I have Chronic pain due to degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and myofascial pain syndromes, three spinal surgeries etc. Recently I developed Neuropathy and it is in my feet and left thigh due to a gluten sensitivity. I was unable to walk for more than 5 min without severe pain and numbness. I’m unable to take arthritis medication it tears my stomach up, allergic to codeine and morphine. The last fibromyalgia medication was too expensive for me to continue. I do have one pain medication and muscle relaxers but it makes me a true bitch and more forgetful than I can tolerate.
Anyway on my second trip for a radio ablation Oct 2015 to my neck and shoulders I asked my pain clinic doctor about Spinal cord stimulator’s for neuropathy. My Dr said he has had great success with them for that, did I want to do a trial, you bet I did.
So after a bit of a paperwork screw up I started the trial on Dec 28th for a week. They were just starting to use a controller that is on an Ipod, It used to be a pad you held over the generator and looked over your shoulder to use, awkward . It was the best week I have had in a long, long time. Our Grand baby decided to be born during that time and I walked all over the hospital, stood with our son in law while she was born. No way could I have done that without the stimulator. Wanted to drag the son in law out of the room for a bit and he showed me where the cafeteria was located, seemed like a mile. Mission hospital in Asheville is spread out in different buildings, we were in G and the cafeteria was in A seemed like a mile total. No Pain!!! I could sleep with the covers on my feet and hips for the first time in about 2 years! my back and hip pain was much reduced. So yeah I wanted one of these permanently.
On Monday the trial was over 😦 I wanted to keep the trial going until they could do the permanent one! They said I would be scheduled either Friday (Jan 8th ) or two weeks from Friday. They warned me that with the insurance company the way they are, that it would probably be in two weeks but that they would try they would call Thursday. Well it was 3:30 pm Thursday I figured oh well two more weeks, damn but ok. So we went to Michaels and Walmart. I’m slowly wandering around Michaels when my cell rang it was on for Friday and I did all my pre op questions in the isles of Michaels.
Talking to all the people before the procedure Dr Baksh came to talk to me. I checked before this and he does tons of these, twice a month all day long. I told him the only thing I was worried about were the restrictions afterwards. He dropped his pen and bent over at the waist, me ” I know that I can’t do that after surgery” he laughed and I think dropped his pen again. lol. Then the anesthetist came in and asked me where I was having pain. I told him, with Dr Baksh still in the room, to ask rather where wasn’t I having pain and that would be my forehead. Heard my pain management Dr groan in the background. He said he would keep me under then wake me up in the middle then back under again to test to see if they had the placement right. I don’t remember much after that or waking up, I think they pre-medicated me a bit. lol Also Dr Baksh has one patient who has three of these for the three different areas they cover.
I have one of the silver generators and the smaller tablet, the generator is implanted under the skin.
So it has been over six weeks and I have been working on the settings and seeing what I can and can’t do. Still have some swelling over the generator but they say that is normal for a couple of months. The battery isn’t one you can re charge but it should last about 6 years or maybe less. The generator also is a bit bigger than the ones they usually use but it has the ipod for now and I love the ipod function for this. I can shop! get groceries, walk, sleep in bed without my feet and hip hurting, less back pain, no hip pain. If the company develops this more and gets a smaller generator with Ipod I may check into getting a trial for the upper part of me..
These are some pictures of the pages on my SCS app. These come up after the ipod is connected by bluetooth to the generator. The first picture one is the program page I think I have 6. I use smooth and legs most. When I walk any distance I crank the leg # up as far as I can tolerate and no thigh pain. Sometimes if my back is bothering me I will use the strong program. the middle one is to adjust the strength if feels like a tingly sensation, I adjust it so that if I am resting I can’t really feel it but when I walk there is a buzzing?tingling feeling and I crank it to where it works. The last one is the areas page .This one I have been adjusting and using quite a bit. The Dr and rep said while healing things would settle and may change and this is where I can really fine tune it. I have found that if I have the back area turned up and there is swelling over the generator I have to turn it down.
Guess the whole point of this is to never stop trying or never give up. There are new horizons out there, new ideas, new gadgets. Thank God I thought the neuropathy was going to do me in.