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Pain Management, Psych Eval, SCS Trial



  • bongobuns2006 said:
    But for some I guess the attention is what they really crave... and being a complete medical mystery!!
    Good one Amy. Some days I feel surrounded by people just like that!

  • Hi,
    I went through the process. The psych eval was done by someone with credentials in pain management along with his psych degree. He was great! The SCS trial was painful, but I stood up for the first time in 2-3 years. It was great. I had the perm done 3 weeks ago. The pain was cut in half. The surgery pain is pretty severe, but the surgeons will treat you for that. I had the procedure that inserted the paddle in the top of my back, so the surgeon shaved bones and rearranged some things. That was quite painful for about 10 days. The rump hurts for 2 weeks. I'm like the lady who posted her pic. My family took pictures of me yesterday at my husband's birthday party. They said that I don't have pain in my eyes anymore.And I sat in a chair instead of lying flat for the whole party. Everywhere I go, the medical staff, everywhere, people tell me that my whole countenance is different. I run the SCS 24 hours a day and sometimes crank it up pretty high. I'm too inflamed still to have all of the patterns that I need, but that will come. Thank God for the SCS. I'm regaining my life back. I am still in pain, but for the first time I feel like I have the upperhand. I'm not thinking of my back and pain every step I take and every breath I take. I hope everyone has the same results I have had.
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  • I think they also thrive on having been through more than anybody else with the same relative conditions.

    In one of the support groups I go to, there's a woman who is one of "those" people and anytime someone brings up a problem their having, she starts her response with this inane faux calculation of which surgery she had that problem after - "After my 14th surgery.. no.. my 12th.. no.. it was my 17th.. yes, that was it." Then she goes on to list whatever the original person's problem was in her amazingly long list of complications that were "the worst my doctor ever saw!" and lists off all the things she tried that "didn't help one bit."

    I want to slap the holy crap out of her on a very regular basis, because she's takes up an enormous amount of time dominating the conversation and people don't leave the group with any useful suggestions as a result of her input.

    But I digress.
  • That's fantastic that you have had such great success with your new SCS. It only gets better from here! I look forward to hearing more about your SCS experience.

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  • So glad to hear of good results with SCS...I am cautiously optimistic.

    As far as Medtronic, my understanding is that the insurance companies are the ones who require the psych. Medtronic could (probably) care less - the more patients the better.

    Has anyone had the battery installed in the abdominal region? That's where I was told mine will be put - ouchy! But the psych thought I would only need 1-2 days out of work...so can't be too bad?
  • Hi Kstarr

    Glad you got the goahead for a SCS it has made a huge difference to me, I am 10 weeks post permanent implant.

    I wanted to pick up on the position of the unit. Mine is in my flank, just above my belt line - it is far more prominent than I was expecting & can be still quite tender. At my post op they said they could move it,but to be honest I can't face any more fiddling at the mo - I have asked to leave it 6 months & then I will see how it is. My point is make sure you have thought about it & discussed it with your surgeon. I would be interested to hear others thoughts too. (I have more fat on my abdomen so wonder if it might have been better there).

    I also wanted to say that I couldn't have gone back to work after 2 days - yes after the trial but not the full implant. I guess it depends on your job, but definitely think about it & plan longer I would say.

    Good Luck
  • That's great news you were approved for the SCS! I am so jealous.. Mostly because of all the positive things I've heard it's done for so many of our memebers here. I am so glad for you that you will have such a reduction in pain.

    USADogs - I'm equally happy for you too. There is nothing better than coming here and reading all the success stories people share - whether it be the SCS or surgery, or therapy of some sort.

    While I don't discount the fact that "those" people are out there, I'm not one. My expectations were (what I felt) realistic - I wanted the SCS to reduce my pain, thereby reducing the pain meds I take; which could only add to my quality of life. I was denied by the psych. He said I was too depressed. Well, I am now that's for sure! I'm not depressed; I get frustrated and anxious. Depressed sometimes, yeah, but never felt I was all THAT depressed.

    I'm not one to bask in the limelight. I have always been the one stepping back, hoping no one was looking at me. If attention was turned to me, I'd quickly mention someone else and re-direct the conversation. I find it so darned inconvenient to go to the doctor every month for medication refills and then to the pharmacy for the refills. That takes up a lot of time that could be spent doing other things. I just want to be who I was before all this and back to the life I enjoyed daily. I still enjoy it, but now I am distracted by pain.

    I am just tired of hurting all day. I know if I exercised more and maybe did a little less for the family (and a little bit more for me) I'd likely feel better.

    What I really dislike is the fact that I was so optimistic about the SCS and really felt it would do what I expected I guess I felt my perception would be my reality and wishing would make it so - and the psych just pulled all that away from me, and now has me doubting myself. Maybe he's right (and I'm wrong) and I won't benefit from the SCS. At first, I was willing to go on and have it done anyways (my PM wants to proceed), but now... I'm not so sure. I've got a good deal of mechanical as well as nerve pain, so... Maybe I'll just stay with the meds for now. rats. My next appointment with the PM we will discuss other treatment such as accupuncture!


  • Did they say why they do not consider you appropriate to try an scs?
    I know I'm still very concerned that between my insurance company and the PM and the clinic that they'll screw things up and I wont end up getting the trial!
    There are so many things that can go wrong yet. This area is pretty lame for PM care near as I can tell. To top things off I overdid it yesterday so I have that nice cozy campfire burning right dead center between my shoulder blades today!
    Anybody got any marshmallows? At least it is Friday and I won't have to come in here to work for a couple of days.
    I see my PCP on Monday. I expect to have to go through the whole, "You really need to take less of these" routine again.
    I really detest the whole situation. I so hope the SCS works.
  • Aw, Wrambler, I'm so sorry you aren't feeling well today. I hope you feel better soon, though.

    Actually, the psych said that the results of my test show that I am not a good candidate because of the way I answered the questions. It indicates that I am very depressed and that my expectations are unrealistic. Or something like that.

    I actually had it out with the psych who did the evaluation. I asked him if he had ever seen a patient who suffers from chronic pain to NOT have some form of depression, whether it be mild or severe? He said "That's a good question. I can't say that I have." I told him I do not find that I am depressed; mostly I suffer anxiety and frustration. He said the results of this psych eval did indicate that (anxiety). I told him I feel a person's attitude has alot to do with recovery. If I had felt the SCS would not be beneficial, I'd not be wasting his time or mine on the evaluation. He said my results were not proportionate and that I tend to "harp" on certain things. I explained to him that the test asked me the same questions over and over, and "I" was the one harping? Furthermore, if this were a "social" visit, I'd not have gone into the detail I had with him. But because he asked.... I asked him if my complaints of pain were disproportionate to my medical findings. He said, no they were not. I asked him if he actually thought I was the sort of person who would request a SCS just because? He said that, no he did not think so. I asked him if his opinion was that I hurt because I was depressed. Again his answer was no. I told him it was very hard to have my "specialist" - Rheumatologist - take my complaints serious; I had to go to my GP to have tests done to at least rule out any underlying problems. NOW, because HIS notes indicate I am depressed, I felt I would, once again, have to go through the tiresome act of CONVINCING medical personnel that I am in pain (and not just depressed). I also told him that I wanted desparately to be off the medication, or at least decrase it substantially, and that I felt HE stole that from me. THEN, (you are not going to believe this) he asked if I would like for him to ask my PM for some antidepressants. ?!? I told him I'm trying to decrease my medication intake (fool) not add to it!

    Now, it was MY turn... I asked him if he truly thought I was too depressed for the procedure and did he truly believe he could prepare me in "4" visits, or was it just that he needed another patient so he could pay his car note or house note (or something along those lines). He stopped typing on his lap top and looked at me incredulously. I had to smile at him. His look was really priceless. (Also, I was beginning to feel less depressed and angry - I had him on the ropes!) I asked "how does it feel to have your motives questioned? Not very pleasant, is it?" ("motion to treat as hostile witness, Your Honor?" "Motion granted")

    So, I get to see him again on February 27th to "discuss" that last office visit. It was scheduled for this past week, but I had to bring both my parents to their doctor appointments, and did not want to take off any more time this week.

    So we shall see how THAT plays out.

    Hope the fire between your blades dies down soon. And I truly hope you have awesome results with your SCS. There have been so many threads started on the SCS with new members asking questions and what not, and I can truly say that those who have benefitted outrank those who have not by about 8 to 2. I bet you will be in the majority as well!

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