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Hello all. Just wanted to post an update regarding my post-surgery update for the implant of my St. Jude's SCS which I had implanted on 2/24/14.

Healing and recovery has been a "bear" with this surgery. I've had about 18+ surgeries in my 53 years and this by far has got to be the worst for recovery, at least during the first week. The worst pain at the beginning was the incision sites and just feeling as though I had been beaten up. This was further exacerbated by bad stomach bloating and gas and "skin" pain in my upper and lower abdomen, belly button and basically all over my back area.

So the rep turned on my stimulator a week after surgery, which was really too early to tell anything. I know everyone wants their units turned on really quickly, but take note on this, I should have waited two weeks; turning on the unit after a week was not only useless, but it actually aggravated the recovery pain that I was having and really couldn't tell at that point whether it was working or not.

I met with the rep again on Monday, at the three week mark. He had originally put three programs into the unit for me at the one week mark and I had been playing with these programs until I saw him again on Monday, with pretty poor results. Our session on Monday lasted about two hours, during which time, he attempted to get more pain relief for me in the buttocks and low back, and I'm having problems with my left leg, which has always been "my problem child."

So far, he entered an additional 3 programs, which I can now manipulate by myself in more detail than at the beginning.

I have really good days, where the pain is almost 80% gone, and really bad days, where the SCS does not feel like it's working at all.

Both my surgeon and the rep for St. Judes had told me that complete healing and scarring of the tissue takes about 8-10 weeks to take place. Until this occurs, and I am completely healed, there is no way to tell for sure (since I am still having soreness postoperatively) if the unit will be more consistent than it has been.

I am feeling very optimistic, since I've had some really good days, that the SCS will eventually give me some really good pain relief, and I can manage to get the life I basically lost due to this pain.

I hope everyone else is doing well. My next appointment with the rep is in two weeks. I'll post another update after that.

Take care. Joy


  • I was told to expect 50% relief, and I feel that is very fair assessment.

    Good luck! It honestly took me three months to get to that 50% point and if your reducing meds in the meantime,it may take longer.
  • Well, what was I thinking? lol. I felt so good yesterday that I attempted to go to the mall. Really bad idea! I walked (yes walked!) around and shopped for about 2 1/2 hours, stopping to sit at the end of an hour because of really bad pain in my left leg and low back. I tried upping the amps on my SCS unit, but at that time, I think I was too far gone in the pain dept so all it did was aggravate my pain. Needless to say, I slowly limped my way back to my car and drove home. Iced my back for the rest of the evening, and today I'm having a nothing day. Just staying home with my fur babies and doing absolutely "nothing"!

    It's days like yesterday that really depress me as I used to love shopping. Now the mere idea of going to the mall and walking is a complete turn off. I am though, saving money! lol

    Anyway, four weeks today and you all know how I'm doing!

    Bye for now! Joy
  • Even though I went back to work after a month, it was about three months before I was able to lose the walker and eventually the cane too. Take your time, it's hard not to push it, I know. Keep positive, remember you have boundaries yet. The better your to yourself now and let your body heal on its own time the better the results in the end.
  • Im not confident shopping or being gone for long time (i need to be close to my heating pad) BUT I CAN COOK! Since surgery, Ive put on 15 pounds.....if I can stand and cook I can walk the neighborhood...lol. You'll work your way back slow. I can do about 3 days now. It was 1 day out and about and 1 or 2 days in bed. Build up slow
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