Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Headache

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Headache Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

My Spinal Headache Story: Risk Realized in Repeat C-Section

By Christine Jeffries
 
Rate This

I promised myself when I suffered a spinal headache and the eventual cure of it, I would someday write about my experience.

When delivering babies via C-Section, an epidural or spinal block must be administered to ensure a pain-free delivery. There are risks, but in my opinion, it works. I gave birth to two babies, one after receiving an epidural and another after spinal block.

The trouble I had was in the spinal block. The second baby was a planned c-section. It was easy in that I hopped up on the surgical table, assumed the balled-up position, and the anesthesiologist administered the drugs to numb my lower extremities and abdomen. In passing the needle through my short spinal cavity, the membrane holding precious spinal fluid was nicked.

I didn’t know until after the procedure when I experienced the most intense migraine I have ever had in my life. And I’ve had migraines. I get migraines with nausea if I don’t eat regularly, and sometimes with my period or when under a lot of stress. But this headache was unlike any I had ever experienced.

The migraine turned into an almost audible thudding in my ears when I stood up to shuffle ten paces to the restroom. Anyone who’s delivered a baby knows that first walk to the restroom after delivering is no picnic to begin with. My symptoms worsened as the day progressed. I had nausea and I was dizzy lying down, which also was worse when I stood up.

I distinctly remember listening to the University of Kansas Final Four tournament game and praying I could just fall asleep so I could turn the pain in my head off. No medication helped my condition. By the end of the second day in the hospital, the nurses started to talk of something called a Spinal Headache. Here’s more info, in case you’ve never heard of it:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spinal-headaches/DS00643

The morning of the third day, the nurse asked the anesthesiologist to visit me and determine if they thought I had a spinal headache. She took a calculated look at me and listened to my symptoms and determined that was what was going on.

Add a Comment8 Comments

dr a k garg

yes it is true in spinal the headache is inevitable, while in epidural the headache is nil, reason is in epidural the dura is not punctured so csf does not leak,
if a wheel is raised epidural will not cause any pain.

December 15, 2011 - 6:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Although this post was a few years ago now, i just wanted to say that i too had a spinal headache for 10 days after having my twins. I had a spinal block, i was told the risk of a Post dural puncture (spinal) headache was less with a spinal block than an epidural as the epidural needle is much bigger.... but go figure i still got it! it was the worse 10 days of my life, especially being told i have to lay down (which did make me feel better but..) I JUST HAD TWINS! how on earth was i meant to stay laying down for 10 days! I choose not to have the blood patch, but was advised if it hadnt gone within two weeks to return and have the proceedure done.

December 4, 2011 - 4:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I just found this post and wanted to say that I suffered from the excruciating pain of an epidural headache for three months before being finally fixed with a blood patch. Please read my story at http://www.epidural.net/epiduralheadache.htm

April 13, 2011 - 11:12pm
Christine Jeffries (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a horrible pain. I can personally attest to that. I'm glad the nurses took me seriously and made my anesthesiologist come back in my own case.
Take care
-Christine

April 14, 2011 - 7:43am
dr a k garg

My patients never had any headache after epidural anaesthesia, Headache is very common in the spinal anaesthesia.
epidural anaesthesia is a bit difficult to place the needle in space, while spinal space is easy to locate
Headache persist for ten days.
don't hesitate for further any qeryy on my email.

April 8, 2010 - 1:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

i am going on 7 days with a spinal headache. it started after a routine lumbar epidural injection that i recieve monthly with breaks every 3 months. i literally cannot sit or stand upright. i have been confined to laying flat on my back and gorging myself with mountain dew for caffeine! my doctor insisted that he did not puncture that membrane but my symptoms prove differently. this is the absolute worst pain i have ever experienced. in the past 6 days i have gotten out of bed maybe 4 times for the restroom. it shouldnthave to be so difficult to get a doctor (the dr. who did this to me in the first place) to listen and take action sooner than 7 days later. my husband has called almost every day to explain my symptoms are worsening. finally this morning the dr.'s nurse scheduled me for a blood patch tomorrow. i have my fingers crossed that it will work. i havee been terrified of what this could be doing to my body and the pain is worse than anything i could have ever imagined! i pray that i will be healed tomorrow.

sarah cain

January 26, 2010 - 4:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I also had a spinal headache! I didn't have it right away though it was 3 or fours days after I had my little girl! I couldn't sit up at all it was too painful! I had tingling sensations running down my arms and was very dizzy! We finally went to the hospital and the wait was 4 and half hours and they sent me home saying it was stress! Nope I dont think stress hurts you that bad! After two days passed my mom called my doctor and he told me to immediately get back to the hospital and that he would call them! So I was there for maybe 5 minutes and they had me in the back getting a blood patch.... After getting the blood patch it felt better right away!

July 29, 2009 - 11:03am
Kristin Davis

I just had a spinal tap last week, and one of the symptoms I had to watch out for afterwards was the possibility of a spinal headache. I'd never heard of this before, and I'm glad to see your article about it so that more people are aware that it can happen after a procedure like an epidural or spinal tap.

July 28, 2009 - 9:58am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1895 Health

Changed

784 Lives

Saved

652 Lives
10 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

What do you do when you get a headache?:
View Results