I'm a newbie to this site really although I have read loads of postings from others.
I am 49 years old, and have got a 23 year old history of back pain. I had a botched epidural in 1991 when my son was born and this damaged one of my discs which then had to be partly removed in 1995, this put pressure on my other discs. I had nerve damage from the surgery and in 2000 was fitted with an SCS for the chronic siatic pain in my leg. The stimulator worked brilliantly for the nerve pain but not for back pain.
I had a fusion in 2003 fusing L4, and L5 with a cage and rods and in 2006 I had the scs put back in after it was taken out for the surgery.
I have struggled with chronic back pain since then and take a cocktail of Oxycodine, Naloxen, Amitryptyline, and Pregabalin. I walk over on one side due to the back pain and wore the cartilage out in my left knee and and a knee replacement 2014. All was ok and I was coping so I went back to work in January 2015 but by July I was having huge back pain again (due to the sitting down working) and had to leave my job. Since then I have had injections and and RF treatment which worked slightly and helped me in sitting down for about an hour but no longer. I had the RF repeated in December around the area by my cage and rods and since that day my back pain has gone through the roof. I was now unable to sit down for any longer than half an hour and couldnt stand any longer either. I was at my wits end with no light at the end of the tunnel One of the reasons for the second rf treatment is that I have been having terrible spasms since last year every time I change position. These are agonising and I am no longer able to drive because of these. Since the last procedure in December things have got worse and I was in agony every time I move. My PM consultant suggested at the last appointment that I could consider the pain pump as a final option to reduce my pain. I was against the idea until my back started causing me even more problems and my quality of life with my family is 0. I dreaded going out, I dreaded sitting down and I found any social activities incredibly difficult and because I am in so much pain nothingwas fun anymore.
I desperately needed an option to give me my life back and so we decided to use our life savings . I am in the UK and I had the pump fitted by my hugely experienced pm consultant who is world renowned in the field of pain management spinal cord stimulators and pain pumps. I didn't have the trial as this was a last resort so as we were self funding it would have cost several thousand more we decided to slip it.
I have only had it for 1 week and I spent 4 days in hospital after a couple of complications. Firstly, I had a really bad reaction to one of the medications which caused intense itching, I thought I was going to claw my eyes out but I got prescribed some prednisone and it improved after 48 hours. Then I have a serenoma or haemotoma around the area of the pump which has caused it to become hugely swollen, remember the film Alien? Say no more!! Something has made me feel very giddy when I stand up and lightheaded. He reduced the morphine after the second day as I was almost comatose. I still feel strange but not as bad as I did. Yesterday he increased the dose by 33% and today I have been able to sit in a position I couldn't previously for the past year. I can definitely feel the pain relief having an effect and I'm sure it will get better and better over the coming weeks. I am hugely positive that this is going to transform my life. Will I be completely pain free? Probably not, but if I can manage to sit and enjoy a meal with family or go to a social event for a short time without being in agony, if I get 50% pain relief. ...I'm taking it
Let me tell you, it's not a great surgery. I have lots of wound sites, I must be incredibly careful for 3 months whilst the implant embeds in scar tissue. I must not do too much. I am keeping a diary so I can show him my pain scores. He wants to keep the morphine as low as possible to avoid granulomas. My stomach is huge but I am already off all my opioids orally and am just taking lyrica and amitriptyline for the nerve pain. I've even stopped the baclofen as he doesn't think I will need it, it's incredible that I have stopped opioids in just over one week that I have taking for over 14 years. The constipation is already improving.
Thanks for reading,