I had an intrathecal pump implant on May 28, 2015---18 days ago. I have a non-opiate in my pump called Prialt. I have experienced excellent pain relief in the last 18 days of my thoracic spine pain that I have lived with for over 25 years. I am a nurse and have been unable to work for the past few years due to the severity of my back pain.
As I recover, I wanted to offer my time to answer any questions anyone may have about the pump. I have been researching the pump for the past 5 years since I was first referred for it. I've been involved in webinars with physicians, talked to Ambassadors who have the pump, and done many hours of personal research.
I've had a long history of spine surgeries & procedures including a spinal cord stimulator trial. Unfortunately, the SCS trial failed. The pain pump was my last hope, so I could possibly return to my beloved profession, specifically Hospice. I realize that placing such high hopes in anything is dangerous, that if it was not successful I would be extremely let down. But after decades of severe pain, when I could no longer help other people, I truly felt as if my life was over. I've had to live with the intolerable side effects of opiate pain medications for much too long. I considered myself a perfect candidate for the pump. Insurance and I went a few rounds and I finally got the approval for the trial, which was followed very quickly by a surgery approval. I've fought for this and this means the world to me to be blessed to have gotten the pump surgery, and above that, to have a positive and safe outcome. I am aware this surgery has risks as any surgical procedure does, that having an implant carries risks, and for me, the benefits outweigh possible risks. I am a medical professional but I am not a physician, this is simply MY personal experience.
I've read the wonderful thread by Pat W. and was so moved to read her words written after her pump surgery that sounded similar to how I feel about my pump.
The amount of pain reduction in the last 18 days has been significant and the pump surgery has been a success. I am on the initial settings set at surgery. At my 11day post op appointment the staples on the pump pocket were removed. There was no change in the dosage of Prialt as I reported acceptable pain relief.
I am feeling great for 18 days post op. There is some pain around the pump area, and if I do too much my muscles in that area become very sore. I tend to push myself in most things and living with pain for so long, I've adapted by 'pushing through the pain'-- sometimes to my detriment. I need to remember this will soon pass, and to take it easy as scar tissue forms around the pump and catheter sites. This is important for the life of this device and to start out with a properly anchored pump and catheter is extremely important.
My physican is an Anesthesiologist who has a Pain management practice. He happens to be the same doctor my old PM doc referred me to for the pump back in 2009! I trust him and made sure he was experienced in placing pumps before the trial. I think it's every patients responsibility to thoroughly understand any medications, procedures, surgeries, etc before agreeing. Sometimes when we live in great pain everyday, desperation creeps in and the thought of any type of relief can take over our better judgement. It's human nature to do what it takes to stop pain.
Thanks for letting me post my story!
God bless and I wish you a day of tolerable pain.