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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Chronic Pain
WOW!!! I have been through hell & back again & again!!!! Had ANS stimulator installed 10-9-08 this was my 3rd surgery this year. To make a long story short it helped tremendously for 2 weeks untill I shorted out. yep you hear me right...i had a wire go bad and it shorted out and it was basically shocking the heck out of me.

I am home now recovering from the 4th surgery this year. They had to go in and replace a wire to my stimulator and I have been home right at a week. Still sore as heck. I am just in that depressed mode. No matter what I do I always seem to have something go wrong. I am so sick of the pain and i just pray this ANS works. The shortout was not so fun. lol It has been forever since i have been able to post and just wanted you guys to know I am still alive...barely. lol I hope all u spineys are dong well. May God Bless YOU ALL!!!



  • I can't imagine how that pain was for you. I hope you're feeling better and on the road to recovery. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • its been a long road...just ready to get my life back!!!! hope you are doing ok.
  • you. I am so sorry that you have had to deal with all of these issues on top of your pain. try and stay positive. Maybe they put the super duper wires in this time and you are on your way to a pain free life. Good luck to you and please post when you can.
  • Thanks for posting. Is the stimulator turned on again? Are you feeling any relief yet?

    I'm so sorry to hear about the shorting out of the wire. Can't imagine. I just had my psych eval for the SCS, and if I am approved, I will also be getting the ANS (last I was told). I am hoping I am approved and can move forward. Would really like my 24/7 burning S1 nerve pain to be lessened. Outside of that, I really have no problems!

    I had 3 back surgeries in 2006 and am now stable as far as that goes. But, unfortunately have continuing chronic and acute S1 nerve damage.

    You and the others posting about your experiences is so helpful for those of us not yet that far in the journey. Thanks so much and I hope you feel better very soon.

  • Hey guys...thanks for your replies. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since they had to go back in and replace the damaged lead.
    I have to say...the ANS works. I am not in as severe pain as i was. Just recoverying from another surgery so soon after the original ANS was installed has been hell.
    I have noticed I just seemed depressed...I am relating that to being in constant pain for so long. No one can prepare you menatlly on how to cope woth the ANS unit. I think when mine shorted out it freaked me out. My family means well and try to push me to get up and keep going and I try...but all i want to do is sleep. i think I am just depressed and need time to pass.
    I actually have my mind set on when will it short out agin. I got to get over the negative thinking and think positive.
    God knows I have been through it. This marks my 4th surgery in a years time.
    March 2007-fusion
    September 2008-RF
    October 9th- ANS installed
    October 30th - ANS wire replaced

    I am DONE!!!! TIRED!!! Just pray to the good Lord I can pick myself up out of this depression and get my life back!! I wish all you guys luck on your procedures!! God Bless You ALL!!!

  • Hi...i'm a new guy here. Former professional skydiver. I fractured L1 crushed L2 and fractured L3 on a bad landing in 96. I have been living in hell since. The pain drugs have gotten so strong that there isnt anything else. Ive been thru Vic , Methadone, Morphine,Nortryptaline and finally all the different dosages of Oxy. I'm sick of the way this crap makes me feel so I have been offered the ANS unit. I'm at my wits end....literally....you all know where that winds up. So I will try ANS as a last resort. It happens Feb. 16 09 so please wish me luck.
  • Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Cambran - I hope you are continuing to do well.

    Jim B. - Good luck on the 16th!! I am loving my ANS Eon Mini. Have had it for almost 4 weeks now. So wonderful at lessening the nerve pain.

    Take care everyone,


  • Thanks for the welcome. I will keep you posted as to the oitcome.
  • Today was the day. I laid on the table enjoying the Fentanyl for 3 hours. Feeling my Dr and the ANS specialist try their best to install the leads. I have several holes in my back from all the places they tried to install the leads. No joy. I have too much damage from my skydivng accident and a fracture at T-12 I did riding motocross in the 70s.
    I cant begin to tell you how bummed I am at this moment.

  • I'm so sorry they couldn't get the leads placed. Are they going to move forward and try the paddle leads? That's what they were going to do with me, as they had a lot of trouble with me as well. They did get them in, but it was a bad experience for me. Too much scar tissue, some anomaly in my back.

    Definitely ask about the paddle leads before you give up - that would be sewn in place in a specific location and it doesn't matter about other damage down your back (in most cases).

    Good luck,

  • Cheri....they tell me I have whats known as "bamboo back", looks like a spine but more like bamboo.
    Too many years of contact sports and the like. I have been scheduled for a visit with a neuro Mar 3rd to see if its even worth doing a surgery to install the leads as you suggest.
    The pain they left me with after the failed attempt is off the scale. Its funny.....the guy I was with when I injured my back was killed. I'm beginning to believe he got off very easy. :o(

  • Gosh, sorry to hear that. Yes, the pain during the trial when there are problems (like we had) is unbelievable. Did you read that my programmer actually fainted during my procedure- had a vaso vagal reaction to the pain she saw me in? Crazy doc just kept going and going and going while I begged and begged and begged for more lidocaine. Ugh, better stop. I had turned that page!! lol

    I used a different doc for the permanent - a highly respected neurosurgeon (other guy was an anesthesiologist at the pain clinic and frankly, he just didn't know what to do when he encountered my problems). During the permanent placement, that doc had lots of problems as well, but I was properly medicated, and while awake, felt no pain.

    I hope you get some encouraging news on the 3rd. I'll be thinking of you.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    Cathy, you have every reason to be depressed. So many surgeries in such a short time. I think it will get better. I think it takes a long time to fully recover from anaesthesia. And being put out that many times is hard to shake off mentally. It's much harder for some than others. It was really hard for me. I thought I was loosing my mind. I guess that's why I have a ans scs in me that doesn't work and wont do anything to correct it. Your a brave lady, much braver than me!
    ANS scs was supposed to be my magic bullet. I don't have any faith that they can fix it, and I'm afraid of another surgery. And another let down.
    I'm also still alive, I've been off for quite a while.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I'm sorry for you, hope everything will be ok with your health. Be healthy and smile. Good all to both of you.

    [URL removed by Moderator Bruce]
  • March 3rd I see the specialist who says he has done what you describe was done to you Cheri.
    The Rep from St. Jude called today...nice guy named Matt. He was there when they tried my install. He has spoken with the specialist and apprised him of my problems. He seems to think this will work out.
    I was so depressed all week ,because of the failed trial, I just didnt know where to turn. Its looking a little brighter now.
    All those years I was a jock with the world by the tail. A back injury sure brings life back into focus.
    Thanks everybody for your thoughts and stories , I will let ya know how this turns out.

  • Visited the neurosurgeon yesterday and he says he can surgically implant the ANS unit.
    This is really good news.
    Looks like it may be around the 18th of this month (march).

    I will do just about anything to lose the pain and the drugs.

  • Boy oh boy ! Was I ever NOT prepared for the pain of this installation. The Dr. told me he had to remove bunches of scar/bone tissue to install the leads.
    From what little I can tell the unit is doing a good job with the nerve pain but cannot touch the recent surgical pain. I'm going to keep this all positive and get better everyday.
    I will keep you all posted.

  • The surgical pain is sometime worse than expected or so I hear! I hope it subsides soon!

    I just completed and 8 day cervical lead trial for my right shoulder, arm pain. I was having a mostly "good' spell while it was in and it worked pretty well when things got worse too. It did not get my "campfire in the back" pain though :( However, mr campfire pain is treated well by mr Norco. So I have options!

    I am tentatively scheduled for a "permanent" version on April 20, 2009! Still waiting to hear on insurance coverage etc,

    Hope your surgery pain fades quickly and soon becomes a very distant memory!
  • Wrambler , I dont want to discourage anyone....but...the pain from my install surgey is/was awesome. I recognize the doc had to remove a bunch of bone.....but geeeeze dood ya could have warned me hahahahaha.
    Today is the first day post-op im feeling worth a shit.
    Onward and upward ! I'll be fine.
  • So, I have been told, usually that is a result of the paddle leads and the bone shaving to get them placed and stitched in.

    I really hope that I do not endure such things when mine is placed. Though I wonder at times if the paddle leads are indeed the best means of ensuring no movement.

    Has your unit been activated and is it helping? For my trial I had a difficult time waffling between the new sensation, the pain and wanting to avoid yet another surgery.
    The days since the trial was removed have been awful! Like I lost an old friend! I really want the permanent one, NOW!

  • The stim is working and they left me with a minimum of four programs. They do seem to do their job but are fighting a battle against the new surgery. Like I said, today is the first day that im actually not really hurting badly so im sure the conditions will improve.
    I see the Dr. next week and the ANS folks will , at that time, fully program my unit.
  • Ya got pain ? Im two weeks into my ANS install....its developed an infection the length of the leads.
    You havent had pain yet.

    Calling St Judes again this morning.
  • Im going to make this short because im still in recovery.
    My ANS install went very very bad. I developed a horrible staph infection and was admitted to the hospital last Monday, I just got out today. I went thru emergency surgery Tuesday nite to remove the ANS and a lot of infected tissues. And also they flushed my spinal column. I have been in ICU since on four bags of antibiotic drip daily and now am on the same at home....FOR 8 WEEKS.
    This has been a whirlwind nitemare....the only way I can describe it. The pain didnt fit into 1-10 in the convenient wall chart we all know.

    And....to add insult to injury the neuro said yesterday morning ...we can re-install the ANS in 3-4 months.
  • Sorry to hear of your experience. Did the doc have any explanation for why you developed the infection?

    Glad you're home and recovering.


  • C....in our litigous society , no one is gonna accept responsibility for an infection let alone...god forbid...talk about it. Thats just the reaction I recieved at the hospital when I brought it up.
    Everybodys sorry.....everybodys sad.....but Im left to carry the load.
  • Sorry to hear of your experience - sounds horrendous except I know partially how you feel. I had an ANS fitted almost 3 years ago - it didn't work properly but I couldn't get past the surgeon's secretary to let him know. Eventually last month (March) he answered my call directly himself and said 'no problem' and that he would get me in next surgery day. That was last Friday and I wasn't looking forward to this lying on your tummy while they discuss your surgery with you. I did feel every scalpel nick but on the positive side the ANS is now working the way it should have done. The only thing I was dissapointed in was that he wouldn't change the battery while I was there because apparantly battery life is only about 3 years. That means when it does run down I have to go in again - maybe these guys think I enjoy pain, lol.

    Wish you some success in whatever direction you have to go Jim,

    Leonard - Northern Ireland
  • Boy oh boy....I am so sorry to hear of all your problems and your horrid pain!!
    Yes, pain robs of us our lives as we knew it.
    I can no longer do my shopping or even clean my house but I do have a girl that comes in once a week to clean and run errands for me. Also have wonderful neighbors who check on me daily.
    All the pain Doc had to offer me was an SCS implant. I go back the 13th. April to let hem know what I have decided. Yes I want to try the SCS implant but the actual implant is a long way off if the trial goes well.
    Try and keep your chin up. We are all thinking of you. Pain can make one feel so alone but you aren't. We are all rooting for you.
    Hugssssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I'm sorry to hear that you went through so much pain and getting the infection. I hope you fully recover. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry to hear this did not work out for you.

    I hope they find something to help you out. I'd like to say something bright and cheerfull, but suspect you would not believe it anymore than I feel it saying it.

    Tis indeed a sorry mess...

    Still waiting for someone to even tell me if I can have the "permanent" version...
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