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Ready for my pain pump??

Hi everyone. I'm 43 years old and on full disability due to ongoing back problems. I was diagnosed with bulging discs over ten years ago and had a failed back surgery. I've done spinal injections, PT, spinal cord stimulator-with little improvement. I had a horrible experience with an intrathecal pump several years ago-I was way over medicated, lived in a fog for almost a year...falling asleep standing up, busting my head open from the falls, ended up covered in bruises and swollen with a crooked neck. The PM doc dismissed my problems like it was nothing, although he saw me deteriorate month to month. After begging him to empty the morphine from my pump and losing a week of my life going through the worst withdrawals possible I changed doctors and stayed on oral pain meds. Fast forward a few more years...I'm now under the care of a great PM doctor who has helped me taper down on my meds to be ready for another pump. Apparantly, new studies show that a pump is more effective when you're on little to no oral meds. He will be microdosing the morphine starting next week. I've gone from 80 my of oxycodone and 30 my of oxycontin cr daily to only 20 mg of oxycodone. I'm working on getting down to 10 mg. I'm still a bit nervous about being over medicated again with the pump, but I trust this doctor and I'm hoping for great results. I'm tired of pain controlling my life. And I'm looking forward to not having the ups and downs of oral meds and the crazy high tolerance. I work part time, have two grown boys and pets that make my life enjoyable...I'm trying to be more physically active and do more for myself. I have high hopes! Anyway, sorry for the long introduction....I'm sure everyone here can relate in some way or another. Its nice to be able to talk about my situation in a safe place. Thanks for listening:)



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  •  Hi Browneyedgirl, I think this time around you'll have a better experience after switching doctors. I never felt over medicated with the pain pump in all my years. I'm allergic to morphine so they went with dilaudid instead. I was surprise to hear that pumps are more efficient in pain relief if you cut back on oral meds first. My methadone was tapered down as the dilaudid in the pump was increased; I wasn't weaned off orals before my pump implantation surgery. 

     If intracecal morphine still makes you too sedated, the doctor may try something else like dilaudid or fentanyl. Are you still using a spinal cord stimulator? I had a bad experience with a stim trial and ended up getting a pump instead. Years later, ongoing back problems led me to give the stim another try, and now I use one for my lower back and leg pain. 

     I've done well with the pump all these years with no major issues. Pump replacement surgery is much easier than the first implantation, and recovery took 3-4 weeks. Hopefully you'll do much better this time and enjoy a better quality of life. A great pain doctor truly makes a positive difference in your care. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
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