Frances - welcome to you as well. What was your surgery for? Was it successful? as with the others, I am sad to hear you are in pain, but glad to have you join us in the forum.
Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted because of complications from decompression surgery (crainiotomy & C1 laminectomy) for Chiari. The neurosurgeon only ordered an MRI of my brain & didn't realize that C7 was deteriorated, so after he removed C1, the spinal column in my neck became unstable (C2-C6 were basically floating in my neck) and the pain became intolerable. On top of that, scar tissue grew around my occipital nerve -- not so much fun. ;)
I'm much happier now. I've always hated taking meds. I never took anything except antibiotics as a child so I have a really low tolerance for just about
everything. I was up to 15 different meds at one time -- side effects from medications used to treat side effects, I'm sure you all can relate. I'm down to just one medicine now & am hoping to get down on that so that I don't have to take it every day. To be clear, I definitely consider the surgery to have been a success.
I also got into an auto accident (please no comments on that -- I don't want to talk about
it) and between that & the battery pack for the SCS, I now am having trouble dealing with lower back pain (DDD). The company rep for the SCS told me that if I can stick it out for a couple more years they can swap out my battery pack for a higher tech one that will be able to host a second cord running to my lower spine. I'm hoping I can stick it out, but if not at least I'm lucky because I found a neurosurgeon who is willing to do a disc replacement without sedation. I'm super afraid of sedation & anesthesia so except for my crainiotomy, I've done all the surgeries & procedures with just a little local. If it comes down having to schedule a new procedure, I'll have to ask you all what you know about
it. As for now, there's nothing on the calendar yet.
My current PM has back problems himself, so he works really hard to provide as many options for his patients as possible. I know I'm really lucky to have a doc who understands. My last PM was this creepy guy who just wanted his patients in a drug-induced haze for even simple procedures plus he would only write for the 2-3 medications he was familiar with. Worst of all, he occasionally introduced placebo treatments to see if I could tell. Go figure -- I knew it every time. Eventually I realized I needed someone who would take a much more aggressive approach to pain management. I found a doc who has agreed to a treatment plan that focuses more on letting me live my life, and less on how these drugs/treatments may shorten my life 25 years from now. I was grateful for the meds while I needed them, but am even more grateful that through the SCS, RF & a lot of alternative medicine -- craineo-sacral therapy, myofascial release, napropathy, acupuncture, aquatherapy, PT, diet, etc. -- I can now cut back on the meds.
Hoping you all can find whatever makes you happier. :)