I have cleared the psych evaluation and have just found this site so I am learning more about the implant other than the rose-colored dvd that the company sent. I have a few questions and the St. Jude patient advocate I spoke with had never even heard the term "breakthrough pain" so I'm a little concerned.
I was diagnosed with myofascial and facet pain syndrome in my back and neck following a car accident 14 years ago. I have been through everything (except acupuncture) over the years but have never had surgery, which has been ruled out. I was on vidocin 24/7 for over 5 years until it tore up my stomach. I have been on 75mcg Fentanyl patches for almost 3 years. Of course I've never felt a high from these drugs, but realize that having this much drugs in my system can't be good. So here I am and I have some questions...
1) During the trial period (which my doc says lasts about 4 days), how in the world can I know if the device is working while I'm still on the fentanyl? Obviously I can't stop the med without major withdrawal symptoms so it's sort of a catch-22.
2) I understand that a 75% reduction in pain is considered a success, but does that mean that I would still have to take meds all the time (although in smaller doses) in addition to having the implant? And since my stomach was torn up by oral meds, would I just have to be on a lower dose fentanyl patch?
3) The doc said that the implant would be placed in my butt area, but I'm slender with not much padding back there. Could it be placed in my tummy area so I could continue to sleep on my back? Has anyone done that?
4) Are people with implants able to move normally? A couple of posts mentioned that you couldn't have jerky movements. I have vomiting spells a couple times a month with my meds. Wouldn't this affect the implant?
5) A couple of posts mentioned not driving with the implant on. The brochure didn't say anything about this. What else should you not do?
6) Have the FDA issues been addressed?
7) What is the longest time someone has had one inside them?
I'm sure I'll have more questions, but I want to hear from actual users, not anyone that has a financial stake in the process.