I have a Medtronic Intrathecal Pain Pump. Mine was implanted June 05 and I have never regretted it. I know all about the potential for infections, but my pain dr is very strict on pump refills being done on time, actually I have a pump nurse that does all of my refills and let me tell you, she could not get anymore sterile than what she is as far as I am concerned.
A pocket was made in my abdomin high on the right side. I did have an incision made in my back where the tiny catheter was fed around to my pump. Nothing is exposed, everything is under the skin. Most peeps can't tell by looking at me that I have something implanted in the front.
I was first given Morphine in my pump (doc forgot I don't tolerate Morphine) and did not do well. Then I was put on what I call a cocktail of Dilaudid, Sufenta, and 2 other drugs. I have done very well with this combination. The key to a pump is finding the right drug or set of drugs, then getting your dose correct. They do start you at a low dose because you are getting the drugs in a concentration form versus pill form, which is a huge difference. You should be given an oral pan med for BT pain. I rarely ever take one, I do much better taking a muscle relaxer because the pain is due to terrible muscle spasms in my low back. This is usually from doing way too much.
I became a candidate for the pump because I do not tolerate medications oral meds well at all. I would either have a full blown reaction or the side effects would get me. I had so much pain in different parts of my body that my dr told me no way could oral meds handle all of it. I also have other health problems going on that alot of the orals meds screwed with.
I would tell anyone that is in need to at least give it a try. It may be for you or it may not. Just like medications it make work for you, but if I took it, it may do nothing for me. You do a trial with the pump to see if its going to work or not. When I did the trial I thought I had died & gone to heaven because all of a suddren I was not in excruiating pain, it was awesome. You are also required to do physchological testing prior to having a pump implanted. Even with a pump we are never totally pain free, but I feel as close to pain free as I will ever get. It has given me life back. No watching the clock to take more pills, no roller coaster ride waiting for the pills to kick in.
As for the first person that responded to you, I am not sure I understand what he was saying about a tip being kept clean and something to clean it in the back?????
If you think of any questions I will try to help in any way. Susie