Well it's been 6 1/2 months since my permanent SCS was implanted (2/22) and I'm even happier now than I was then. Initially, there was a marked difference in the stimulation I received because the trial used percutaneous leads (which were in the absolute perfect location!) and the permenant used a paddle lead which didn't feel like it was in the same area. As the lead has anchored over time I am finding that the stimulation is closer to what the trial was, how about that!
The big news is that I have committed to my plan for the SCS and have officially reached my goal: elimination of my ER pain meds. I took the advice of my family doctor (who has always had the lead in this long road) and waited a while for things to settle down before the big wean. I started in June and starting on the first of September I am no longer on the ER morphine. I was taking 60mg per day and weaned down by 15mg every month. The biggest challenges was when I went from 45mg to 30mg and now when I cut from 15mg to zero. After being on the MS for 2 1/2 years (!!!) I didn't think it was having that much effect, however I can say that I hurt now that I've cut it out. My hips, knees and ankles are constantly in pain and I'm having some of those withdrawal type symptoms. The biggest being my tolerance to temperature. One minute I'm warm and the next minute I'm shivering cold. No change inside the house though. I am really surprised that there was that much pain relief going on after so long taking the MS. My neuro said I should be feeling more pain after coming off that. I honestly thought that the dependency caused it to work much less effectively. There is some really good news in all of this: I am having real BM's again -- without any help. I call it "pottying like a rock-star!"
I'm now fighting liver and possibly RA problems, seeing specialists for those in the very near future.
My next appointment with the family doc is in October and we'll assess my pain levels then and decide on how we want to handle it at that time.
6 bells and all's well! (well kinda)