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Catherine's Epidural Headache and Blood Patch Story

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Catherine's Epidural Headache and Blood Patch Story

Probably the day after the birth of my second child I experienced the epidural headache. The anesthesiologist who administered the epidural was between c-sections (I was not having a c section). it happened rather quickly. When the headache came I was still in the hospital so I didn't notice it much since I was mostly lying down. When I did notice it I tried hospital strength pain killers but they did not help. I thought they were helping because I would lie down in the hospital bed but later realized they were not helping. I went home like this still undiagnosed.

At home I realized something was very wrong. I called my Obgyn who mentioned epidural headache and asked me to call the anesthesiologist department at the hospital where I delivered. I called and they ran through a list of questions and confirmed my diagnosis. They told me I could wait it out and see if it healed on its own or come in for a patch. I thought I would try waiting it out. That lasted about 1 day and I thought – why in the world endure this pain when I know there is a fix? So they asked me to go to the ER during business hours.

 The admitting nurse asked me the severity of pain on a scale of 1-10 and I think I picked 10. I can handle pain but this was very bad. Two anesthesiologists attended me. One was to draw blood from my arm and the other to inject into my back. Well one of the doctor’s hands was so shaky the other doctor had to administer the whole procedure. I lied down for about an hour and I when I got up I was back to normal.


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