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Pain Management, Psych Eval, SCS Trial



  • Please be careful. I'm sure don't need to hear that! I hope you get good results as things calm down!
  • How many days is your trial? When I left from my trial experience, I was NOT buzzing in the right place. In fact, I was buzzing in the front of my leg and not the back. My leads kept "going in the ditch" is what I kept hearing. Tracking sounds like the perfect verb! Mine did not track properly, either. In fact, even though they put in 2 leads, they had to immediately turn one off and after what I had gone through, it was useless.

    I went home very discouraged and thought why the heck did I even do this? Then the programmer called me that night and after consulting with the neurosurgeon who would go on to do my permanent placement, she asked me to come back in the next morning, and they would pull my leads down a little. (Since she had had a vaso vagal reaction to my suffering and had passed out, she felt the leads weren't placed properly by the doctor who was relying on her to give opinion. UGH! It was bad.) Anyway, I did NOT want that doctor to touch me again, but she promised me he would not hurt me. When we got there the very next morning, they did an xray with fluoroscope first, and found that my leads had moved an inch down on their own. Well, I believe God did it, actually. lol Normally, moving an inch would be BAD.

    But, the programmer was then able to start over with programming and find me one that really worked, and I fully enjoyed the rest of my trial. You can't have much of a trial if the leads are in the wrong place!!!! And sometimes this happens.

    Is your trial doc the same one that would do the permanent? Mine were 2 different docs. If they determine your trial is a failure, you might get a paddle lead trial. Be sure to make it clear your leads are not and never were in the right place!!! That is key. Paddle leads do not float, do not move around and aren't as positionally affected as the regular percutaneous leads. I was told the paddle lead trials are done in the hospital and if the trial (usually just a day or so) is successful, the doc comes in and finishes up the procedure, giving you the permanent all right then. They don't let you go home for risk of infection since the paddle lead procedure is so much more detailed. Paddle leads do not use "tracking" - they are not threaded up the epidural space/fluid.

    Darn it - you can't possibly know how great this works if it isn't in the right place. Shoot shoot shoot. Oh, and I was SORE. If you had tracking problems, thank goodness you were asleep. TRUST ME!!! I was awake. And hon, what they had to do to your back to get those leads to cooperate.........well, let's not talk about it. (If you want the down and dirty, PM me and I'll describe what they did with me.) Let's just say you have a reason you are sore, and if your trial is for at least 4 days, you will feel better in time to get some sense of relief. It took me about 2 days to want to do much with the soreness. For others reading this, our experience is NOT TYPICAL, so don't get scared off.

    Take it very easy, rest, and hope you get different coverage/sensations in the morning. That can happen. Hopefully, your nerves will calm down for you as well.

    Many gentle ( ( HUGS ) )

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  • Hey, I wonder, Are any of us typical? I'd love to have a dollar for every time I thought they had found the problem! :)
    Still waiting, no hurry right now. I have a cold and they won't touch me till that clears up anyway! just my luck.

    Not typical indeed :)
  • Hi - best wishes, please keep us posted on how you are doing.

    My trial starts Tuesday...do you think I will be ok to go to work the next day? They make it sound like its no big deal.

    Elizawake - thanks for the advice. I was told maybe 1-2 days off work after the implant but it sounds like that's optimistic. My job is mostly computer work. How long were you out?

    I'm a little nervous, but mostly hoping it works for me.

  • with the trial, it's very easy to just go about your business as usual with a few exceptions. first off you have to worry about catching the cord connecting the leads to the external unit on something. using the restroom is also a bit more challenging since you don't want to drop the unit accidentally in water. the other thing is infection. since the wires are externally connected to the leads going into your spine, you really need to be cognizant of where you go and what you do. sweating will make you uncomfortable too.

    this is the trial unit that i had. the gray box is the connecting block that connects the wires coming from the leads to the external unit which i wore on a belt.

    there was really no discomfort from the trial unit other than the two or three stitches they used to tack the leads to the area where they exited through the skin. as you can see, there's a lot of tegaderm covering the area to keep it clean. that's what will become uncomfortable if you sweat too much.

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  • I tell you this story because of your avatar: There was a woman who told her husband that what she really wanted for her birthday was silvery mettallic and would go from 0 to 300 in 60 seconds. Her husband bought her a scale.

    p.s. I have more. Susan
  • That's funny, but I'm missing what it has to do with my avatar. LOL
  • Wish me luck, I'm nervous. Will get the trial installed this afternoon. I will let you know how it goes.
  • I hope you find the trial to be a success.

  • Hi Kstarr

    Hope you have got on well with your trial - I had the time off the leads were in & about 3 days after that I think. Probably depends on your work, but in total it was about a week, they would not let me work with the leads in. The actual implant surgery I was off for about 8 weeks which was about right really. I am still not sure if they will let me do my real job as there is a question mark about how safe the leads are with repetative lifting etc....will have to wait & see.

    Anyway - hopefully you are feeling the benefits if all went well.
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