medtronic interthecal pump has to be replaced after only 2 years..

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pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/27/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I have read on some posts about the recalls on these pumps but today I checked my husbands serial number and his serial number was not one but his pump was in the ones being recalled and last week his pump started making the alarm sound..we went to have it checked today and medtronics was there and confirmed that it is not going to be working by Jan. 2 and now he has to go through another surgery to have it replaced..we were told that this should last at least 5 years as his other pump lasted 5 years and this only lasted 2 years and was suppose to be made better...it is really scary to think how many other people this might be happening to and no one knows about it...pain4you...

My husband just went through a cervical fusion in his neck and now he has to wait for that surgery to heal before they can do this one...

ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry to hear that. Extra surgeries are never any fun or good for the wallet! I hope your husband heals quickly and they can get this fixed quickly.

Take care,
Sarrah

Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4

_____________________________________________

 

Meds - vicodin : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E

____________________________________________

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/28/2008 3:52 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks..It is hard he has had so many back surgeries..he has had L5 S1 fusion that got infected by diarrhea after an overdose of morphine and he ended up with front brain damage so he does not drive and lives in chronic pain as they had to go in and clean out and debride his incision and cut so many nerve endings..that is why he needs the interthecal pump...then he ended up with osteomylitis from not taking the hardware out after having the infection...so another surgery in 2000..then he had a spinal chord stimulator put in and he still was in pain so in 2001 we had another surgery to put in the interthecal pump and in 2003 he was doing a study so we could get some Christmas money and he ended up with spinal meningitis and we almost lost him on the anniversary of the day he got the infection from the first hospital..it was horrible..I went home and was surfing the internet and a doctor from Milan, Italy wrote me back and he told me about two other patients like my husband and they ended up putting antibiotics in his pump and he survived the spinal meningitis without having to remove all his hardware and pumps...it was truly a medical miracle and that all stayed in until 2 years ago when we had to have them changed and we got all new pumps and stimulators...then last year his disk at L3-4 had to be fused so another surgery and he made it through that one...now this summer he was loosing strength in his left arm and could hardly move his arm so once again back to the neurosurgeon after all kinds of doctors wondering what is wrong now...he needed another fusion so on Oct 7 he had to have 2 disks fused and we made it through this one ..then last week his pump started beeping and I really thought it was the smoke alarm and he was just hearing things..we even took the batteries out of all the smoke alarms...lol then the phone even beeped as it was going dead...but then I heard it go off in my room and I knew it was his pump...so back to the doctor and another surgery...he has been through so much and he also has Post Traumatic Stress from the nightmare of the first surgery and all he went through in ICU so every time he goes in the operating room it is horrible...I really do not blame him for all he has gone through and he is on so many meds and then he is also now bipolar and depression along with the chronic pain so it is not an easy life to live...my girls have had to endure so much...then I just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis along with other problems...most of it is from the stress of 10 years of taking care of Kerry...but I married him for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health and we have done them all! hugs, pain4you....have a great day!
I know everything happens for a reason!

ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 10/28/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you are a loving and supportive wife! That, I think, is the best thing in the world for someone in pain and with BiPi. Sometimes we forget that those suffering need a little more love then usual and for him to have you to fall back on probably helps more then you will ever know and more then he could ever tell you!

Take care,
Sarrah

Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4

_____________________________________________

 

Meds - vicodin : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E

____________________________________________

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 10/28/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Pain4you,
As I was reading your posts, in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Everything
happens for a reason." As I reached the end of your second post I found those
very words in your last sentence.
I appreciate hearing what you have to say. I'm considering a pump and I'm very
afraid of them. Mostly I feel like a pump just wouldn't work for me.
You spoke of your husband having PTSD. I think that's interesting and I wonder
if he has a diagnosis. After what he's been through, he SHOULD have a diagnosis
so his doctors would know even more how to care for him.
And you? On top of your other problems, do YOU have PTSD. Most of my health
problems started with PTSD. (Diagnosed)
Glad to have you here in the Forum. To me it has become more meaninful in
my life as time goes on.
Pamela Neckpain

pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
yes he was diagnosed right away but I had no idea what it was...he would get so scared and in the hospital he would stand in the corner and cry..I was like what is wrong with my husband...he was never like that..it was the start of it..then when I brought him home he just kept crying..it was so scary..I told my mom to keep the girls as they were only 7,9 and 12 and I was 38 at the time..I had no idea what was wrong..he fell apart at home and I had no idea what was wrong..his neurosurgeon was the first to tell me he had PTSD...I thought it was something that would just go away on it's own but now 10 years later it still has not..I feel so sorry for people that live with it or live with people that have it as they have no idea what life is like..a certain smell can set it off or a room, or just anything....you have no idea..it does not happen as often now but for years it was horrible we could be eating in a restaurant and he would think he was hooked up to IV's and in ICU and dying...the worst part was we lost our lawsuit and they hired a guy from California to come and testify and they heard him tell that my husband was making this up..the guy never even saw my husband or interviewed him but it is everywhere in his records and documented so many times throughout the years..I have to let it go and just trust that someday the truth will come out but for now we live in chronic pain and it is not easy...I went to a support group today and I just cried as they just do not understand how something can just keep happening to one family but it has...I am glad I have faith and I can keep putting one foot in front of another and not let what others say get me down to bad...I never would have made it this far...we have not gone out to dinner in so many months..we didn't even go out on our anniversary at 25 years in August but I am taking him out for dinner tonight ...I thought about it today and was like we need to go out and just be alone...so thanks for writing back and I have to say I probably do have PTSD as I can go back to that ICU day just like him and all the things said to me just like it was yesterday...wish it would just leave us but that day will never go away because everytime he goes into an operating room they have to know his history and it all comes back and also for my daughters and all the surgeries they have had it all has to be told for them as it carries into their lives...hugs, pain4you!  Have a great night!  Will be back later... yeah

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Pain4you,
I don't know much about the pump, so I've not responded to your posts, but I do know a few things about PTSD from a professional standpoint. I'm not here giving professional advice, but there are some approaches which, when combined with medications and psychotherapy from someone trained to deal with PTSD, can be of some help. You and your husband have been through so much...and my guess is you're right, that you may have PTSD also. And yours may be easier to deal with.

The approaches I'm talking about are often called "alphabet therapies" like EMDR, TFT, EFT, etc. They're added to psychotherapy, so you need a licensed therapist who's had specialized training. PTSD is one of the areas where understanding the mind/body link is critical. Because the reactivity (to stimuli such as smells, etc.) is very biological and often cannot be treated with traditional talk therapies. Anyway, I thought I'd add this to suggest that the right type of treatment might help you and your husband regarding the PTSD.

PaLady

pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks...I go tomorrow to therapy and I will ask him about this...I appreciate it...I sometimes have felt this way but am thankful for putting it down here probably is what I needed as I have been through so much and then a trial that took place back in 07 that was horrible..it was a month long..and it was right after I had a back fusion as I had fallen on ice in 2001 and hit my neck and low back...so I have had to deal with my own pain and try to keep our home and life going as my daughters were growning up...it has not been an easy 10 years..now my neck is going and they want to do a fusion on my cervical and my arms have been frozen for the past 2 months..I have tears running down my face as I write this as it has probably been the most difficult time of my life..I have hardly been able to drive or sleep...last night was one of the first nights I have slept..as I ended up going to a Acpuncture doctor on Saturday and he adjusted my neck and did acupuncture ..he told me my disk had been sitting on the nerve...so that is why I have not been able to lift my arms..I  have been to about 10 specialists and they were looking at MS to everything else and no one looked at my cervical being the problem..it has just been a frustrating time and to go through my husbands surgery and now all of this and now knowing what I am facing and not going to be able to drive..I do have a lot on my plate...then they are changing my meds to cymbalta this week on top of all the other meds for pain they have me on...it is horrible...thanks for listening...hugs, pain4you!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/28/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
That's a good sign if the acupuncture and adjustment helped. A lot of times you need to have several treatments before someone sees improvement. I'd certainly go that route before more surgery!

The cymbalta really helped my nerve pain, but I had to stop it because it interferred with my seizure disorder. Other than that I had no side effects and I could feel my feet for the first time (they're numb and tingling now). I hope the cymbalta helps you!

PaLady

pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/28/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had chiropractor adjustments for 8 years now...and going to accupuncture for 2 years..it is awesome and has helped me so much for all kinds of pain...the only problem is my hands and arms are so bad now...I have had all the injections I can have with steroids...and the disk is pushing into the midline herniation...at C4-5 so that is why it goes bilateral...my head pounds so much in the back of my neck...then I have started getting tremors..that is why they thought I had MS..they still do not know why I have the tremors...it is in my legs and arms..I have held off on the surgery for so long but after the last two months of constant pain and then to have the disk moved and know that it is that disk now...I don't think I can keep having my neck adjusted so many times a week as it is already feeling like it is going out..I have been to physical therapy and it only made it worse as all I did was turn my head and stretch and my neck would be in so much pain..then one day in Sept I woke up to not being able to use either arm..it was horrible...then my shoulders froze..I could not even brush my teeth..I had no idea what frozen shoulders were..it still is very painful but now I can raise them up and at least get them to my shoulders easier..you do not know what to be thankful for until you cannot do it..I always said no one would ever touch me or would I ever have surgery on my spine..after seeing what happened to my husband but then I fell on ice and did all this damage..I still have several bulging disks in the low back and another bulging in my cervical besides the one that is herniated..I have heard a lot of good things about Cymbalta...for pain...I just hate taking pain meds after seeing what they have done to my husband so I really struggle with that..then if I take them I cannot drive as I have no Rem sleep..so it really makes it difficult..thanks for your help..I appreciate it..hugs, pain4you!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/28/2008 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Pain4you,
I was thinking you just started acupuncture. That makes a difference now that I know the full story. Certainly there is a time many of us reach the surgery decision. I had a double lumbar fusion last year, so I understand. And all my problems stemmed from a bad fall 4 years ago. Unfortunately, the surgery didn't help, but it may help you. I seem to see more success stories with cervical spine surgery, but it's always individual, as we know.

BTW, cymbalta isn't the same as many "pain" meds as it's technically an anti-depressant that also helps with pain, especially nerve pain. So it's not going to have some of the negative side effects of a lot of others meds, although I know everyone is different.

Take care,
PaLady

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 10/30/2008 10:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Pain4You,

Wow, I read your post and just could not believe everything that has happened to you and your family. You said you had alot on your plate, I think its overflowing honey. WOW, so much to deal with just with hubby's situation alone, now you have physical problems as well. It just does not seem fair.

I too have a Medtronics Pump. I have had mine since June 2005. Mine is on the recall for the potential gear problem. However, as you know in these recalls on the gears, not every pump is affected, but they have to alert people regardless. My pump is working fine and we have no intention of removing it and putting a new one in. When my pump is refilled, they always measure the medication they pull out and so far I have been on the money each refill. Too much medication or too little medication is the sign the pump is failing you know. Since I subscribe to the FDA site I get all the warnings on everything. I was just in this week for a refill and I told my dr it just scares the heck out of me every time I see a new alert. The latest of course is the catheter thing, which I need to call Medtronic and have them run my serial number to be sure. I talked at length with my dr about the tips of the catheters developing the granulomas and he says that particular problem is due to a dr not educated well enough in pumps. He says if drs do not use the correct medication in the pump and not have the doseage levels correct thats when the problems start with the granulomas. I have a very good pain dr and let me tell you, my quality of life is much better with the pump.

From what you are describing with your cervical problems, it sounds like its inevitable where your headed. All the numbness in the arms and hands, the awful shoulder problems are the classical signs of nerve involvement for sure. Every single thing you listed makes you a prime candidate for surgery. I have seen numerous neck and back surgeries and by far the cervical surgery is a much easier surgery to recuperate from over lumbar. Don't get me wrong, I am not down playing the surgery at all, its just an easier surgery to get through versus a full blown back surgery. I hope you have a very goos neurosurgeon. I know of people personally that were back working in 6 weeks. They had a good dr and they followed post op instructions and did great. Please keep posting and let us hear from you. This is a great group of people here. I belong to other forums on HW and everyone is always so compassionate. Take care, Hugs, Susie



pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/30/2008 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks for writing...I have had a rough week...my arms and shoulders are hurting so bad tonight...I go to the same pain doctor and tomorrow I have my appointment..I know after this past week where I am heading..I called and talked to them this week at the Neurosurgeon and they cannot believe it...on top of all of this even my 23 year old daughter had a fusion   in May as she hurt her back from working in Neo Natal..she is now in College in MO to be in Missions and enjoying college..I am happy for her but we have not seen her since August..she was my biggest helper..I have had Medtronics on the phone and the ironic thing is they have to put the same type of pump in and they are now looking into all of this as they have nothing different to put in Kerry...they could not believe now these must be happening as his is the newest kind and his other pump did quit working and it was the catheter that had messed up and no alarm so I can be thankful we did not go through the withdrawels as last time...our plates are full and so hard for me to drive..then I have no REM and hard to sleep with all the pain...thanks for writing,  hugs, cheryl

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegoinggreenboutique/

hugs, pain4you


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Aww Cheryl big ole cyber hug for you. Oh, if I could wave some majic wand or send you some majic dust I would do it right now. I am still up due to being in a dentist chair for 4 hrs today, yes 4 hrs. Two teeth broke, one complete root canal done and about half of another. The tooth was a little hot so he could not finish because the nerve and me were going thru the roof. I am taking oral Dilaudid for pain, as thats what is in my pump, and lots of orajel on my gums they are quite painful from all of the shots tody. I am hurting in between my shoulder blades from being torqued in the dentist chair-I don't do dentist well at all. Next time I will do as my old dentist had me do, muscle relaxer & pain pill 45 min before appt. I have TMJ and getting my mouth open w/locking jaws set the neck pain off. Not a fun day,lol.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Hugs Susie


pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:14 AM (GMT -7)   
That sounds painful...I remember one time I had a root canal and they did it wrong and I had to have a bridge put in..I layed on the floor in pain and oh it hurt so bad...my face even turned black and blue...I ended up having to have the tooth pulled...oh memories of the dentists..I have an awesome dentist now...we learn to be thankful for so much after wards...I just woke back up...I hate these nights...hope you get some sleep..Dilaudid is very strong...put it in and read what it is...I had no idea until I asked after about a year...I have learned so much!  So many times they ask if I am a nurse or doctor...I am just a wife.., a caretaker, a mother and someone that has had to fight to make sure they don't mess  up again!  hugs, cheryl

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegoinggreenboutique/

hugs, pain4you


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I meant to ask what they put in Kerry's pump. Dilaudid is my main med, Sufentnil, Clonodine & 1 other drug. He just this week increased my concentration level of Dilaudid to 25 mg. I was at 15mg. Yes, my sleeping habits have gone to hell in a hand basket. I am usually up till 4:30 or 5:00 am, then lay down for awhile.

Yes, I am hurting pretty bad from all the digging & poking today. My last root canal was screwed up too, I really bucked today when he said 2 root canals. I told him why too,lol. But, I truly had no choice and I needed to keep these teeth.

One thing I did invest in and its helped me sleeping is I bought a 4 inc memory foam pad to put over my mattress. The mattress & box spring are fairly new but were killing my back. This has definetly helped. Hugs, Susie


pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:36 AM (GMT -7)   
bupivacine and dilaudid is in his pump this time before they had other things..he had just dilaudid but added the new one about 8 months ago to numb the pain...I have the memory foam also it is awesome..I could just lay in my bed..I have the nice thing to lay against from Foot ? to lay at the angle in my bed with my laptop..it is a nice thing so I do not wake anyone..check out my flickr site..hugs, cheryl
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegoinggreenboutique/

hugs, pain4you


pain4you
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/31/2008 1:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Foot Smart.com they have some nice things and I got this when I had my back surgery..it is also out of memory foam...hugs, cheryl
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegoinggreenboutique/

hugs, pain4you

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