain and take OTC medication for pain relief.
Thankfully, the puncture site healed itself and I was able to start fourth-trimester recovery.
Symptoms (provided by the Mayo Clinic, most of which I experienced):
- Dull, throbbing pain that varies in intensity from mild to incapacitating
- Pain that gets worse when you sit up or stand and decreases or goes away when you lie down
And often accompanied by:
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Hearing loss
- Blurred or double vision
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain or stiffness
For more information, visit here.
Lumbar/ Post-Dural puncture headaches affect 1 to 3 out of 100 women, and is something that I knew nothing of, of course, until it was affecting me.