When I went in for my 3rd c section I felt like a veteran with regards to the process and was not concerned in the least about anything going wrong.
However a day or two post-surgery I was still sitting with what I would term a very bad headache it wasn’t what I would classify as a migraine although I do have a high pain threshold, I knocked it off to breastfeeding and tiredness as it tended to go away when I lay down which is most of what you do in the hospital anyway.
However when I got home and in the month post my c section the headaches started to get worse and became migraines to the point where I just wanted to scream after being up and about for several hours each day, this pain would ease off after a few hours of lying flat though so I tried to ignore it as best I could but eventually I couldn’t take it anymore the migraines were making my life with my baby miserable and difficult and I had two other monkeys to run after I couldn’t be man down on the couch for even half a day most of the time I had to go on with life as per normal which post c section was usually very easy for me to do and I did manage but the headaches and migraines continued to persist as I got more and more active.
So I called up my gynea and she sent me strait on to a neurologist; which is stinkin scary on its own although not the first time I had been to one.
I went through my history with him and he trumped it up to stress or hormones as in truth I had been suffering with hormonal headaches since the age of 15.
I told him this was different and that it would ease when I lay down for a while but he insisted that it was most likely the cause and sent me home with strict orders to cut out caffeine and dairy, to rest etc which I did to no avail, then I was prescribed caffeine tabs to see if that would help but nada, eventually I was booked into the maternity unit to see if he could find the cause and whilst there several of the nurses insisted that I was experiencing spinal migraines which occur in up to 40 % of people who undergo a spinal tap or spinal anaesthesia.
During spinal anaesthesia, medication is injected into your spinal canal to numb the nerves in the lower half of your body. If spinal fluid leaks through the tiny puncture site, you may develop a spinal headache.
Now most spinal headaches or migraines do resolve on their own within a matter of hours or days but sometimes they don’t and the puncture within your spinal canal continues to leak fluid as you stand and walk about through your day however when you lay down the fluid fills up again meaning the headaches will ease up and go away for that period.
When I told the neurologist what the nurses had said he insisted it was very unlikely etc and after many hours of pysio and countless treatments which he only implemented after I left hospital even though the purpose of being booked in was due to me only having a hospital plan and only being covered in hospital, and by this time I was starting to get just a little bit irate to say the least.
So I called my gynea again and she called the neurologist quite upset who then in turn contacted my anaesthetist who was more than happy to hear what I had to say although sorry that I had gone on with it for so long without help.
It was conformed that I most likely was experiencing spinal migraines and I was booked for a procedure known as a blood patch within a week.
A blood patch is a procedure whereby they draw blood from you and then inject it into the spinal column, this is supposed to seal up the puncture and the results should be almost instantaneous if the diagnosis was correct.
So a week later I went into theatre for this procedure which is not pleasant I will tell you that much but afterwards the relief was incredible, and my anaesthetist was great very understanding and helpful.
A week later I went for a follow up with the neuro and received a rather hefty bill for that appointment which I out rightly refused to pay and I refuse to go to that doctor every again, I was incredibly angry that my sons first few months were marred by an experience that could have and should have been corrected rather quickly.
I urge all women who experience headaches post any spinal anaesthesia to please report it to your doctor as soon as possible if it is this it is not something that should be left unattended if it is still an issue after a day or two.