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The Stress of the Decision Process

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi Spineys,

It's just one of those weeks...

I've been making the doctor rounds pretty intensely lately trying to make some decisions. I pretty much made a 180 the past couple months thinking the SCS was not an option at all, to now I'm in the process of moving forward to give it a try. I think emotionally the process of the decision is just getting to me...

I saw a new specialist outside the usual spine specialties this week to rule some things out before going forward with the SCS trial. Everything was ruled out, but because he was unfamiliar with my story it was a draining experience having to sit there and go through everything. Then, his final verdict was "medically, there is no reason not to go forward with a SCS trial, but personally, at your age (23) I wouldn't do this." He was very compassionate and I really got the feeling he felt sad for the predicament I find myself in with these decisions, but at the same time it is incredibly frustrating to have this man pass judgment on my decisions after knowing me for 15 minutes when he has not walked in my shoes for the last 3 years. My decision to proceed with the SCS trial has not been made lightly, and I *realize* that it is never ideal to be sticking batteries and electrodes in people. I really did appreciate his candor, but it also just brought up this well of emotions- sadness that at 23 I do have chronic pain to the point I'm ready to try a SCS, exhaustion with having to once again explain the last 3 years, and frustration that these decisions are *never* easy for any of us...

The weeks ahead hold my psych eval for the trial, a hardware check with the NS to rule out any issues with that (which truly I will be shocked if there is anything), and a final appointment with my PM to go over all the SCS details...I think this is the hardest part- the planning and the waiting and the not knowing what will happen, and it is unfortunately a situation we all find ourselves in on a regular basis. I'm really trying to focus on the day to day and find joy in the distractions, but I know you guys understand the feelings that come with moving forward with new stuff in the pain management process.

Oh, and happy 1 year SH anniversary to me :) Don't know how I would have gotten through the last year without you guys!


  • It's so hard to make decisions. And the accompanying round of doctor appts doesnt help. Since you are set on this path I would try to forget about it between appointments. No point stressing yourself even more.

    So since it's your birthday does that mean we are having cake???
  • Try not to get too upset with that specialist, Lala. He was just saying what *he* would do. I'm pretty sure he's not a pain patient -- but that would have been as inappropriate and unprofessional to share with you as his personal (and not professional) opinion was.

    The only one who has to be convinced that your decision is the right one is YOU. :)

    Happy birthday to you, and since we're in a heatwave here in TX I'll wish you an ice cream cake with lots of icing and roses!
  • I am on the journey towards a SCS so I understand how your feeling. I am only 35 and have been dealing with back issues off and on for 19yrs. I just have a gut feeling to give it a try because there's really nothing for me to loose at this point. Did the Dr give you any medical reasons why you shouldn't have the SCS. If it was only because of your age I find that strange, things happen at different ages for people.... I wish you the best and I hope you have the strength to do want needs to be done!!!
  • Thanks for the replies. It is always helpful to get support from my fellow spineys who understand :)

    Rwill- It's great to hear from someone else in the SCS process, but I am so sorry you have been in pain for 19 years and also had your problems start at a very young age. No, there was no medical reason given why my age would be a problem with the SCS. I really think it is more of an emotional thing than a medical thing. I think especially with me being young there is this need to hold on to hope that I'll heal or that this pain isn't permanent, and while my PM doc and I are all for hope we are also aware of the reality of my diagnosis. I've really shifted, though, to see the SCS as a hopeful thing rather than the dreaded "last resort." Like you, I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a shot.

    I feel good about my decision and the decision making process I've been through, but still, at the end of the day for whatever reason I'm just struggling on the emotional side a bit and truly appreciate the encouragement :)
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