I too wanted to welcome you to Healing Well. I have a Medtronic Pump implanted. My pump was implanted June of 05. It has been the best thing I have done by far for relieving pain and getting some sort of a life back together.
It took a year to get my meds straigthened out. They had morphine in it originally and did not do well on it at all. I just flat could not tolerate it. I tried waiting it out and seeing if it would settle down but never did.
Then my dr did one of those combo things add its worked like charm. The main drug in mine is Dilaudid 15mg concentration level, Clonodine and Sufentanil and Bupivacaine. With this combo of meds I am gettingg 0.127 mg per hour and 3.038 mg per every 24 hrs. I just went last week and had it refilled. The nurse could only do a 10% increase if the dr is not on site. Had my dr been there I could have been given a full 20% increase. I will get the other 10% when I see him again next week. In addition, I have 2 mg of Dilaudid pain pills I can take for BT pain.
It took a year to get me where I am at now. It should not take you that long.The reason is took so long on me is I have many other health problems and we had to really take it slow & easy. These medication can affect your respiratory system and slow down your breathing really bad depending on how the individual reacts with respiratory problems. I am now on oxygen 24/7 not because of the meds though.
I think I am really close to a plateau because I am doing so well. Yes, I am limited, but the pump did not limit me, I was limited long before the pump was implanted. I just know I am so glad I had it implanted. I was struggling really hard with oral meds and we were running into problems finding something that worked and did not give me horrible side effects. My activity level has really increased considering I was in bed more than out of bed for a year. This year I planted flowers and made one small flower bed by myself. That was a milestone for me trust me. I push myself but not enough to get me in trouble. Thats the hardest part is making adjustments. But again, I was so limited before the pump it has not limited me at all the way I see it. Now, I feel like I have a life.
I really can't answer your questions about how long or the doseage. I don't know what medication you have in your pump, also your weight has something to do on just how much you cn be given of a drug. I just know I went in for a lot of increases due then they were only half shotting me there for a long time, but we made up for it. I would always ask my dr if I was getting close to the mark they stop increasing the pump and even now I have quite a ways to go before we would ever consider stopping the increases. I think if I got up pretty high in the numbers and the pain was not under good control he would look at changing the meds.
One thing you need to do is every time you go in for your increase have the nurse to give you a print-out and you need to know what meds are in your pump and how much. This info needs to be carried in your wallet at all times. This would be needed if you had to be taken to a hospital. I also make sure my PCP has a copy for her file.
SOrry I got so long winded . Please let me hear from you on how you are doing. Susie