Spinal Cord Stimulator

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mala407
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 11/17/2008 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
I was hoping for a bit of advice please....I have pain at t-10 of the abdominal wall due to nerve entrapment syndrome. I am on oxycodone since trigger point injections, epidurals, RF's have stopped working. I've also had 2 failed surgeries of trying to disentrap the nerve. Several pain doctors have suggested the spinal cord stimulator. I am only 26 and a dance teacher and choreographer. I would only do this if I could get off the pain meds, but I hear that is not always the case. Thank you in advance for any advice....hugs to all....

Mala
26 years old, living in Chicago, Chronic abdominal wall pain due to nerve entrapment. I have IBS-D and neuropathy. Gall bladder removed, 2 failed exploratory nerve surgery, pancreatitis, several hospitalizations for IBS flareups. Medications: Welchol, Align, Ambien, Oxycodone, Thiamine, Zyrtec-D


I am a dance teacher and choreographer who loves children and cats! I am to be married on June 27, 2009 to my wonderful fiance Jon!!


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/17/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Mala,
Everything I've learned about the stimulator and the pain pump I've learned reading posts here. i've not had experience with either. I know there are past threads with a lot of experience from people who have had stimulator and such, so I'd suggest you do a search of the old threads on Healing Well and see what you learn.

I'm not sure I'd have the hope of getting off all pain meds. I don't think I've seen that written by anyone here. Then again, people who have had their pain relieved probably won't be writing here! But since you're a dance teacher I think you want to ask a lot of questions about this before considering it. Good luck!

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 11/17/2008 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I have an SCS & love it. I was 28 when I got the implant 3 years ago.

Neither I nor anyone I know have gotten off of ALL the meds. However, I was on 15 meds prior to the implant & am now down to 2 meds & am on less than 1/3 of the dose I was taking on each of those 2. It has given me a huge amount of freedom that I didn't have before. It is not a perfect fix, nothing is.

If you need more time to feel comfortable with getting the implant, I would very strongly encourage you to take it. If you can handle waiting longer for the implant, there are a lot of exciting advances that are likely only a few years down the road (one of those is a bio-battery that runs off your body's own energy & therefore doesn't need to be replaced periodically like the current ones do; they also have a new set of leads that is in the process of getting FDA approved which will allow users to still have MRI's done).

There definitely are draw-backs to the implant. For one, I can feel it when I am laying on a yoga mat b/c it presses on my pelvic bone. Secondly, when I have it turned on to the medium level my limbs slightly tremble. It is not terribly bothersome, but it is visible. That does stop as soon as I turn it down to low or turn it off. Finally, it can make my limbs feel numb (like when you sit on your leg & it falls asleep). I am by no means a professional dancer, but I have found it difficult to do latin dancing & certain faster paced ballroom dances when I have my stimulator turned on. It changes how your limbs feel & how the floor feels. I imagine you could learn to compensate for that, but it is something to keep in mind.

On the plus side, I have found that even if I just turn it on for a while before & after activities that I am more able to participate & experience less pain than before I had the stimulator to use. I can block out almost all the pain when I have it on. In previous posts to the Forum, people have asked me why I would ever turn it off. The above paragraph describes some reasons. Personally, I can't sleep when I have it turned on. Driving with the SCS turned on is not allowed under any circumstance. Other people have other reasons to turn theirs off, but by & large I am glad I have mine.

However, I felt I had no options when I got mine implanted & I couldn't stand the pain any more. I did not feel well being on so much medication & desperately wanted to get off as many meds as possible. I was glad I waited as long as possible so I didn't have any regrets once I got it implanted.

If you have any questions or want to know anything else, let me know; but, it kinda sounds like you've already decided what to do.

best of luck with your decision & wishes for many happy years of dancing ahead!
frances

BionicWoman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 11/18/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it depends a lot on the type and level of pain, along with your overall physical condition.  With the physicality of a dancer, I'd think it would definitely be worth your time to do the trial and see how it works out for you.  
 
I was essentially bedridden for over 2 years before I had my trial/permanent implant, so I had and still have a LOT of physical rehab to conquer.  When I started my rehab program, I couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes at .5mph on my treadmill.  Now I'm exercising 2-3 hours a day, 5-6 days a week.  At this point, I'd say I've eliminated about 85% of what I was taking prior to my implant, in spite of the huge increase in my physical activities.  I expect to eliminate the remainder of the medication over the next 3-6 months, as I continue to get physically stronger.
 
My doctor said from the very beginning that it was a perfectly reasonable goal to eliminate all of my pain medications.  If I had to stay where I am now, I'd still be beyond thrilled with the situation.  It was well worth eliminating even half the medication, because it was such a huge improvement in my quality of life.  The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that it's not an instantaneous cure.  Like any other treatment, it requires time and patience to get exactly where you want to be.     :-)

mala407
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 11/19/2008 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much to everyone, all of your advice and knowledge has really helped me. (as usual of course) I will keep you all updated on everything, THANK YOU!

Mala
26 years old, living in Chicago, Chronic abdominal wall pain due to nerve entrapment. I have IBS-D and neuropathy. Gall bladder removed, 2 failed exploratory nerve surgery, pancreatitis, several hospitalizations for IBS flareups. Medications: Welchol, Align, Ambien, Oxycodone, Thiamine, Zyrtec-D


I am a dance teacher and choreographer who loves children and cats! I am to be married on June 27, 2009 to my wonderful fiance Jon!!

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