I have recently (24th February ) had a Medtronics pain pump fitted. It really was my last ditch attempt to try to get some relief from the agonising constant pain and spasms that have been plaguing me for years. I did loads of research and went on forums like this for several months
My history is as follows
Epidural put in the wrong place, then had. Emergency c section.
The start of sciatica December 1991,
Another c section in September 1993
Sciatica worse - put in traction for 1 week
June 1994 tried to pick Daughter up outof her cot, back gave way, hospitalised again
June 1995 discectomy L5 S1
January 1996 getting severe constant sciatica
October 1997 facet joint injections
January 2000 spinal cord stimulator L4, L5 Medtronics implant ķm
November 2001 scs removedþ. for mri scan
March 2002 spinal fusion L4, L5, S1 with rods and pedical screws,
September 2006 scs put back in Boston scientific rechargeable long life (heavyuser )
2007 onwards various testing for severe sciatica
Failed back syndrome
Facet joint injections
New medication Targinact
September 2006 scs put back in due to severe sciatica,unable to sit/ stand due to severe chronic pain
March 2014 total left knee replacement due to cartilage wearing out from walking over on one side
July 2015 severe chronic back back pain returning with a vengeance. Seen different specialists
June 2016 rhizotomy L4 L5
December 2016 repeat rhizotomy L3, L4, and L5
February 2017 after many consultations Medtronics s2 pain pump implanted
So, before coming to my final decision. I was concerned at having to undergo more surgery, more pain, more anaesthetic but this was my only hope at getting adequate pain relief to give me back some semblance of normality.
My insurance company in the UK refused to cover me for it and the nhs will not fund it unless you are a cancer candsufferer so we had to make---- the decision to find the money ourselves.
The trial was skipped as we were paying for the treatment so I went straight for the implant. The procedure was not without complications. I had intense itching to begin when I came round for 48 hours which was horrendous. I wanted to claw my skin off. I don't know if it was the morphine or a reaction to another medication given to me either in theatre or just before, but it was nasty and frustrating. Having got over that I then suffered from severe dizziness, almost like Vertigo. This made things quite difficult as every time I stood up I felt nauseous and like I was going to fall over. This lasted about 10 or 11 days. However, one day last week I woke and I just knew I felt better. My pain score went from 7 to 5 and I found I could sit down without the pain crashing through as it would normally. I was able to sit/stand and work for much longer periods than I could before the implant.
I have morphine in the pump and have been able to stop my Oxycodone totally. This has dramatically reduced the level of constipation I have had to endure. I do have a serenoma around the pump which is a collection of fluid that has built up. It is quite large but pm consultant doesn't want to do anything with it but wait for it to go down over the next couple of months as by draining it with a needle may cause an infection. He added an increase of 20% morphinea few days ago. As my pain scores are significantly reduced I may not need to go any higher
I have to say that having the pump put in (all problems aside ) has given
the best treatment outcome I could ever have asked for. I can honestly say that I feel like a different person and everybody I meet comments on how much brighter I look in my face as it appears that I usually have pain written across my forehead.
It is now 3 weeks since I had the operation and I have reached a turning point It may have cost us our life savings to pay for it but hubby said he would have taken out a loan to have our lives returned back to some semblance of normality. Can I dance, run, jump, go skydiving, surfboarding etc. EMPHATICALLY NO!!! but I can sit and enjoy a meal with family and friends, visit my father in law in his care home and sit and design cards for my personalised greetings card shop. These small achievements, in my mind, mean everything to me.
I hope this post has given those that are losing faith some incentive to push that bit further for a possible solution.
Best wishes to you all