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Removal of Medtronic adaptive unit with paddle

My trek has been a long one..about 15 years.  I have had my share of small incidents:fell a few steps on stairs, bucked off a horse and landed on side of neck on a wooden fence, and was momentarily knocked out.  Found to have a change to my 'curves' after having MRI's, x-rays and Cat Scans, years later.  Throw in a few few fender benders, one where I was thrust, neck flexed into windshield space during an accident going 45, and stopping dead, hitting the car in front.  The rest was largely contributed to by being a floor nurse on a Med-Surg unit and SNF/Rehab centers; yes, America, we are getting super-sized! I started with the usual rounds of PT and exercise/massage therapies.  Then steroid and pain medication epidurals.  Then, after nearly four years of this treatment, I required a discectomy  for a protruding disk, in the L4/5-S1 region.  Two months following this I required a foramenectomy to further release my disk/pinched nerves in this area.  Approximately 9 months later I required a full on fusion at the L5-S1, interbody process with plates and screws.  We determined I nearly ruptured the disc fully, it lodged in the cul-de-sac, behind my undermined foramen area??; in the process I sustained nerve damage, affecting bowel and bladder, and somewhat sexual areas, at times.  My doctors, and I, feel lucky to have what I still have!!  This operation had me nearly relearning many aspects of walking; I couldn't place my leg on the floor to sit/stand..for first 40 mins @ am, then 10, then 5..it felt like it was at least a year and a half before my gait was anything like normal.  I was told that I basically won the trifecta of back issues: arthritis, spondylethiasis, and spinal stenosis.  I continued to work in nursing, but had many challenges requiring less physical environments, i.e. homecare, supervisor roles,etc.  Problem being, nursing is almost always physical, unless you sit at a desk.  I would work for 1-2 years, need to start therapy and treatment and then require down time and healing time.  Things felt solid enough after 5 years that I was again a house sup for eve weekend/bailers: which means I filled in 'everywhere' doing 'everything'.  This lasted 3 months when I felt like my neck was broke.  I couldn't push hangers on the store racks without helping with the other hand, and my arms felt heavy and weak, I broke my phone!. Saw my neurologist, after taking a medical leave from work to figure things out...1.5 weeks later I had a 3 level ACDF to stabilize C4-C7, I was having all kinds of movement and nerve infringement.  Fast forward 3 years; again, seeking PT/ injections, etc..for generalized back and neck pain and immobility issues.  That is when my pain managemet Dr, who has followed me thru everything, suggested trying a spinal cord stimulator.  I also have asthma and already have to resort to steroid use, that, and concerns about my bone status , I wanted to stop the steroid use if possible. He knew I have allergies to Aspirin, Morphine, most NSaids, etc...my pain was managed by situational use of Vicodin, and he was  aware that I hold a medical marijuana card; and, weird thing, all the other meds for neuropathies made me literally just up and drop, I was falling left and right.!! It was that, or a pain pump...I felt like I needed to give the Stimulator a try; I've always just wanted to get stabilized both anatomically and in reference to pain.  I had a Medtronic Adaptic placed with pouch/battery at right hip/glut teal area and paddle placed after a T4-T5 laminectomy .  I had a good experience; required few 'tweeks', and pain was moderately covered..kind of where I expected it to be.  Although, it took a good 4-5 months to fully relate to how to use it to moderate and adapt to pain challenges.  After 2 years, I noticed the stim would get in a loop where I couldn't always turn it off, occasionally experiencing changes and burning to entire areas mention, from T4-S1, especially after going thru security at airports, concerts, games/events...  I had changed my work to 1 patient home care coverage and then some office work.   About 6 months ago, I just fell walking, and didn't notice any changes in stim until 2 weeks later I was first really burning and getting swollen and inflamed in my right glut teal muscles.  I worked with my Medtronic service agent; and he determined I needed a new controller.  We were able to coordinate and reset all settings initially.  But, things really never got back to good again.  When sitting was too painful, I returned to my neurologist to determine our 'plan'.  The determined by running their programs that the electronic features were intact.  So, I was offered removal, but no replacement option.  So that is where I am at now.  It had been 2 months and I am just beginning to feel stronger;  you forget, like childbirth!, how you really do have to recover after any surgery!  My inflammation is reduced by half at the inplant-hip site.  My real issue now is a weakness to my central 'core area.  It's almost as if my front and back aren't coordinated or strong enough yet to manage holding things ttttogether.  I almost feel like one of those push puppets that all their limbs collapse when you press the bottom; I have a few # of movements in any 'plane' and after that, things start going wobbliy.  Also, thru all of this I have developed migrane headaches, about 1-2 a week, and then nothing for a few weeks; but, they always return.  I am taking 50mg Amitytriptlyn nightly; it is a anti depressant medication that helps with pain management for both of my issues;including treating my insomnia related to pain issues not allowing me to sleep and making everything worse, in that downward spiral that I am sure most of you are aware of!.  I do have an additional condition- I have several hemanginomas along my spine, my neurologist is a specialist in treating spinal cord tumors, and I am forever grateful for all they have done to assist me to live and work with this condition.  Persevere!! As if there's a choice.

Colleen Pummer
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