Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Getting SCS in the morning!!

gemyorkggemyork Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Pain Management
Hi everyone. I have been reading the forums on here for several months. It is comforting to know that so many have similar problems and pain and find ways to cope. Though I am sorry that so many of us hurt!

Tomorrow morning I am getting my trial lumbar SCS put in. I am excited though nervous. :SS I have read what people say about their trials and really it sounds like it should be ok. I'm a little embarrassed to say that one of my biggest concerns is about how am I going to wash my hair!! lol I am sure I will find a way.

I am so looking forward to the possibility of having some of my sciatic pain relieved. For most of the last 5 years my right leg has been the big problem. After a lamenectomy, a fusion, then removal of the hardware a year later, recent epidural injections and lysis of adhesions my pain is now mostly in my left leg! Maybe after tomorrow it won't be in either !

I just wanted to thank all of you for keeping up to date on your progress. I don't usually type much, but do read the posts often.

Have a pain free night!!! Diane


  • Hi and welcome to Spine Health. Good luck with your trial tomorrow. I hope you find that the SCS provides you some relief. I have a cervical SCS and love it!

  • Thanks! I will report back on how it went!
  • I recently had my pain pump implant (completed in late August)which is much like the surgery for the SCS. After the actual implant surgery I was told I couldn't shower for 1.5 weeks...GROSS! After about three days I was feeling pretty good, and by the end of the week I was feeling REALLY good...Good enough to be absolutely disgusted by my hair!
    I had my fiance help me with a sponge bath (definitely not as romantic as you would think...It's just not so attractive that soon after surgery :P !) The sponge bath made me feel a million times better - just make sure you widely avoid any surgical sites, and make sure you DON'T help, as you should be doing no lifting, bending, or twisting (which, it turns out, are pretty key components for washing the ol' body!) I had my fiance clean my hair as well, and since I couldn't bend forward or backward we had to get creative. We used our kitchen sink which has one of the sprayers attached next the the facet. We covered the back of the sink along the wall with towels so it wouldn't get soaked. Then my fiance turned the water on very low so it just drizzled out of the sprayer, and I bent my neck towards the sink (But didn't actually bend my torso!) so that he could wet my hair, clean it, then rinse it. Initially he just got my hair wet and we didn't even bother with shampoo/conditioner - just having my hair wet made it feel cleaner! Definitely put out plenty of towels, though, because it can get the water everyone (but is very worth it!)
    Sorry to write so much - I just know that this is something that made me feel a MILLION times better when I was recovering. There's just something to be said for bein' clean! :X
    Hope tomorrow's procedure goes well - if it works it is SO WORTH IT! These interventions (pain pumps, SCS, etc) can change the way you live your life. Good luck!
    All the best - Janiel
  • HI Diane,

    Welcome, I'm glad you get to experience the trial SCS. I had my implant on 8/12.

    The trial SCS is a little different in maintenance and the feeling of stimulator. In the trial my SCS would kind of rev up by the range of motion of my neck or body. Nothing drastic, kind of telling me not to move in a bend (oops,I forgot) or twisting wrong. The Leeds will pull out easy if your doing real strenuous things.
    My PM did want me to work, light duty and get a real feel for what living with SCS would be like. We have the limits of BLT and hands above the head while in trial and healing from implant. During those times I had to make adjustments.

    Example: So I was told not to do stuff like laundry, ya right, I compromised and instead of bending over washer I used my grabber stick for one article of clothing at a time. By day three I needed a shower so bad, I live in the desert and felt totally yucky. While in a sitting position I could manage a real good sponge bath and taped an extension (Popsicle sticks) to my razor. LOL quite the sight. To wash my hair I went down the street to the inexpensive hair cut place and asked for a wash. I explained that I needed her to put extra towels behind my neck and that I couldn't be in that leaning position for long. For a shampoo and condition she only charged me $4 to feel like a million bucks. Most of it will be going with what your body tells you it can do but there are adjustments we can make for any action. I live alone so I got a lot of tricks to do things. You are welcome to PM me if you have any questions.

    I'm so happy you get to do the trial. some people, like me, know in an instant and some people need to evaluate the pros and cons of living with SCS. Work with your SCS rep and doctor for the right stimulus and areas. This will make all the difference in the outcome. :)

    Look forward to hearing about your experience or questions.
    Take care of you,
  • I'm excited for you getting your ytial stim. Tomorrow I'm going for my psych eval and as I'm typing this my hegs hurt so much as they do every morning until the drugs start working. Won't it be great not to have to postpone our day for an hour? Good Luck on your trial. LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES. At least let me know 'cause I'm right behind you.
  • Well, here I am a few hours home from my SCS trial. The whole thing went smoothly and was much less of a to do than I thought it would be. They people at my pain management office are all so nice and take time to explain everying.

    At the moment I am laying in the recliner watching tv and hoping to take a little nap. Usually the recliner hurts my legs a lot but right now all I feel are the vibrations of the stimulator. =D> My back is a little sore, but my legs are not.

    My stimulator has three programs: 1 for my legs, one for my back and one for sleep.

    The vibrations do feel a little strange but I was used to my TENS machine, so it't not bad.

    So far so good!!! I will write again tomorrow to report how it's going.

    Good luck Stockbroker with your eval tomorrow! My insurance didn't require one. Let us know how it went!

  • Congratulations on getting your trial SCS. I truly hope it puts you on the road to a NEW life!!! Don't overdo it and get plenty of rest!!
  • Hi Diane,

    That's great! I'm glad it went well for you. Did they assign you a representative to call and check up on you? What model are you doing the trial with?

    Congratulations on your first day!
    Take care of you,

  • Hi! Today is day number two of my trial with the SCS. I LOVE this thing!! I have had very little sciatic pain today. I even had my daughter take me for a drive in the car because that often gets it going. So so far I am saying that this is a big success.

    The model I have is Advanced Biotics Precision. Both the doctor's office and the rep called to check on me. The rep was very helpful with a few little questions I had.

    It does feel a little odd at times. When I move my head back it makes the stimulator vibrate extra hard. When I sneeeze, cough or laugh I get a pretty good zing, too! lol Not a painful zing, just stronger.

    Washing my hair was interesting. I bent as little as possible and stuck my head in the shower, washing my hair with the hand held shower. Anything for clean hair!! 8>

    I'll report back in over the next few days! Nite all!
  • Do you have the percutaneous leads? Were they inserted with an epidural type needle?

    I have found that anything I do that increases the intrathecal pressure, will ramp up the stimulator. Most people don't realize how much every day, that the pressure in our thecal sac increases and decreases with specific activity. I find that my stimulator is very sensitive to that. So when you cough or sneeze or strain and certain movements will increase the pressure. Just like pressing on a sealed plastic bag with fluid in it.

    Sorry I'm thinking and rambling at the same time.

  • Hi C. Yes I have the percutaneous leads put in with the epidural type of needle. The rep warned me that any direct pressure, such as laying down, will increase the stimulation, so he put in a "sleep setting" that is faster but feels smoother so that I won't feel it as much. Though, to be honest, I only hurt a little at night and night not even keep it turned on then.

    I am hoping that with the permanent stimulator later that when coughing, etc. there won't be that sudden bursts. Though it sure beats pain!!
  • First of all, Gemyork--great news on your trial. What percentage of pain relief would you say you were getting? I am so jealous. This is the first time since before my surgery that I would actually say I'm feeling hopeful (and with the surgery, fear overwhelmed hope). Also, everyone, I promise to proofread my posts before I send them because I'm making some horrible typos. I'm not used to the laptop.
    Regarding, the psych eval, the doctor told me why these are done and what they are looking for. I was really curious and happy that he confided this info to me. They will rule out someone they believe to be seriously depressed until the depression is under control because that could negatively impact the patient's experience of the stimulator. They are also looking for hypocondriacs and drug addicts. Apparently, there are some people so addicted to pain meds that they will undergo unnecessary surgeries just to get drugs. Yikes! There may have been one more thing I can't think of at the moment but the whole thing was pretty quick and straightforward. My favorite part in all of this is explaining how I came to Dr, smartypants neurosurgeon who flies all over the world giving lectures on implanting various medical devices either in spines or in brains. I know I've told this story before, but its worth mentioning again. The woman who cuts my hair used to date the doctor. Once I spoke to him, its like the Red Sea parted and everything is moving along briskly. I feel like a real VIP pain patient. I also really like the PM doc who's doing the trial. so, for all those months, I couldn't find a PM dude I liked and with my cynical attitude toward the specialty, I feel like I'm in good hands and EVERYONE IS SO NICE.
  • Hi Stockbroker. Im glad you found a PM doctor that you like and trust! It makes all the difference in the world I think.

    This is my third day with my trial SCS. I would say that I am getting about 85 percent relief of the pain in my legs. My back doesn't hurt at all! The sciatic pain in my legs is really my biggest problem. So 85% relief is so exciting to me! Right now I am sitting with my legs up and my right leg hurts some, but not as bad as usual.

    I hope you get as much reliefe as I have so far Stockbroker! I am going to give it more of a test this weekend and have my husband take me for a long drive. Sitting in the car as a passenger usually get me hurting badly. Then Monday I will make my final decision about the permanent one, but so far I think it's a go as far as I'm concerned!

    Have a painless day everyone!
  • When do they plan to pull your temp leads out? Just keep in mind, that once they pull those leads, your previous pain will be back and if you were out having a great time playing softball while wearing a trial stim .... ouch the next day.

    When they pulled my temp leads, I had some pain come back quite quickly and other pain took about 2 hours. (the fact that the SCS causes natural endorphin release) I was very happy that I only had to make it through to the next morning before the surgery to implant the perm stim.

    I'm thrilled to hear your trial is going so well!

  • Hi C. My trial leads come out on Monday afternoon. I'm not sure when my permanent ones will go in. I am still getting a lot of relief from the SCS, though some of the leg pain has been sneaking through now and then. I will take any relief I can get though! I hope they do the perm. ones soon because now I will be spoiled and will not welcome the full pain back while I wait!

    The other night I decided I could do a load of laundry and when leaving the laundry room I caught the wire loop on the door knob!! OUCH!!!! Turns out the ouch was the tape ripping off my back and not the wire pulling out of my skin, so that was a relief. The wire did disconnect from that little box taped to my back between where the wire enters my back and the battery pack on the belt. The rep told me that that is what is is there for.....to disconnect if pulled too hard so you dont pull it from inside your back. Hub reconnected it for me and I was good as gold.

    Later today we are talking a "longish" car ride with me as the passenger so I can test it to see if my leg hurts less than usual. For some reason sitting in cars kills!

    It sure is funny to hear the comments people make when you tell them you are attached to a spinal cord stimulator!! As long as it helps they can make all the jokes they want. Right? =))

    Thanks for all your input during this C!! Have a great weekend! Diane
  • After they pulled my trial leads, my pain came back -- and brought friends! I had a terrible time gaining control of the rebound pain for about 2 weeks after my trial. Watch out if your pain is the social type too! :S
  • gemyork~
    I did the same thing with my trial! I was coming in the front door and caught a wire on the doorknob! It pulled the tape and I squealed... I thought I had pulled a wire out. I had my husband check to make sure it was all still where it was supposed to be.
    I feel very fortunate because when my PM doc pulled the wires for the trial stim, he placed the perm leads. That saved me from having to have an extra procedure. Less money and less stress on the body. It wasn't an unpleasant experience at all. I feel that I fared pretty well.
    I totally get the "clean hair" thing. I slightly bent over the kitchen sink and had my son wash my hair for me. It was heaven getting that done.
    Good luck with your upcoming procedures. I'm so glad that your are doing so well with it.">image
  • gemyork,

    I'm so glad the SCS is working for you!
    Take care of you,
  • Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a good weekend. Well, my trial SCS comes to an end today. I'm happy/sad about it. I sooooooo look forward to having all this tape off my back and to taking a real shower! My back is very itchy from the tape. BUT I am worried about how much I might hurt after everything is removed.

    Over all I am still calling the trial a big success for me. My legs hurt now and then, but not as bad as without the stimulation. When they do hurt I turn the stimulation up further and that helps a lot. My husband took me for a car ride yesterday so that I could test out how it worked and I must say that I really didn't have much leg pain at all! I have had NO back pain since having the trial installed. :) I really think that the back pain I get is from having had three back surgeries for my legs, not from nerve pain. It gets sore usually when I over do it such as when cleaning or gardening or lifting.

    Now I can't wait to get the permanent SCS put in. I will find out today how long the doctor thinks it will be until I can get it. How long after having the permanent one in is it until you clean, etc? Is it the whole 6 weeks until the leads have settled in? I sell at craft fairs and have my biggest one the week before Thanksgiving, so I wonder if I should wait until after that to get the permanent ones. Hmmm maybe I would just find someone to help me. Why be in pain any longer than we need to be, right?

    Ok, I am babbling now, so I will say bye for now. Thank you for your support!! Diane
  • I think if you have someone to give you a hand with any heavier lifting that comes with getting your craft show things set up, you should be fine. Of course, part of that depends on the kinds of things you make.

    I sell at 2 craft fairs a year to benefit our local animal rescue. One was in June, which was a few weeks after my permanent SCS went in. We do a lot of fabric items, so I was able to plan ahead and pack them in very light-to-carry boxes. We also do some ceramic pieces, which I packed in "weight friendly" boxes. For me, making the thousand extra walking trips from the truck to the table worked out fine. I did need help getting our tables set up and arranged, getting the table skirt attached, and things like that, which required too heavy lifting or reaching in odd positions.
  • I'm hanging on your every word. So please let us know how you feel after the trial is removed and how long you'll have to wait for the permanent stimulator. I'm so happy for you. Susan.
  • Hi! I got the trial SCS out yesterday afternoon. The PM Doctor and the representative sat and chatted with me about what I thought the pros and cons were and about how much relief it did or didn't give me. I told them that overall I was very impressed with the device and that I can't wait to get the permanent one.

    The doctor then took an xray of my back to see if the wire had migrated at all. I was sure that it would have since it's very hard not to bend, twist or put your arms over you head at all, but it had stayed in the exact same place. :D

    Taking the wire out only hurt when he was trying to take out the one stitch that I had. Really it was nothing. Now I can take a real shower and bend, etc. Yippee!!! My back feels fine in the area where the wire had been inserted and my legs and back are back to hurting. :''( I will be getting the permanent SCS as soon as my insurance ok's it.

    I wrote all this so that anyone who is about to get the trial SCS and was nervous about it would have an idea about what to expect. If anyone wants to message or email me about any of this, please don't hesitate.

    Have a good, painfree afternoon all!
  • About your SCS trial. I'm new to this forum. Very inspired about the success you had with your trial. I'm scheduled for a trial implant on Nov. 7. Love my pain doc and staff - they really listen to me and discuss all options thoroughly. Done a significant amount of research on SCS but it's great to hear from those who are going through the process.

    Good luck on your permanent SCS!

    P>S> Question: Were you able to reduce the amount of pain meds you take?

  • Hi Benney. Congratuations on finding a pain doctor that you like and good luck with your upcoming trial!

    I have all my pain back now that the trial is over and can't wait to get the permanent SCS. I am still waiting to hear from the insurance company. It has only been a week, so I guess I need to just be patient.

    I don't really take much in the way of prescription pain meds. I can usually change the amount of pain I have by changing my position, though that isn't always possible. I always hurt some, just sometimes way more than other times. I don't have much tolerance for pain meds, so I tend to avoid them when at all possible. I just live with the hurt...or will up until I get the SCS that is!! I guess I do take quite a bit of tylenol and/or advil though. I did not have to take much or any when I had the stimulator. If I was hurting badly and repositioning didn't help, I would turn the level up on the stimulator and it helped a lot! About 80% I would say.

    Let us know how your trial goes!! Message me with any questions you want to ask!
  • Hi,

    Im glad to hear that your trial went well. I had the same responce to my trial unit. I was waking up every day hoping to hear from my Dr that it was good to go. I have the unit installed and im getting 50-60% reduction in pain, but im still working with my medtronics rep and we are trying the different nodes on my lead to find the best settings. When you get the unit try and find out what lead they are going to use I have a paddle type with 16 nodes that they can turn on and off so we can search for the best ones for my pain. I know some ppl who got a lead with a single on 2 nodes on it and when the lead scared in it shifted a little wheich my Dr said could happen exp if you move alot right after the implant. But after their lead moved a little they had to operate again to re-position it. So ask if they are using a multi node lead or a single so you can keep in mind that if you get the multi node lead if its not helping as much as you want that you can have it adjusted without surgery. Again I hope you get you answer soon so that you can get back to having a happier life and a more active one.

  • Hi there, my pain specialists states the SCS may help my cervical disks and headaches he may put in the occipital area as well. my other option is spinal fusion surgery, i do not know what to do.
Sign In or Register to comment.