In a nutshell, I've been through the whole rigamarole. I have Degenerative Disk Disease, I'm hyper-flexible, arthritic & my neuophysiology is all sorts of whacky. My nerves go all over the place: cross center, loop back up on themselves...all sorts of weirdness. I've had an uncountable number of Epidural Steroid Injections, a titanium L4-S1 fusion, 16 node SCS & just had my 2nd Medtronic computer installed. I'm also on my 3rd neurosurgeon in 4 years. All of this by the ripe, old age of 31.
I'd initially had the static battery "3-5 year" Medtronic computer installed March 2009. It was a remarkable success! Not only could I walk without pain & go back to work; I was able exercise again & even go on rides at amusement parks--everything I'd pretty much given up on. Some of my more unusual side effects have been the source of much entertainment for my docs & reps. After a considerable amount of research, they've only been able to find 1 other case like mine, & she lives in Germany.
A couple weeks ago, I got an alert that the internal batter was dying--6 months to 2 years early. Instant panic attack. I got ahold of my Medtronic rep, & he was kind enough to meet with me right away to interrogate the unit. Apparently, all the longevity info they use is based on the "average" user who is considerably older & less physically active than I am. I was pulling about 3x average power from the unit, so it was within parameters for it to die when it did.
A week later, I was in surgery to swap out the old computer for a rechargeable 9 year Medtronic. It works & I'm healing okay, but it looks like Program 2 (my right side) didn't take from the old unit, so Program 1 (left side) is running everything. I'm also feeling it in different places than I'm used to. The old one was strongest around my lower back & hips, but now it's just the opposite. It's strongest up near my diaphragm & in my feet. When I turn it up high enough to be effective on my legs, I wind up with foot cramps & difficulty breathing. My follow-up with Dr. W & my rep is tomorrow morning, & I'm hopeful that it's fixable by just fiddling with the settings.
I'm wondering if there's anybody else out there who's on their 2nd unit. Did you have significant variances from one unit to the next? Were they solved with software adjustments, or did it require another surgery to fix the wiring? I'm also curious as to whether I'm really the only person in the hemisphere with the kind of history I've had with this thing. Sorry if I sound vague. It's just a somewhat sensitive set of particulars, & I don't want to risk make anyone uncomfortable by venturing into TMI territory right off the bat.
Thanks in advance for any insight!