Not many people have responded to my post. Even so, I guess I have enough information to move forward, although I am a bit apprehensive. I tend to write a novel when I post stuff and perhaps it's too much for most people to read it all? Hahaha, I will try to post my experiences while I'm in the hospital using my iPAD2. I won't have much else to do with my time, besides taking walks and doing whatever they ask me to do.
I want to be as honest as possible during the trial phase to ensure that the Pump is going to work long term. By the end of each night I am typically in lots of pain that my pain meds don't seem to touch. I worry about being less active than usual while in the hospital and therefore not experiencing my typical pain by the evening and night time hours. I was wondering how they work around this issue during the testing phase?
In case it is not known: I was injured on the job back on September 28, 2010 and they terminated me on June 12, 2011. I am hoping to either settle my worker's Comp case of have my Hearing by November 22nd. Either way, I need a four level Lumbar Fusion before my Doctors will release me back [excuse the pun!] to work. After recovering I need to find a new job/career [desk job]. I meet with my Attorney this coming Friday to discuss settlement and I can only pray he is good at his job and realizes that my medical bills are ridiculously high. I will let everyone in the CP blog know what happens.
I have insomnia and it seems to have become worse recently. As a result, I tend to pass out around 3,4 or 5am [Eastern Standard Time, LOL]. Regardless, I always wake up with my wife at about 6am and I help get her coffee and other stuff ready for her daily commute to work. Then I return to bed where I again pass out and sleep until around 9, 10, 11am. I am alone most of the day during the week and I spend my waking hours going to my doctor's office, Pharmacy and PT appointments or I'm on the phone dealing with mounting medical bills. Besides the pain, one of the worse side effects from the medication is the chronic constipation! I can't do much towards exercising to help lose weight, besides walking, which I try to do every day. Since I only have a bowel movement once or if I'm lucky, twice a week my weight fluctuates. I have tried so many different over the counter and prescribed medications, but they only work a few weeks until my body builds a resistance to them. I am now taking 2,3 plus Dulcolax tablets at night. Sorry if I'm giving too much information, but I figured that anyone who has Chronic Pain and on narcotic pain meds have been where I am now. This is one of the hopeful benefits I wish to receive from having the Drug Pump!
As for my recent surgery...on Halloween morning I had my permanent Interstim neurostimulator implanted after two weeks of a trial phase. Today I had my first shower in over two weeks! The surgery went well, except I told both my doctor and Anesthesiologist I didn't want to be put to sleep for the surgery. My Doctor told me it was fine and I will have a local instead of general anesthetic, however I WOKE UP IN RECOVERY! That was wrong and I'm still upset about it. It was a relatively short and non-complicated surgery where all she had to do was install the permanent battery/stimulator and fine-tune the programs. I figured I have had too many surgeries in the past two years and my body didn't need to go through yet another general anesthesia. I have the permanent Interstim in for just three days and unfortunately it is not working as well as the test stimulator. I was told by the Medtronic Patient Service that it's because of the trauma to my body during surgery and it usually improves in a few days. I have a Post-Op appointment with my doctor in two weeks. I'm not sure if I should bring up the fact that her patient's wishes during surgery were ignored? After all, what's done is done, right?
I did have a Medtronic Consultant during the trial phase and she was present during both surgeries. After I woke up in Recovery she brought me the Patient Programmer and accessories and turned it on. She told me to leave it on and that I didn't need to carry the programmer with me and should leave it home. Although I know I don't or shouldn't need to change the programs once I find the one that works best for me, I think she's wrong about leaving it at home. You never know when you might need to turn it off or sometimes turn it back on. The sensations I feel now are much different than when I had the test stimulator. I was told it's a typical experience with other patients, but the reason is unknown. My Medtronic Consultant told me if I have any issues or problems not to contact her, but to either call my doctor or the Medtronic Patient Services. I kind of wonder about what she does in between surgeries where she helps the doctor with setting the programs, if that at all. Oh well, she's one less headache for me. The people I speak to when I call Patient Services are much more friendlier, patient and knowledgeable. I think it's cool that she gets to be present for surgeries and gets to meet many different patients. Since I'm in the market for a new career I would love to have her job! I think it would be much better to have a Consultant who has the same device implanted who can share their experiences.
Well, my stomach is a bit upset...I took some Phillips Milk of Magnesia and naturally my back is hurting from sitting too long and writing this novel. I apologize for rambling on and on. I will give it a rest for tonight and promise to answer any questions you or others may have. I also hope to hear from other people who have a Drug Pump before my Drug Pump surgery/trial phase scheduled for November 8th. It's now 1:00am...still not able to sleep...
Take care everyone!