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

Had my Trial Yesterday

chileroxcchilerox Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I had my trial stimulator put in yesterday. My surgery was supposed to be at 3:45, but the doc was running late and I didn't go back until almost 5. I got changed, and they started my IV, gave me my 'who I am' and 'I'm allergic to' bracelets, and gave me some meds to relax me (although I didn't really need them).

I was amazingly lucid when I got into recovery, and Hunter, my Medtronic Rep, got my stimulator tweaked and explained the remote to me. He gave me a cheat sheet booklet with his phone number written in it, which I unfortunately lost somewhere between the clinic and my hotel.

I can't believe how positional I am - if I turn my head to the left the stimulation decreases, and if I turn it to the right it increases. It also increases if I laugh but I'm not quite as surprised by that.

I'm extremely sore, and it is just now this afternoon that I can get in and out of my truck by myself and sit up, though I still can't lie down by myself. I'm spending a lot of time today lying flat on my back, which has earned me the nickname 'Teenage Bionic Ninja Turtle'. lol

My mom and I went out for breakfast, and then went to the pain clinic for my appointment this afternoon and then did lunch afterwards, so I am getting out some. I also took her to the knitting shop after lunch.

The trial is being considered a complete success, and we are planning on going forward with the permanent surgery. I have gotten 90-100% relief from the stim, which everyone at the clinic is thrilled about.

Hunter told me last night that they are really good at picking out the right candidates for the stimulatsrs at my clinic, so they apparently have a really good success rate. I'm really glad, needless to say! (I did get his phone number again at the clinic today and just talked to him a little while ago, he is very happy with my results.)

Tomorrow I see my psych. I have a feeling that the fact that I have a new boyfriend and that I am not in pain for the first time in 20 years is going to affect my depression a fair bit. You know, just a feeling. ;-)

I did tell them today that I'm probably going to cry when they take the temporary stimulator out...


  • I have stim from my ribs (a few inches above my bellybutton) all the way down to my toes. And it feels exactly like a TENS machine.

    I don't remember a lot from when they woke me up on the table, but I do remember telling Hunter that I loved it and it was awesome from the very beginning. I also remember saying "Okay, I want this!!!"
  • Congratulations!!!!! Glad to hear you are getting so much relief. I'm a little envious, 90-100% is awesome. You might be one of those people who can truly make a major reduction in your daily scripts.

    Again, congratulations.

  • I am due to put a new pain patch on tomorrow, and they told me to try to go without it. If I can't, I can put it on, no problems, but they want to see if the SCS can handle it without any fentanyl in my system. Once I have the permanent one they are talking about cutting my dosage down at the very least.

    I never thought that I would get results like this. I can't remember a time when I didn't have trouble with my hips because it started when I was so little - I was only in 2nd grade or so. After 20 years of pain, to be able to walk/sit/stand/whatever without any is completely surreal.

    I feel like I'm really going to have a life - and I'm not sure I know what that's like.
  • Glad to hear that the trial is working well for you.

  • What wonderful news so soon after your trial began. You will be sad to have it removed, but just look forward to the permanent one. I hope that the relief will continue and you can find yourself a quality of life that you could not have imagined before. Congratulations!
  • For you!

    Don't worry about it being positional, the permanent one will scar down and get much better. Sounds like you are doing great.
  • So happy to hear your tial is going so great!! =D> Won't it be lovely to have your life back!!

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I told them today that I've been in pain so long I don't know what it's like to have a life. I mean, I was about 7 years old when all of this started.

    I have a feeling it's going to take some major adjusting to get used to the way things are going to be - and getting used to the SCS isn't the half of it.

  • chilerox said:
    I told them today that I've been in pain so long I don't know what it's like to have a life. I mean, I was about 7 years old when all of this started.

    I have a feeling it's going to take some major adjusting to get used to the way things are going to be - and getting used to the SCS isn't the half of it.

    Chile, I'm assuming that means the trial is still going well. Can you describe what you are feeling now? I'm following your case because I soon will be doing a trial. Is it difficult to get used to the tingling sensation? How much pain relief are you getting? How are you functioning with this trial implant?
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • The trial is indeed still going well. Hunter had told me last night that I would have less soreness today and it should be gone by tomorrow. I am still sore, but it isn't as bad so I'm hoping that he was right.

    The sensation is almost exactly the same as what I feel when I'm hooked up to a TENS machine, although the coverage is much greater - since it goes from my chest to my toes.

    I haven't had any trouble getting used to the sensation. A lot of times I'm able to turn it down pretty low, and when I do have to crank it up it's a lot easier to get used to than pain.

    I still have 90-100% pain relief. I went to Walmart with my mom today and we walked around a good bit, and it was the first time I've done so without limping that I can remember. I did have to turn up the stim a little at one point, but it was enough to take care of all of the pain.

    We have been able to go out to eat a lot (since we're staying in a hotel), go to Walmart, the yarn shop, etc. I'm doing pretty well, although I'm having a lot of soreness, like I mentioned.

    Today is the first day that I've been able to sit up/lay down by myself, and if my mom weren't here to help out I would really be in trouble.

    If you have any more questions feel free to ask me either on here or by PM, I know I had a ton of questions before my trial, so anything I can do to help! Good luck!
  • It is exciting indeed to hear the excitement in your voice! Like you, I _knew_ the instant that the rep turned the stim on during the trial placement that I wanted it. I think I told my pm doc that when they turned it off to finish the surgery, it felt like I had been weightless and had gotten slammed back into gravity.

    Getting to go on outings must have been a real treat. I am 5 weeks post permanent and have been going on walks, sleeping for 7 and 8 hour stretches, and loving life again.

    How long do you have to wait for the permanent?
  • Not sure how long I have to wait for the permanent, it's going to come down to the surgeon's schedule. Although my PM does the trial placement, they have neurosurgeons that they work with who do the permanent placements.

    I'm not looking forward to having the wires pulled, because I have a feeling that gravity slamming me into the ground is exactly how I'm going to feel.

    I had to call Hunter twice today - once because the bottom of my foot cramped and no matter how far I turned the stim on that side down, it wouldn't uncramp, and once because my stim started spontaneously shutting itself off. I think he was glad to hear from me though, because he hadn't talked to me in days, and I kind of doubt that's what he's used to, lol.

    Going on outings without any pain is so surreal. I ended up going overnight without my pain patch, and having to put it on just because my back hurt so bad where the wires go in and out. My temp has been fluctuating a lot, too - it was up to 99.5 last time I checked, and I felt like I was boiling alive, which I am not happy about. Hopefully it doesn't go up anymore, because I'd really rather stay out of the ER this weekend.

    Three days and a wakeup until I get unwired. :-(
  • I think they told me as long as the fever stayed under 100 there was nothing to worry about. Can you, or do you take an antinflammatory and slight fever? that may help the back pain. I seem to remember it being about 3-4 days into the trial when my back pain lowered enough to really allow me to see the full benefit of the SCS. I gather from your post you know it works, so that is great.

    I only partially agree with cutting down or stopping pain meds during the trial. My thought is that if your doctor hopes or plans to completely wean you off meds at the end after you are healed from the permanent placement, then you should try and take little to no pain meds. You want to see exactly how it feels without the pain meds on board during the trial.

    If your doctors aren't going to force you off meds, then I would carefully experiment on a lower dose, but not worry to much about it.

    My doctors cut off my pain meds after the SCS was placed, no more. I had about 6 weeks after the placement to wean off and I did fine. But the SCS is definitely more beneficial for me with pain meds than without. Except I can't get them.

    My current regimen is Valium, flexeril and Ambien. Those relax the muscles enough to keep spasms and cramping down. The pain that is not covered I have to live with.
Sign In or Register to comment.