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