Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fortnightly Update #31: A CT Myelogram and Back Again

First off, I'm alive. Secondly, when they tell you you might get a headache from a lumbar puncture, believe them. I'll expand more on that in the In My Life section, but it's safe to say a benign sounding miserable headache has kept me from doing what I normally like to do- blogging.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

None! (I seriously don't get out enough to get more for my pile.)

the-invisible-pile Additions:

Lots! (To make up for my pile's lack of additions, maybe?)

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
My friend was obsessed with this poet in grade school, so I thought it might be interesting to know a bit more about her.

The Wild Irish: A Novel of Elizabeth I and the Pirate O'Malley by Robin Maxwell
Another nonfiction, but this one about a queen and a pirate- which, I hope is interesting enough to keep my attention.

To Honor You Call Us (Man of War #1) by H. Paul Honsinger
I bought both the Kindle and digital audio of this book because at the time they were under $4 (and my eyes have been having a lot of trouble, so audio may help me read a bit more). I like a good sci-fi and I loved the narrator.

Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1) by Max Gladstone
I bought the first five books in this series, because as a set they were $12. I tend to go on urban fantasy binges and I hate when I don't have the next book in a series and have to pay too much for it.

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
I think someone, somewhere mentioned this book in connection to the Innkeeper Chronicles as having a similar storyline, so I got it once the price went down to $1. I like the Innkeeper Chronicles so I hope I'll love this one.

Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-tales from the Gulf States by Zora Neale Hurston, Carla Kaplan, and John Edgar Wideman
La La @ La La in the Library mentioned this one was on sale to me, which was perfect timing, as I had just run out of Zora Neale Hurston books to read on my Kindle. So far I've read her autobiography and Their Eyes Were Watching God- the latter being my favorite.

Currently Reading:

I just finished a historical romance, which means I need a less fluffy book next. Luckily, I have a surplus of non-fluffy books to choose from.

Finished These Books:

This was seriously cute- I read it start to finish last night when I was having trouble sleeping. I have got to say, Tessa Dare's writing isn't always for me- most of her Spindle Cove series turned me off, but this one isn't like the others that I recall.

I forgot I read this until I looked at my Goodreads profile- that's how much of an impression this book made on me. The beginning was nice, but the ending was a hot mess of wishful thinking gone awry. The author didn't know how to solve the problems with the plot, so they basically just magically vanished. Don't do that, please. I could've liked this book, but again, the ending!!!

China Dolls by Lisa See
I liked this one, though not as much as some others of Lisa See's- it's a nice historical fiction about three girls trying to make it as entertainers/dancers. I was actually anxious to write a review about it because it was so interesting.

This book was perfect for my mood a while back- satire is perfect for when I start to feel blah, because it reminds me other people have felt blah too, but managed to write clever books.

In My Life: (CT Myelogram- An Unenviable Experience/Novel)

Before you get a CT Myelogram (which is basically a lumbar puncture, but with dye added back into your spine), doctors will warn you of the possibility of developing a headache after the procedure. You will scoff at the doctor ("You really don't think I've had a headache before, buddy boy?") and sign the consent form without a single qualm. You put on a patient gown made of a vintage tablecloth gone terribly wrong, get into a clean room with a weird machine that shows the doctor where exactly to needle you at, and lay down on your side. First, the anesthetic (which is mostly lidocaine, apparently) is injected where they plan on needling you in your lower spine. I kind of lost track of what the heck was happening after that, because I started going all weird-faint-y like I normally do with medical procedures, but I can tell you the lumbar puncture itself doesn't hurt (at least not for me).

Once they presumably took some of my CSF out and put the dye in its place, they tilted the table I was on a bit to distribute the dye, then helped me on a gurney to go to the CT scan room. CT scans are a cinch compared with an MRI because they don't take long at all (I was once stuck in an MRI for an unGodly amount of time because I moved once and I needed a full spine scan), but I suppose if you can't stay still they might be torturous. After I got scanned, I went back on the gurney and was put in a spare ultrasound room for an hour because they wanted to scan me again an hour later. I went into the CT machine again after the hour was up (CT machines are a bit like a giant donut you get slid into, in case you were wondering, but without the fun sprinkles and calories), and the nurses and/or radiology assistants said I'd pretty much be good to go after.

That didn't happen.

Basically me, stuck in the hospital, sans squirming

As it happens, you need a neuroradiologist's thumbs up before you get to go after your CT myelogram. My neuroradiologist was a bit busy in that clean room I mentioned, but with another patient. If you've seen medical shows, you know you can just go in and out of a clean room if you're a doctor and happen to be "scrubbed in". So instead of being free to go, I was stuck on the gurney. The poor overworked nurse I had had to squeeze me into a curtained-off equipment closet by the neuroradiology waiting room, leaving me to eavesdrop on everyone passing by. Even in my semi-out-of-it state (I'd been up for more than 24 hours because insomnia is my thing) I knew I'd been in that semi-private closet for a while when I heard the nurse talking to someone else. "The outpatient's been here for over an hour."

It took an extra hour for me to get out of the hospital because of logistical issues, but eventually they let me dress back in normal clothes and leave. I didn't have a headache, but I did have to endure a two hour car trip back home in a semi-reclined state before getting into my usual bed. The next day my back felt like crap, but again, my head felt okay, so I assumed I hadn't gotten the side effect. But late into the day, my head started throbbing. I've spent the last four days laying down because the headache gets really bad if you're even just sitting up. I'm so grateful I live with my mom because otherwise I likely wouldn't have even eaten, and George the cat would've had to pillage the cupboards like he sometimes does to feed the dogs.

Long story short/TL;DR: the CT myelogram procedure doesn't hurt, but you might hurt after. And by the headache side effect, they actually mean an invisible person pounding your head with a mallet every time you sit upright, not your run of the mill headache.

Tomorrow I get my EMG and nerve conduction, along with a follow up appointment to divulge all my test results in Salt Lake City. I'm excited, but also nervous because I have no clue what they'll end up doing with me (or if there's anything they can do to help me).

On another note, my blog is almost three years old and I have nothing planned yet. I guess that's what happens when bloggers' reach their tortuous threes (and discover the carpal tunnel syndrome they thought they had last year wasn't actually carpal tunnel syndrome).

Happy reading!


  1. Whew, it sounds like you've had quite the eventful past two weeks! Crossing my fingers that the results are helpful from the tests :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. It kind of was! ;)

      Well, the test results weren't helpful exactly (normal for EMG, and no adhesions for my CT myelogram- which is good!) but I get to see another specialist for neuromuscular disorders now, so maybe it helped narrow it down? I'm glad they're able to get me in to the specialists so quickly because I'm in their system, which is nice- my next appointment is in May.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura! And stop by my blogiversary giveaway if you like gift cards!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. You've had to endure so much as of late. I hope that headache is gone now. It probably didn't feel "benign" as much as it hurt. Hopefully you will get answers soon.

    I really want to give Max Gladstone's series a try. Way Station sounds really good too. You got some good deals!

    Take care of yourself and have a good rest of the week.

    1. Yeah, it was gone by the time I was able to type this up. It was one of those that initially you think you can tolerate, but worsens with every minute sitting upright, so blogging was out for me.

      I'm excited to read Max Gladstone's series- especially because he didn't seem afraid to diversify his characters. I'm reading Way Station right now and it reads like it's very ahead of its time (it was published in 1964) which is always a nice thing.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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