Hello everyone, sorry you are here too

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BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone. I have been reading a lot of posts and thought I would join and introduce myself. My name is Brent. I have had pretty severe back pain for several years.
 
This site is great. To know that others out there are coping with what sometimes seems so overwhelming gives me some hope.
 
I am seeking two things - info on neurostimulators (my doc said we may try one if I don't get relief from my next epidural on Tues of next week), and anyone that can recommend a good pain management doc in So Cal so I can get a second opinion if necessary (I am a little weirded out by the idea of a battery implanted inside of me). I don't know that I will do more than see this doc once for the opinion, but it is nice to have one that could be an option if necessary. I can get a referral from current pain doc if necessary for a single visit for an opinion.
 
My current doc is good. He is conservative with pain meds & concerned about abuse, but doesn't make you suffer the fires of Hell either. He does let me have some input on my treatment.
 
Does anyone have a good pain doc in So Cal that they recommend? I look for someone that understands that we shouldn't be made to suffer endless severe pain because they are afraid of the DEA, that having pain is not a crime and that we didn't hurt ourselves on purpose just to get their darn prescriptions, and that will talk with me not at me. If anyone has a recommendation, please post or PM me, whichever is appropriate.
 
Next I want to know about successes and failures with neurostimulators, and type (are there some that are not implanted?), but I think I can find most of that in old threads, and I am searching them now.
 
Thanks everybody, and I am so sad to see you here. Chronic severe pain is a lif that sucks at times.
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Some people say a TENS unit works like a neurostimulator & that is not implanted. Personally, they didn't feel the same at all to me, but maybe it's worth a try.

I have a Spinal Cord Stimulator & love it. It has literally changed my life. They will do a week trial with just the cords implanted & the battery pack external to see if it works before it is actually implanted. Mine is by Boston Scientific.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Brent,
I wanted to welcome you to our CP forum, but you sound like you've already got a good handle on how this works. And I'm sad that you have to be here, too, but glad that you've decided to toss your hat in and talk with us.

What I know about the stim implants I've learned from this site (I don't have one, but do use an external TENS-like unit prn) but you're doing the right thing searching old threads. There's some good info. on them.

I also can't help with docs in So. Calif., but maybe someone can. If I'm reading correctly, you'd just be looking for a second opinion, as it seems you're happy with your current pm doc. You could maybe look to a teaching hospital - UCLA? But I'm at the other end of the country!

Again, welcome, and feel free to jump in anywhere.

PaLady

BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/9/2009 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks! Yes, PaLady, I am fairly satisfied with mu current PM physician, but I do still have pretty bad pain even with the meds, and his idea is to try the neurostimulator. Before I get something implanted in my body, I'd like a second doc (one that knows pain management) to confirm that this a good way to go, or perhaps tell me of other options my current doc didn't know about. The chance of a second doc having an option that the first doc didn't know about is pretty slim, I know, but having a better comfort level with the idea of the implanted device will be good for me. And if the new one did, against all odds, have an option that was superior to what I have been doing, I'd feel like I had hit the lottery or something!
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/9/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Brent,

Welcome to HW, I'm glad you finally decided to chime in, but am also sorry that you have to be here because of pain. I really can't help you with docs in your area (as I'm no where near California), or with the stimulator. There are people on here, like Frances, that do have a stimulator & can help you out. Hopefully others will come around. Once again, welcome to the board. We like to see new faces, so keep posting!

Skeye

edt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 1/9/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Brent,
Welcome! I recently was advised by my PM Dr. to look into the Spinal Cord Stimulator and did extensive research. I spoke directly with the Medtronic Rep and was able to ask lots of questions. I also asked to speak to people who actually had the devices. Most everyone who has one that I spoke to said they had 40-60% of relief which I thought was well worth looking into.
Due to the cost of the trial I decided to consult with a Neurosurgeon because he would ultimately be the one who would install the permanent device. Unfortunately, he did not think it would help my situation. My PM Dr. was very disappointed and still felt it would, so he referred me to another NS for a 2nd opinion. After an MRI and CT scan, the 2nd NS said there are 3 categories for the Neurostimulator, 25% of people are an absolute Yes, 25% are an absolute No and then the other 50% are the iffy of whether the NS would help. The 1st NS said that 50% of people stop using them after 2 years. I was in the iffy 50% and decided not to take the chance due to the cost and unsure relief factor. He told me that even if I did the trial and it worked there would be no guarantee the permanent install would help me.
I will tell you from everything I researched and the people I spoke to, that if I had been in the absolute category I would have done it right away. The thought of reducing the pain level and lowering pain med dose is a miracle in my opinion.
Do a google search there is lots of valid, valuable info and by all means talk to REAL people who actually have the devices. I asked my PM Dr. if he could have patients in his practice that had the implant call me. I figured the SCS and Medtronic site would only have successful implant people call me. Getting real patients from my PM Dr.'s office I feel was a more accurate way to get HONEST answers successful or not!
Good Luck to you and I HOPE you are an absolute yes candidate!!
edt
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