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I Need an increase in drugs who do I ask

SLHSSLH Posts: 36
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hi All, I had my permenent SCS inplanted on 7/13/10, I had one appt with surgeon, he check my incisions, and I saw him this past Wed. 9/8, he only asked if I was getting coverage with the Stim, I said yes, but I still on occasion had pain that only subsided with the OXY 20mg, that he had perscibed after surgery. He did not even look at my, and said "well I am through with you unless you have problem with the surgery. I have am appt with my PM doctors on Wed. 9/15, do I ask him for something as I am on Pers 5/325 and they don't seem to get to the pain I had to take two of them one next very close in time and I was really out of it the next morning. I feel that I need something for those nights that the Stim just don't get to the pain quick enough.
While I was at the Surgeon, I asked him what did he mean when he said that I was born with a narrow spinal cord. He says yes u were that contributed to the very severe stinal stenosis, which he could have done another percedure to help but "I chose the SCS". My PM said frm the begining that I was a good candidate for the SCS, and I really did not want any operations, especially since I have been suffering since 05 and had only injections that u all kniow only last for a couple months or less. I have seen my Auntie go through numerous operations only to suffer with increased pain and failed fusions and I felt that the SCS would take care of it all. I feel that the SCS is a success but still need something to carry me unti it does everthing it is suppose to do and me getting use to it and all. I also got the SCS because I want to decrease my intake off the drugs. Do I ask my PM doctor????????? HELP!!!!!!


  • i would discuss it with your PM on your appt. Remember, SCS is only targeted to take care of 50% of your pain. So meds may still be in your future. I had my perm SCS on Jul 7 09 and have been slowly increasing my meds. So far i'm only on Cymbalta and Elavil, but they are not helping much. I have an appt Monday with my PM and we need to talk.
  • I would not ask for stronger meds, if I were in your position. Rather, I'd talk to my doctor (PM or whoever is caring for you now) about the fact that you're still in pain. Describe what your current meds are or are not doing for you and let them suggest where to go from there. Giving you stronger meds needs to be their idea, not yours.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I believe, based on my experience, that the neurosurgeon only will prescribe the post-surgery meds, then your care reverts back to your pain management doctor. That is what my experience was and continues to be.
  • Thanks so much for your suggestion. It's like reverse phyco. Thanks again . I will let you know how I make out. SLH
  • Do you leave your SCS running all the time or just turn it on when you get breakthrough pain?

    Definitely recommend speaking with the PM doc about what he thinks may best help you.

  • I basically have the Stim on all the time, except when I am driving. The one day/night that I had the bad pain was the night after having it off because i was driving, and turn it back on when the pain started to hit me. That night I had to walk around for a while before I could even get into bed after taking my meds,and turned the stim up a couple of notches. SLH
  • The SCS is not meant to take over your pain management completely. It is a very powerful tool to use to manage your daily pain in conjunction with many other things. For example I will tell you what I do on a daily basis.

    I leave my SCS running all the time, even when driving.

    I take Neurontin, Celebrex and Amrix.

    I use moist heat from soaking in a hot tub for 30 minutes every evening.

    I walk at least 30 minutes at a time on the treadmill, lift some weights and then round it all up with a 45 minute ride on the exercise bike.

    That is the heart and soul of my pain management.

    I take zero narcotic medications and still manage just fine after surgery. It's all about finding what works best for you and remembering that.

    Anyway I'm tired and don't want to ramble on.

    Best wishes

  • Thanks again for the info u hve given me. I really don't think that my PCP is familar with the SCS. I had dis a lot of reserch bef I had the trial. He is a PCP that I had to get after my PM doctor dismissed me bsck in 08. I feel that my PM doctor will understand more abt the SCS since he is the one tnat said I was a good candidate for it. By the way what do u take to sleep. I still have restless nights. Thank You again
  • I recently took myself off of Ambien 10 mg that I had been taking for a number of years for insomnia problems that originally came on from stress, then menopause, then were aggravated by pain.
    My sister, who also was taking Ambien, and I decided that we wanted to be rid of it completely because both of us were suspecting that we had memory issues because of our prolonged use. I weaned off in one week back in June. My sister has not had so much success.
    What I have done to help transition and still sleep is to take a 3 mg Melatonin every night before bed. I bought mine at Costco. I have also found that my sleep is much better since my SCS was implanted. Even during the trial it helped me so much. I don't know if it is that steady stream of stimulation, vibration or what, but it has been a nice, unexpected side effect. I don't sleep 8 hours, but I'm doing ok and I do think the Melatonin, plus my hormone replacement have helped alot and I probably didn't need the Ambien all that time after all.
    I love ridding myself of one medication!
  • Hi, Thanks for the info on the Ambien. My PM Dr. put me on Elavil to help me sleep, along with the ReQuip that I take with my Cymbalta. Some nights lately with my stim down low I still have difficulty staying asleep. I dose off look at the clock and its only been 2hrs. I do have an apptmt with my PN doctor on Wed I hope I remember to tell her everything. Maybe Ambien will help. Thanks again. SLH
  • I too use Melatonin and I alternate it with Benadryl. Between those two I am able to get a good 6 hours of sleep.

    Early on with my SCS, I had to turn it down lower at night in order to sleep. The problem with that, is the pain would wake me up because the stimulation was too low. After a couple of months I found I could leave it at the normal activity setting and sleep with it on.

    Different meds mess with my sleep, but right now I am in the best sleeping pattern I've had in a long time. Once I got away from Zanaflex, my body got onto a nice even cycle.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for input, I too can't have it high just yet.
    Last night I turned on some more soothing music and I Slept a little better, Thanks alot SLH
  • I would do everything possible to avoid adding a prescription sleep aid if you can. So glad to hear that the music helped. You know I found that the worse my insomnia got, the more I looked at the clock, which frustrated me and kept me from sleeping even more. Such a viscious cycle.
    Good luck!
  • I Had my appmt with the PM Dr. this morning. Tne co=ordinator was surprised to see me and her and the Dr. remarked that I looked good. This really surprised me as I really did not get a good night sleep, and wokr up in pain. But any way I explained to the DR. abt me taking the 20mg OXY at night. So we discussed trying the OXY10mg, 2X a day and using the 5/325 Perc if I need extra in the evening. So I will try this and hopefully this will help. Thanks to all, I appreciate all comments they really helped me. Thank Again SLH
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