If you're too negative about
things then you will not get past the MMPI. On the other hand, if you're only positive they will suspect you of lying. So, choose your battles carefully. Try to find a way not to be so worried about
the test, because that will not help your case. Trust that the psychologist will be able to read your results & give a positive recommendation. Maybe you & your sister can talk about
it more in detail so that you feel comfortable taking the test. There are also lots of websites & books available that discuss how it works & how its scored.
The trial implant for me was a piece of cake. The permanent implant was not so much. I don't do sedation, so it was five and a half hours of substantial pain while they pushed the tunneling device through my connective tissue & up to my neck. I had it for post-op pain that never resolved due to a nerve being trapped in the scar tissue & an unstable C-spine since C1 was removed & C7 was deteriorated. The pain does need to be limited to one or two levels of your spine (in my case C2 only) or the implant won't help. If getting injections in a level or two really helps, even if only for a day or two, I would say roughly that there is a decent chance you could benefit, but only a doc could say for sure.
Mine is Boston Scientific. I like it b/c the battery pack is about
half the size of Medtronics & I am underweight so it makes a difference. The battery is in my derriere and it does stick out a little, so I can feel it when sitting. Post-op there was a TON of pain for a couple of months. I went from 11 to 15 medications per day for the first 2-3 months, then started getting off of them. It took them 12 months of reprogramming to get me some programs covering the areas I needed. Once they got the programs lined up, I was in pretty good shape. Pain went from a 7/8 (can't ignore pain even for a few minutes, nausea, dizziness) to a 5/6 (can't ignore pain for more than 20-30 minutes) with an occasional day every couple months without any pain. I got off of all but 2 of my meds & am on less than 1/3 of the dose I was on before for those two.
It is my life. I love it so much. Being at a 5/6 means I can drive, I can work, I can pick up my house & every once in a great while go out with friends for an hour or so. The one thing I would say is that you have to really want to be off your pain meds. People who get upset in my experience tend to be the ones who feel they are entitled to take the same meds as pre-op in order to get the pain down to, say, a 3/4 or even a 2/3. The pain meds + the stimulator technically could do that for you, but few docs let their patients stay on medication to go down to those levels and even if the doc is okay with it doesn't mean the insurance people will be. For me the decrease in meds was a big deal; I have a lot of family members, even some who never drank ever, who died from cirrhosis so I don't like having drugs in my body if there is any way at all to be a responsible citizen without them. I'm not saying you have to have such a compelling reason to want to be off them, just that it does seem to be important to have a desire to take fewer meds, even if that means only a slight decrease in your pain.
Over time, my SCS has gotten even more helpful. I don't use it as often, but the headaches & neck aches continue to stay at a low level. I do hope you are able to get this or something else that can bring your pain down as much as mine has been helped. It makes such a difference.
Recently, I got an RF for my low back at L5 & S1. Now that I've got some pain meds, I realize how much that helped. I'm looking forward to going back to work as soon as I get a job. :) Is that procedure an option for you? I had to fight my PM to get him to do it, but it really has helped.
I so hope everything works out for you. Try to keep positive & keep reminding yourself of all the good things that have happened in your life. All the people who have helped you at one time or another. All the successes you have had when the odds were against you. It's good practice anyways, but that's something I did when I was getting ready for my 2nd round with the MMPI & it worked (plus, I made sure to tell them I had a normal, happy childhood b/c mentioning abuse counted against me big time the first go-round)!
All my best -- let me know if you have any other questions!