Boston Scientific Precision Plus

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snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/19/2010 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this site, and just looking for some information. I posted this paragraph below under a different thread, and got some wonderful help, and the suggestion to start a new thread! So here I am, just hoping that someone my have some useful advice, or comments to share with me!


Hi! I am a 29 year old female living in Michigan, and on Friday I get my trial stimulator. 8 weeks ago I was diagnosed with multiple chronic stress fractures in my left tibia. I have suffered stress fractures in that leg since 2001, during my time in the Marine Corps, and been able to manage the pain with just Motrin and stretching. This most recent episode forced me to go and see my PCP. She sent me for x-rays, lab work, vascular ultrasound, and an MRI. All the tests either were remarkable or had conflicting results, some saying fractures and some just showing soft tissue damage. In just a few short weeks, the pain has become so unbearable that it takes all that I have to work for 8 hours at a time. I am a Corrections Officer in my local county jail, and cannot show any weakness in front of the inmates, and also cannot take any narcotic pain medicine while on duty, so needless to say it is a very trying time. After 3 trips to the ER for severe pain, high does of Vicodin, Norco, and dilaudid my PCP referred me to a Pain Management doc. I was lucky to get in 4 days later, and after a 10 minute evaluation, he diagnosed me with RSD. We tried the sympathetic nerve blocks 3 days apart, and after 2 injections with no relief, we gave up and started prepping for the stimulator. So Friday is the big day, I am praying that this will relieve some pain so that I may get back to my life, and at least be able to enjoy time with my 5 year old son. I feel very lucky to have a pain doc who is willing to work as quickly as possible, and do whatever it takes to help my pain! Sadly throughout this whole ordeal, my family has basically turned their backs on me, telling me there is no way that I can be in the kind of pain that I describe. Three months ago, I was running 3 miles 2-3 times a week, weight lifting, and mountain biking, now I have trouble just getting out of bed. My family says that it is not possible for someone to go from being so active to having this kind of a problem. I am just looking for a little morale support, hoping that maybe someone out there has dealt with families who are doubting and non-supportive. Also, all of the forums that I read refer to the Medtronics stimulator, my doc is using the Boston Scientific Precision Plus™ SCS System, and I am curious whether anyone out there has this unit.

Thank you everyone for your time and kind words!!

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 10/19/2010 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
S-
I have had that unit for nearly 5 years now & love it. I am surprised that they are trying in, though, since you got zero relief from injections. Typically the people who benefit from an SCS get pretty decent, albeit short-term, relief from shots. Maybe you will get lucky, though, and it will work for you.

I will say that it may be time to start looking for a new field. The SCS will cover up to 50% of your pain, but I stress the word "cover". It will not cure you; it does not get rid of the pain. I would compare it to someone with an arterial bleed who presses cloth against the wound. They will prevent themselves from bleeding to death, but it's not a cure. If they try to start running around, pretending that nothing is wrong, it will just make the bleed worse. The same holds true with the SCS -- especially since you say that all of your scans showed problems. It really sounds like you may need to see a neurosurgeon to discuss possible options if you are intent on staying in your field (I'm not sure whether there ARE options, but the SCS is not a great plan if you have a very physically demanding job).

I do feel for you with your family. Mine was the same way. And now that I've finally found a good treatment program, they are negative the opposite way -- saying there's no way I can go back to teaching full time (the irony is that it was not that long ago that the were suggesting I consider joining the Peace Corps so I could get tuition assistance to train for a new career -- I'm trained as an elementary teacher. So apparently I can go dig latrines in 3rd world countries with no medical care, but standing in front of a group of children in a major US city is out of the question ;) figure that one out). It's just constantly a losing battle with them. I've learned to look for support outside of my family & know that whatever "well-meaning" advice they have to offer me, I need to do the opposite. It's too bad that people struggle so much to understand pain conditions, but I'm not sure there's much to be done about it. Heaven knows a lot of us have practically beat our heads against the walls trying.

Good luck on Friday!!!
frances

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/19/2010 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your reply! My pain doc is pretty convinced that the SCS is going to help me. He claims that in patients he has seen with RSD that many do not respond well to the nerve blocks, but the SCS helps them. I just hope to be one of those patients!! I am very nervous about Friday, but looking forward to it all the same. 50% relief would be a godsend right now, just to be able to walk... Even if I never run again, I would be better off than where I am at now!!

As for my family, they just think i'm crazy and that its all in my head. Its hard feeling very alone, but I am doing all I can to stay focused and keep a positive attitude to get myself through this.
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/19/2010 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
It would be nice if our families that tell us they love us, would
have faith in us, and help us. But as pain cannot be seen and that it's highly
subjective (as what might be bad for me might not be for you) they have
a hard time giving support. So your family situation might not
get better..Take a family member with you to a doctors appointment
maybe that would help them understand better..I'm sorry you have to deal
with that type of treatment.
Keep us posted as to how things work out for you with your stim.
Prayers and healing hugz
((((((((((((((((((((((((Snelheid))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
My husband is retired USAF, my Dad is retired USMC and my uncle was retired Westpoint US Army Col.
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/20/2010 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I should mention the fact, I feel very strongly that my Mother has Münchausen syndrome. She has been to almost every doctor in the area for one reason or another. One doc will tell her there is nothing wrong, so she will self diagnose and go to another doctor for treatment. She has taken it to the extreme most recently, by complaining about her blood pressure. She has been on meds for years with excellent blood pressure control, but discovered by reading the handy facts that come with the rx, that bp meds can cause renal problems. She then proceeded to work with three doctors who frequently changed meds and dosages, and about 6 months ago her kidneys shut down, and she began dialysis three days a week. She loves going, as the wonderful people at the dialysis center treat her so special. She was able to take disability retirement, and leave her job a few years early, which made everyone at the school where she worked incredibly sad (she was the BEST head cook any school could ask for, and they will never be able to find another like her - no joke) and the community came together and held a benefit dinner for her, again making her feel special. Her condition stems from my older sister who was born with severe club feet, and underwent an incredible number of surgeries from the time she was an infant well into adulthood. Finally about 7 years ago, she opted to have her left leg amputated just below the knee, there was not enough bone left for any more reconstructive surgeries and the pain was overwhelming. She still has pain, but a different kind, and much more bearable, she leads a healthy and very active life, asking for no sympathy or special treatment. But even with that, people have always fussed over her, done special things for her, and tried to help her in ways that she would accept, and my Mother was always jealous or tried to share that limelight. I was always just the one in the corner, healthy happy and whole. I tried to never complain about anything, as my family would just get upset with me and scold me for expressing feelings, telling me to just look at what my sister went through everyday, that my life is so easy. (My appendix ruptured when I was 17, because they didn't want to hear that I has a strange pain in my side.)

So with that said, you think that I would be used to this kind of treatment. Used to people telling me to shut up and suck it up. My family is the reason I joined the Marine Corps, it was the fasted way to get away from them and find myself. I have always been able to tell myself, no matter how much they degraded me, I could stand up tall knowing I was worth something. I have taught people life saving skills, fought in combat, and generally made a great name for myself through hard work and discipline. Now I try to stand up tall, and it just hurts. I cannot go out and run a 5K to remind myself I am strong, I cannot walk into a classroom and tell young people what a great opportunity awaits by joining the elite, the few and the proud. I cannot even walk my son into his kindergarten class without being in immense pain, and crying for 10 minutes when I get back to the car. Today when I dropped him off, he told me "its okay mommy, I can walk all by myself, I know it is too hard for you..." It completely broke my heart. I am at my lowest low, I am praying for this trial to do something for me, I may only get 40-50% relief, but that would be enough to not let my baby down, to make him proud to be my son, to take him to the park and push him on the swing, to take fewer, and not so strong of pain meds, so that I may be able to stay awake to snuggle him at night... He's only going to be little once, and I don't want to miss out. My ex-husband ran off with his new little wifey so I am all my boy has, I cannot let him down.
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/20/2010 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't think for a moment your letting your son down...That is not happening.
Your a good and very strong person. Don't be so hard on yourself. Maybe seek out the help
of a good pain management psychologist. Your already doing things most mom's
these days don't. Be proud of who you are and what you've accomplished.
You've come a long way already...Never compare yourself to anyone else in your family.
Please know we will also support you here, your part of our family .
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Snelheid))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
healing Hugz
Prayers and hugz for a good result with your stim.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 10/20/2010 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Chart. Children just want to be loved & as long as you're doing that and making sure he is fed and sheltered and clothed, you are doing a great job. Lots of parents are able to physically do more for their kids, but use that to replace spending quality time with them. It seems obvious that your son knows you love him & want the best for him. Plus 5yo's love to show that they can do things all by themselves. Praising him for being such a big boy & getting himself to class all by himself will go a long way.

Let us know how the trial goes. I didn't get a ton of relief from it but now that I have the implant it's great. I used to have pain at an 8 pretty much all the time (to the point where I was very dizzy & throwing up from the pain unless I was given an anti-emetic). With the SCS, I'm now down to a 6 when I have it on. :) Not good enough to pick up children or carry in a sack of groceries, but good enough to be able to work at a desk job & do some light housework as long as I carefully schedule difficult tasks on separate days.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16411
   Posted 10/20/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi S and welcome to healing Well's chronic pain forum. Wow, I read your story and I am very sorry to hear that you have the evil RSD in your world. We have a few others on here that have been dx'd with it and can relate very well to everything you describe about RSD. I know a good deal about it and my heart goes out to anyone with it.

I am glad Frances saw your post an was able to give you some good info about the unit. But, you know those things like anything else is a real hit or miss. I do hope this is something that will work for you. Like she says it does not take the pain away, it creates another sensation.

As far as family goes this is not unusual, I cannot believe your mother, what a sad person she must be somewhere deep down inside. Many of us also lose friends along the way, they stop calling and coming by because we are not able to get up and run around with them. Its times like this you learn who you can or cannot lean on in time of need. Its like Chart says pain is subjective. Its not anything that can be seen with the eye and people have no clue, some don't want to know either. I learned a long time ago it is best that I don't discuss my health issues with my family, for one thing I don't want to be the topic of dinner conversation, lol. If I am going to need help with dealing with pain I will get a professional that at least knows what I am talking about, lol. I did just that and found a wonderful psychologist who was a great deal of help to me.

As far as being a Mom, it sounds to me like you are being way too hard on yourself. Have you not figured out that when they turn 5 they instantly turn 25, lol. I have a 5 yr old grandson that just started kindergarten this year. He went from being apprehensive of walking into the gym to telling his mom, you don't need to walk me in to the gym or across the street, I am a big boy now.lol He grew up over night he thought. I sometimes take him to school or pick him up and I walk with a cane so you know foot races are totally out with me, and he will say come on granny, then he steps back and says its ok granny we don't need to walk fast. Believe it or not its good for them to see this because it teaches them some understanding and compassion believe it or not. So, lighten up on yourself, providing for that child and loving him means so much. No one can ever take that from you or him. Keep up the good work. It sounds to me like you are doing an incredible job with him.

When you feel down come here and let it out. No one can understand CP like another person afflicted with it. It can be comforting to know you are not alone, as CP tends to make us feel that way. If you are not on an antidepressant you may want to consider speaking with your dr about this, because depression and CP go hand in hand for some reason.

Anyway, good luck with the trial on Friday. You might also want to use the search at the top of the page here and type in SCS and you should pull up a lot of info on this as it has been discussed a lot. Keep us posted on how you are coming along.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/22/2010 5:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your kind words, they really do mean the world to me!!


Well its Friday morning.... I could say that I am nervous, but I think that is an understatement!! I feel confident that all will go just fine, just praying for relief!!


I will let you know how it goes!
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/22/2010 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am all wired up. My back is killing me, but they reassured me that it would feel better in a couple days... The good news is my leg feels GREAT!!!! I wasn't expecting much relief, so that I wouldn't be disappointed. I feel confident in saying I am getting good full coverage, and at least 80% relief!

I called my PM's office, and let them know that other than I feel like my spine is splitting in two, I love this stim and think I want one of my own! They were very excited, and put me on the schedule for November 4th!

Thank you all for your support, its time for me to rest again!
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

Radles
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/22/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Snelheid, I just read this thread and am feeling excited and relieved for you. You have a lot on your plate so it must be taking a lot out of you. Get all the rest you can.

I learnt a lot about family and friends from reading your post, so thank you for that.

I too agree with other members, giving your son love and the basics are more than a lot of children out there are getting, so keep doing what you are doing and take it one day at a time.

It saddens me to read about your childhood, but you seem to have made the choice to be different, just don't let your mum's illness affect your plight now, you are suffering and no one should make you feel bad about it. Just keep on keeping on, and keep coming here for support.

Radles

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 10/22/2010 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Snel,

So glad to hear that everything is going well so far & the stimulator is already helping to reduce your pain. Even though you are already pleased with it's results, please take some more time before you decide whether or not to go ahead with the permanent implant. A few hours really isn't enough time to fully evaluate the stimulator's effects. You will need to play with the different programs & settings for a while before you really know what it is like.

I'm all for you going ahead with the permanent implant if it is something that helps you (I personally love my stimulator), but I just don't want to you rush into anything you might regret. Once you have the implant in, it will be a part of you for a long time & you should make sure that you are comfortable with the sensation of the stimulator, etc.

The pain from the lead insertion should subside in a few days. I think it took me about 3 days before that pain went away (although my leads are in my face, not my back).

hugs,
Skeye
chronic eye pain, depression, and anxiety
recently implanted with a neurostimulator with leads on the supraobrital & infraorbital (ophthalmic) branches of the trigeminal nerve, resulting in a 50% decrease in pain (yippee!)

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/23/2010 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Skeye

I agree 100%! I called yesterday so that they could get me on the schedule, however they did let me know that if I change my mind they can cancel for me, but If I waited until the end of the trial, it might be a while before they can get me in for the perm surgery! Sadly I missed a lot of work when this first started happening, and I have no more sick time, which means as I sit here enjoying the pleasant tingling sensation, I am not getting paid. So by getting on the schedule quickly, I can just stay off work for a month and allow short term disability to help with the financial end. If I had to wait, I would not qualify for the disability. I feel a little bad doing it this way, but I have to look out for my family! We just can't afford weeks of being off without pay!!!

My back is feeling a fair bit better today, which is a relief! Almost had a mishap yesterday with the bottle of Norco... Apparently I fell asleep and was unaware of the time and took them a bit to close together... i will never make that mistake again, I felt so sick. Now I am writing down when I take my meds, so that if I fall asleep or get groggy, I won't accidentally OD myself. My PM and I agreed that starting Monday, I will begin to cut back on the narcotics a little at a time to see how it goes, I am looking very forward to that!!

One day at a time! It is so nice to finally find kind and encouraging words!!! Thank you all sooooo much!
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16411
   Posted 10/23/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi S, wow I am so glad to read you are getting the relief that you are, that is so wonderful, I hope it continues for you. Careful on that nodding off on the meds, don't need anything happening to you after all of this, lol. That is a good idea to write your times down on the meds, easier to keep track of that way I suppose.

Please keep us updated as to how you are coming along and I will keep my fingers crossed only good things happen. Like you said, one day at a time. I do have a question, does your dr plan on taking away all of your pain meds? People with the SCS unit have pain meds for BT pain, just like with a pain pump. Surely that is not his intention. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 10/23/2010 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Snel,

I'm glad to hear that your back is feeling a little better & the stim still seems to be helping. I completely understand wanting to get on the OR schedule. Fortunately the way my surgeon scheduled his stim trials/implants, was to set up 2 OR times from the get go -- one for the trial, and then one a week later to either remove or internalize the system (depending on whether or not the trial was successful).

As most people here know, I went through hell to try & get my stimulator. I was originally scheduled to undergo the trial, etc last December, but the day before the trial, my insurance denied the procedure. I then went through 6 mo of appeals with my insurance company, FINALLY got them to approve it, and was scheduled to have the procedure at the end of May. Well, once again, it got canceled the DAY BEFORE because the hospital refused to take my insurance (they stopped taking my insurance a few months before, but had originally told my dr's office that they would honor my insurance since I was supposed to have the procedure done back when the hospital still accepted it). Then I had to wait almost 2 more months to reschedule at a different hospital. Once I finally went through my trial at the beginning of July, I was SO happy that we already had a date on the books for the permanent implant & didn't have to wait at all (not to mention that I had already had 3 pre-op physicals & labs due to all the times the trial got canceled, and if I had waited they probably would have made me get a fourth).

I hope you have fun playing with all the different programs, etc. It's a matter of finding what settings work best for you during which times of the day/activities you are doing. Your permanent implant will have even more programs & a wider range of settings, so hopefully the relief you ultimately get from it will be even greater than it already is (this was true of mine).

hugs,
Skeye

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/24/2010 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
@Straydog--

No my PM doesn't plan on taking them all away, just lowering them a bit. After the perm implant (and a few days recovery) I am very determined to wean off of the narcotics! I know that it is going to take some time, but it is one of my biggest goals!!

Skeye, I am so sorry to hear about your fight to get your stim... I know that I am one of the lucky few who was able to move through this process fairly quickly. Even my PM says usually it takes a lot longer to get all of the paperwork in order, and that some insurance companies don't want to pay for it. I honestly have to thank my PCP for my success in getting this done, she really went the extra mile to help me. I'm sure she thinks that I am a royal pain in the backside, with my multiple appointments and complaining that I didn't understand why she was referring me to a PM instead of an ortho, but now I understand that it was the only way to manage the pain. I feel confident that once the stim is in place, and my pain is "manageable" I will probably still have to go to ortho and deal with the chronic stress fracture problem, but for now it is the least of my worries!! Sitting here now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The pain isn't completely gone, but at least it is to a more tolerable level, and that is something to be thankful for! I will probably send her some chocolates or a bottle of wine, or both... What woman doesn't like chocolate?

Out of the mouths of babes.... My son is a riot... I tried to explain to him what the doctor was going to do to me on this trial. He sat patiently and listened Thursday night, but I could tell he didn't really understand, he's only 5 so I had to compare it to plugging in his nintendo DS.... He just completely blew me away Friday after school. My Mom brought him home (we are staying with her while I go through all this) and I was asleep. When I woke up and was brave enough to come out and sit on the couch, he came over to give me some "gentle lovin" as my Mom told him I was hurting really bad. Next thing I know he is lifting up my shirt, panicking, telling me he needed to plug my cord into the wall so that I could be all better! He couldn't find the plug and worried that I lost it in my bed, thankfully I caught him before he pulled all of the blankets off my bed in his search! I had to then show him the wires, battery and remote. He seemed to understand, but now he has to check about every 15 minutes to be sure the battery light is still blinking, he is afraid that it will stop and I will be hurting again. Nothing like standing in a busy McDonalds waiting for his lunch and having him pull up my shirt and yell "oh good mom your still blinking, but wait, where is your remote control?" I can't remember laughing that hard in a while, but ironically the laughing increased the stimulation and I nearly fell on the floor!! But the laugh was well worth it!
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...

snelheid
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/27/2010 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been writing a blog, just to put my thoughts and feelings into words. It seems to be working for me! There are also pictures of my trial stim for anyone looking at the procedure, the leads are covered but you can see the rest of the equipment!

http://awalkwithmystim.blogspot.com/
12 years in the Marine Corps, and 2 as a deputy don't even compare to 5 1/2 years as a Mom...
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