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Need info re: pain pump

cbergensccbergens Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Lower Back Pain
I've tried posting this twice now and I don't know if I'm on the wrong forum or what, but got no response , so I'm going to try again!
I just started a trial of the Medtronic pain pump (Dilaudid) and would like to know from those of you who have a pump:
1) How long was it on the trial before you noticed a major difference?
2) Are you now off ALL meds or on a precentage of what you took before, and if so what is your percentage:
3) How bad is the stomach scar from the permanent implant?
Thank you.


  • My trial for my pain pump lasted 3 days in the Hospital. I was given one shot of Diladuid daily into the catheter in my spine. I felt felief that same day but it could have been better. The second day the next dose was higher and it really helped. The 3rd day he tried a shot of morphine but it did not help much. Based on the relief I recieved from my second shot of diladuid I decided to go with the permanent implant. It was the best thing I could have done. If you are getting morphinr in your pump and are not happy with it ask your Doctor to try Diladuid. I have no side effects at all with this pain med. And it works better.
    I use to take a 15mg Oxycodone every 4 hours....I now take 3 a day if needed for flair ups.
    There is a Yahoo group called Pumpsters that you can join. It is for people pain pumps. You can get a lot of good information there from people who have pain pumps.
    The scar in my side is about 4 inches long and the pump does protrude. The pump is about the size of aa hocky puck, about 3 inche across and about an inch deep. It is implanted just under the skin.
    Please feel free to ask me anything you want and I will be happy to answer you.
    Best to you
    Patsy W :H
  • How is it going with your pain pump? Do you mind me asking what dosage you are on (basil rate) and then are you able to give yourself a bolus of pain med my pushing a button??? My doctor keeps talking about this...I'm 37 and he wants me to be able to act my age...we are wondering if this or scs will help.

    I know you said you are not as drowsy either since it goes into your spine? I've had dilaudid a couple times and I did get good relief. When I had my c/section and they left the cath in and infused morphine, i could have itched my skin off!! lol I begged for it to come out early.

    just wanted to check in with you!!
  • Well, I noticed some relief around a couple of hours or so after the Dilaudid trial, but sometimes it was hard to tell because of the tenderness of the injection site. The effects of the trial wore off in 2 days.

    2) It's been almost a year since the implantation surgery and I have gotten off my ER medication. I'm in the process of weaning off the oxycodone, but at the same time the Dilaudid will be increased. I am currently on 4mg daily of Dilaudid.

    3)My scar is noticeable and around 4 inches long. I can feel the pump through my skin. It doesn't bother me much anymore. Early in the recovery it did hurt badly at times and my surgeon said to use some head over the incision area. This really helped.
  • Having my pain pump implant was the best thing I could have done. I had an SCS but it did not help me so had it removed.
    I do not have a PTM to give myself a dose of meds through my pump but wish I had known about it when I had my implant. Insurance will pay for one if ordered when you have your implant but not after. Sigh....They are great for BT pain and flair ups. If I get one now would have to pay for it out of pocket. Yikes....I can't do that.
    Right now I am on a very low dose of Diladuid(.0749mg) I am due for another small increase the 20th of this month. My Doctor increases my meds very slowly as most do, every 6 weeks.
    I still have pain when I am on my feet but none while sitting or laying down. Just that is a blessing. I take 3-15mg of Oxycodone a day as needed for break through pain. I use to take one every 4 hours.
    I had low back pain and savage pain in my feet and legs. I now have no back pain and only when I am on my feet do I have pain now. It is NOTHING like it use to be.
    Pain no longer keeps me awake at night!!
    I have my life back and it is getting better. I am able to work some now. I am self employed so can set my own hours. Before I could not do anything because of the pain.
    The down side to a pain pump is the size. It is in my side and protrudes a bit but does not bother me in the least. You go in for refills every few months and it is done with a needle through the skin. The pump has a self sealing port on it's top. Batteries last 5 to 6 years before the pump has to be replaced. The pump has a computer chip in it that keeps track of everything so your Doctor knows to the day when you need a refill. They will write and tell you when to come in.
    Both the SCS and the pain pump can ease your pain. It would be great if you could have a trial for both so you could choose the one you wanted.
    The advantage to a pain pump over the SCS is the fact you do not have to set time aside every week, sometimes up to 2 hours, to recharge it's batteries and you do not tingle all the time. Yes, a SCS can be turned off but it does nothing for your pain when off. An SCS can be positional and just turning your head can zap you. Some people have to change the setting several times a day depending on what they are doing.
    Your Doctor takes care of your pain pump....always.
    I hope I have answered some of your questions. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you.
    Best of luck.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • for all the information about your pumps!! I know I need to trial both systems before I make a decision. For some reason, I don't think the SCS would be for me due to all the 'zapping' you and others have talked about. I am so incredibly sensitive in my right buttocks, sciatic area that I can't even imagine having that area 'zapped'. I can't wear undergarments b/e it bothers me so badly. I've never had shingles, but by the description of others with it, that's what that area feels like. I guard it all the time...so afraid of getting hit by accident by one of the kids...hubby is not allowed to touch me there! Anyway, due to this reason and the fact that I can't use my tens unit around that area, I think a pain pump would be better for me.

    So, is that dose what you recieve per hour? And meydey said she gets 4 mg /day. Why is it that those seem like such LOW dosages??

    My doctor is definately in favor of the one which I could give myself a dose for breakthru pain. I just can't imagine that it gives you that much pain control! I'm living vicariously thru you b/c it just sounds too good to be true! I need a big percentage of my life back. I'm only 37 and have 5 kids and a very active family life. I NEED something to help! Did an anesthesia doctor put yours in?

    Thanks so much for all the info you have provided and I'd love to keep getting updates! Maybe we should become "buddies" to keep in touch better!

    Best wishes and healing thoughts to you both!
  • It does sound to me that you may do better on the pump but a trial for both would be good if you can get both trials.
    My pump helps my hip and knee pain.
    Doctors start you off on a very low dose because the meds do not go through your system....but directly to your spinal cord so you only need a tiny dose to get the same relief that you get from very strong narcotics.
    A very good Neurosurgeon did my pump implant and I suggest you use a Neurosurgeon too. Make sure he does a lot of pain pump implants.
    My feet and legs are very sencitive and my pump helps with that along with my break through pain meds. I do not let anyone touch my legs.
    Do you have a pinched nerve that is causing your hip pain? I have a pinched nerve in my thigh thar causes a horrid burning pain. The pump has really helped that!!
    I do not log onto SH much now and neither does meydey.
    You might want to try "Pumpsters" a Yahoo group. It is a group for people with, or considering a pain pump trial or implant. I am at that site more than here.
    I will check in with you from time to time to keep in touch. Hopefully we can welcome you as Pumpette.
    Patsy W
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