Earlier this week I went for a lumbar puncture. The procedure was undertaken by a specialist nurse and that reassured me as I guessed she would be very experienced. It was an absolute nightmare, far worse than anything I'd expected and I'd like to know if my experience is common.
She refused to allow my husband into the room, even though I told her I was nervous and would have been reassured by his presence. He is a GP so used to things medical.
She repeatedly hit a bone in my back and needed NINE attempts to get to the spinal fluid. I have a huge purple / black bruise around the area where she was inserting the needle and my back is stiff and sore. I've had an awful headache ever since and feel rotten.
I am just so angry with myself. I would never have allowed anyone to attempt to take blood from one of my children so many times without success. Whenever blood was needed from them I 'allowed' three attempts before asking for someone more experienced. I don't even allow my vet more than three attempts on my dog!!! Yet I felt so vulnerable I put up with this woman's treatment without a word of complaint.
She said she needed a blood sample to go with the CSF and her efforts with this were equally botched. She used a butterfly needle in the back of my hand but didn't keep hold of it so it swung, breaking the vein and causing a huge lump of blood to form under my skin. This has now dispersed but the bruise covers most of my hand. She eventually got some blood from the other arm, saying that it was 'my' fault as I must have low blood pressure. I hope she was simply having a very bad day and that other patients don't have to tolerate her lack of skills.