New to forum, 1 week post op

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/24/2011 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I have never been on a forum before so please bear with me on my writing.
I'm 1 week post operation. I have a home health care nurse coming out to change the dressings and next week i start PT. I have 5 hernated discs in the lower back. I tried everything except actual back sugery. I did the test trial for the Neurostimulator (Medtronic) made by Boston Scientific.
I was happy with the results from the test run, and do not want to spend the rest of my life on pain pills so I decided to do the permate implant.
The sugery was Monday the 18th, right now I'm at home recuperating. On Tuesday I go have the unit turned on.
I knew there would be some discomfort from the sugery,but I did not know that the body can produce so much pain.
My body has built up such a tolerance to the pain pills. I have tried alot of them. Eight months ago I was on oxycotton 30mg 3 times a day. Along with vicoden for break thru pain. I had them take me off the oxycotton. Why you ask? I'm employed as a Safety Manager for a Demolition Company and I drive alot all over the state, and get into the heavy dut equipment to do safety checks, the surface i walk on is never level, alot of debris on it and I did not feel able to drive safely.
They then put me on Opana er 30mg twice a day with the vicoden. I only use the vicoden when I'm at home. The rest of the day I have to suffer with the pain.
I have gained so much weight the past 4 years. I'm the type of person who loves playing sports and going to the gym. I am placing alot of hope into this little machine.
I want my life back. it's amazing how chronic lower back pain can make you become depressed. I went to a psychologist and was put on Cymbalta. I also went to my OBGYN for hormone therapy(had a hysterectomy in 1999). I'm hoping that cutting down the back pain will take away the depression. I have had 3 inches of a rib removed due to Fibrous dysplasia which hinders my ability to lift and pull items.
 In 2010 I had my tailbone removed trying to eleviate some of the pain, but(no pun intended) it did not help.
I know that this post is all over the place, I hope you can follow it.
Has anyone here had this sugery? How was your pain afterwards? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 7/27/2011 9:32:55 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 7/25/2011 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to Healing Well. You will find tons of info here and lots of supportive people.

I cant speak for the actual procedure as I am having trouble with finding someone to do my placement. I can tell you that my dr told me that the recovery for paddle lead placement was similiar to those that have a laminectomy with the additional battery placement pain. They also use a tool called a "tunneler" to thread the wires from the unit to the placement site. Basically a long sharp straw. So you have bone removed so that the paddle can be inserted appropriately, your tissue has been tunneled thru and the unit inscision. Thats alot of work and everyone reacts to pain differently. That surgery site and the above area is going to be sore for a while. Hopefully someone will come along and can give you there experience. I wish I could tell you more!

DX: CRPS/RSD full body, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1, hardware removal and removal of scar tissue. SCS trial successful awaiting placement.
MEDS:To many to mention, changes every week it seems.

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 7/25/2011 2:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi shadowforest...Welcome to HWF ...nice to meet you

I dont have have what you have as far as location of pain and treatment of pain. My pain is in my left leg due to an injury but i am familiar with oxycontin,vicadin and opanaer.

I hope you get the pain relief that you are seeking. Hang in there and hopefully your pain level will decrease soon.

More members should be popping in to welcome you. Keep posting and giving us updates on your condition.

I would love to get to know you better,

Take Care
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of yibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected legcontinously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/need metal removed in July/wait 6 months for healing/then toatal knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take opana er

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 7/25/2011 4:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Shadow, and welcome to HW.

I've had my SCS for five years - and including my trial and initial implant, had five surgeries on it in that time.

My pain with surgery has been variable. My trial and initial surgery barely hurt at all - I was in hospital for three days, took paracetamol for two days after that and was back at uni full time three days after that feeling pretty good...dangerously good really - I had to keep reminding myself to be careful so that I wouldn't displace my leads.

Two years after, I had an extra lead implanted - again, not too painful, except that I got a huge haematoma at my battery site that I had to have drained. That lead moved within weeks of surgery and it was that that caused a lot of pain because I had a couple of electrodes sitting just outside the epidural space and causing irritation. I had to have that lead removed and replaced - and that surgery was painful.

I had problems with that lead as well - and had it replaced in May this year. That surgery was terrible and caused me terrible back pain due to nerve root bruising and torn scar tissue.

Something that may be contributing to your pain, oddly enough, is your use of the oxycontin. I'm on the same and had a discussion with my tech not so long ago about how long-term opioid use can change the way the nerve receptors in the skin detect pain - although it's a pain killer, in some cases it can actually cause skin sensitisation. Even without that, it will take time for the pain to settle. It's so very easy for me to say I know, but try to be patient, give your body time to rest and heal, and let your tech take care of you. Programming could be a slow progress - it can be a little bit 'unstable' in the first few months as your leads heal in place and the programs can change quite a bit as this happens. Once you're 'activated' it might be useful to keep a journal to work out how your stimulation pattern and intensity change with different positions and activities, because this will help your tech come up with program sets to suit your needs.

Hopefully your SCS will provide you with a good amount of relief once you are programmed and you won't need much in the way of additional meds, but something you don't really mention in your posts is medication for nerve pain. Cymbalta can be an effective medication for nerve pain as well as being an anti-depressant, but have you ever been tried on anything like Neurontin or Lyrica?

Anyway, welcome again - and if you've got any other stim questions I can help with, just ask :)

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/25/2011 6:39 AM (GMT -6)   
And yet another potential factor in why you are feeling a lot more pain is that you have been in pain for a long time.

The longer a person is in pain the "easier" it is for them to feel pain. Nerves as well as the brain become hypersensitive to the sensation of pain.

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 7/25/2011 7:14 AM (GMT -6)   


          Good morning Shadow!

        Welcome the the CP forum! It looks like you have recieved some excellent support here from a few of our members!

     I have never had one of these, so I'm afraid I will be of little help to you on this. However, I would like to invite you to read the "Chronic Pain 101" located at the top of our home page here. There are several tools for the members to use if the "Pain Journal" ...and the "Pain Scale", there are several excellent article's, that I'm sure you will enjoy!

     Please feel free to take a peek at it in your spare time!

         Again!...Welcome!...and Enjoy the forum!

      SE wink         

Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/25/2011 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Shadowforest,
Welcome to the board! I'm sorry you are dealing w/ so much pain from your procedure..... and I hope you heal quickly.
Take good care --Tina

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15873
   Posted 7/25/2011 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Shadow, I too want to welcome you to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. Wow, you have had more than your fair share of surgery lately it sounds like. Hopefully once you get past the healing stage with your unit things will settle down.

I see Laura pooped on and gave you some great info about the unit. We do have some other members here with the units and they will post probably later today. We do have a search feature at the top of the page and if you will type in SCS units, you will be able to pull up quite a bit of recent info about these units. They have been discussed extensively here at the forum so it may be some good reading for you and something you may read will help you out.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Keep us posted on how you come along.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/25/2011 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this forum and I can tall you for the past 12 years I have had chronic pain stemming from nursing. I herniated disk L5-s1. I went two years on the joke of workmans comp. They gave me drug after drug, Pt, tens unit three times, I was considered a drug seeker and a "faker".
 I am an RN (now disabled) and I worked 12 to 16 hour shifts just so I could have days off to recuperate. The last time I saw the joke of a so called workmans comp pain management DR, I told him I was beginning to urinate on myself and not know it. This is a MAJOR symptom of neuro damage. I was told by this Dr. ( I have a hard time calling him that) that I was an older woman and that happens. I was 38 at the time.
I then insisted that I get a second opinion. He replies " there's nothing wrong with you and you will Lise your workmans comp". I was referred to another Dr whom I willingly call Dr. Stanley. With one simple exam ( just hands on) he said I needed an MRI ASAP. 2 days later I had one and within a month I had a 360 degree radical fusion. It doesnt get worse than that unless you have additional surgery. It wasn't "all in my head. I wasn't a drug seeker.
This was such relief even though it meant surgery. Veronica pain is real and it needs to be treated by a REAL chronic pain specialist. I was very lucky to get a Dr who was the only one to treat this. I had failed back syndrome after the surgery and he was a godsend. Even though with all the meds I was taking, I still jury sy a 9/10 range. We tried many different meds. He was receptive because he is educated on chronic pain. I was on so many meds that he told me it could kill ten people.
 True chronic pain patients don't get high. The pain may be edged some but I didn't
take meds to get high. Many times I wished I would feel high just to ESCAPE. My life was he'll and I gas a young daughter who saw her mom in bed whenever she was home. She's almost 19 today and our relationship has suffered because of it. I eventually became disabled because I couldn't do what was required of me at work.
I then tried the implanted stimulator which failed. One month ago I had an I intrathecial pain pump imanted. It has made a HUGE difference. I still have chronic pain and neuro damage that will never go away. I can now atleast walk a bit without a cane or wheelchair. I'll never ne able to work as a nurse, but the pain is 40% better. My pain Dr has gone to another hospital and now um dealing with the pain clinic and see someone different every time I go.
It is a teaching hospital and residents come and go and don't comprehend chronic pain. I feel like I'm sort if back with the "let's try this" thing. Today my soma was reduced and I'm lowed NO BREAKTHROUGJ pain med. I thank God that I have had a decrease in pain but it's still there at a level 5/10 in the right leg and is restarting in my back. Getting them to increase the pain pump is frustrating.
 I've had it a month and it's only been increased 4 times. I dont want to spend another 10 years getting this under control. Taking the pain pump step was huge and my last resort. Part of me feels bad for complaining but, ten us years of chronic pain has made me depressed, lose friends and not have the relationship witb my family that I would like. I know this has been a very long message but I have much to say.
I guess I have improved but there are other issues to deal with. I wish that my best pain management Dr. was here for me as well as others in my position. For those who've tried all the meds all the PT should think about the pain pump. It has made life easier. I have to come to terms that I will never be 100%.
There need to be more understanding physicians that know about chronic pain and will prescribe amounts that will atleast help with pain. We aren't like acute pain patients that take a vicodin and feel better and then the pain us gone. We live like a prisoner 24/7 in our bodies. We don't need extra stress and stigmatism from people who have no idea what it is like.
(edited for eaiser reading. Please split up your paragraphs.)
(many of our members have poor eyesight and tracking problems) Thanks! SE wink

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 7/27/2011 9:31:19 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/25/2011 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry anout the typos!

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/25/2011 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the warm welcome. I get the unit turned on tomarrow. And yes to Laura, my Dr. wants to keep me on the Cymbalta for the nerve pain. I will keep you all posted on my progress.
Again thanks;
Fibrous Dysplasia (part of rib removed) in 2005
Tailbone removal 2010
SCS implanted 2011
Lower 5 discs hernated

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/25/2011 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
To Shadowforrest,
I was put on Cymbalta 30 mg two times a day for a couple if years to help with depression. In march of 2010 my new pain management physician increased it to 60mg two times a day and I gained 60 POUNDS in 3 months. I have always been a thin person. None of my physicians had concern even when I continued to tell them the rate of my weight gain. I am 5'11 and have weighed 135-140 lbs for the last 15 years, so this was significant. If your weight continues to increase or you are concerned, I'd check the cymbalta.(my weight got up to 200 lbs)
I no longer take it and I did have horrible withdrawal when stopping it. Maybe this will help your weight.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 7/25/2011 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Shadowforest. I have just had a scs unit put in on May 3rd so everything is still new to me too. The one thing I can tell you is when I had my back fusion done and came out of surgery I didn't hurt as bad as when I came out of surgery from my scs surgery.
My husband said the same thing. He asked the nurses why, when I had back fusion I woke up sore, yet when I had a scs unit put in I woke up screaming? So, from experience your going to be a little "tender". Also, after my 6wk(some dr.s do 4) check-up my unit needed re-programed. Then about 5wk later re-programed again.
Like they told me here at HealingWell, my rep said that my nerves will be healing, so as they do my unit will need to be adjusted as they do. So don't get discouraged if it feels like just when your getting some relief you need reset. Oh, and one more thing, your dr is not kidding when they told you to not lift things, twist, turn, and to take it easy. You better listen. Ouch means ouch! Good luck and here's hoping for a low pain day.
(edited for eaiser reading. Please split up your paragraphs.)
(many of our members have poor eyesight and tracking problems) Thanks! SE wink

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 7/27/2011 9:28:21 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/27/2011 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Updated on SCS.
I went to the Dr. yesterday and had he SCS turned on. They put 4 different programs in it for me to try. Then they came in with this huge (looks like the back of a chair) brace for me to wear. They are not kidding on the no lifting, bending and twisting. I cannot tell right now if the SCS is helping yet or not.
I'm still so sore from the sugery. Dr. told me about all the nerves that had to be cut all over the back to implant the SCS and it will take a long time to heal. I have 3 more weeks before they will remove the stitches. The itch like crazy now I cannot imagine what 3 more weeks will be like.
 I talked to Dr.about the time schedule he origanlly gave me to be off work and he said to have HR fax the paperwork to him and her will change the dates so that my short term disability will cover it. HR called me today to see how I'm doing and I emailed her photo's (she's also a friend) and gave her the fax number.
 I then recieved a call from my boss just to see how I'm doing, he did not even mention work or when I'm to return he just wants me to take as much time as I need to get better. These two calles made me feel good.
 (edited for eaiser reading. Please split up your paragraphs.)
(many of our members have poor eyesight and tracking problems) Thanks! SE wink

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 7/27/2011 9:27:46 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 7/27/2011 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
dear shadowforest
welcome to our forum. sorry you are in so much pain. i hope that everything will settle down soon from your surgery and that you are able to get some relief and good rest. what kind of work do you do? why are they waiting three weeks to remove the stitches... that seems like a long time to me.
The itching is because the area is healing. Maybe an ice pack to the area might help a bit.
It's nice to know that your boss called you with concern. I'm sure that put your mind at ease.
Take care and good luck with your healing phase.


spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 7/27/2011 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
i would just assume they fuse the whole lumbar section or at least L2-S-1. don't let anyone tell you opioid analgesics are bad for you even with the SCS, if you ever need then don't be ashamed or afraid to ask. i bet with the SCS and a very low opioid dose (SUSTAINED-RELEASE) would probably gain you control over 5 levels in your spine chronic pain. BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR RECOVERY!
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: MScontin 100mg q8hrs. , dilaudid 8mg q6hrs. prn, oxymorphone IR 10mg q6 ,vistaril 50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Elavil 25 HS, diazepam 10mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 1000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, ALA

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 7/27/2011 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
hi!Shadowforest ,Welcome to the site ,I really enjoy the fourm,great understanding ,support from others .Ijust wanted to welcome you.takecare

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 7/27/2011 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for short post ,I too am having a bad pain day!I had a dr.appointment few days ago and it was a big let down,everything is going so slow and pain getting worst.I guess this was to see if the allner nerve could be moved,It can't dr said its up higher ,I wish they would do the surgery!It's been years of pain getting worst.It seems everyone with chronic pain ,gains weight ,gets depressed ,has pain med problems ect,Its great this site is here ,its hard for other without pain to truley understand.I have been on the same amount of pain meds?I am too the point of frusteration ,yet I still keep going on doing the best Ican,like all of us !I feel like the world around me is moving and Iam on hold!I haven't had a job in 2years,even housework ,is limited.Iwent through the stage ,Isaid in bed allday !I now force myself up and out doing whatever Ican,today Idrove my car for a carwash ect ,when Igot home Iwas so sore,but Ifeel good at least Iam trying .Hope the best to everyone take care

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 7/27/2011 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Shadowforest. I don't have an SCS unit, but I do know what chronic pain is all about. I wish you good luck with getting your pain levels down. You take care.

Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/29/2011 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
  shakehead I'm getting depressed from not being able to help around the house or do anything else. All I want to do is lay and sit up in bed. I feel like I'm not living life but just existing. I was trying not to take any pills but i have too, the pain is too much. Cannot wait until I can take a shower and wash my hair. Ido not want to gain anymore weight so I have been drinking water instead of soda for two weeks. Three 28 oz glasses a day. I read in an above post that Cymbalta can cause weight gain. I'm going to talk to Dr. about going off it. I'm sure loosing weight will help with the back pain also. Sorry to be such a downer, I just needed to vent and don't want to do it to my partner.

Post Edited (Shadowforest) : 7/29/2011 8:12:59 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 9/3/2011 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Shadow, I was wondering how you were making out with your SCS? I sure hope your pain levels have

decreased. Please give us an update when you can.


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/3/2011 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Shadow, I too am new to this....(signed up today) was reading your story and others. I'm curious as to how you are doing. My husband has been disabled for about 4 years due to his lower back. They are talking about doing the same surgery/treatment on him but I'd like to see a little more feedback from actual people (rather than statistics)...

Tho I don't share the horrible pain in the back, I have other pain and medical issues and sure do wish you a safe and speedy recovery. I pray that you are well on your way to improvement. When you get a moment, let us know how you are doing.

Take Care ~

Lisa from Maine
Lisa from Maine
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