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SCS Stimulator Being Removed!!



  • Patsy -

    Obviously this a personal question that you don't have to answer, but you keep referring to it, so I keep wondering...

    What meds/doses were you on before/during your SCS trial?
  • Hey Patsy!

    Jim (I think) had a good point - about removing the stim at the time the pain pump is put in. That way, it's one hospital stay, one operating room, and maybe will save a few bucks here or there for either you (deductible or co-pay) and for sure the insurance (if you have it).

    Of course, because that will save money here or there, I'm sure everyone (medical professionals) will probably say "What? Are you NUTZ? We can't do that!?!"

    My Mom is still in her adjusting phase. I did ask her doc about Physical Therapy and she is on week 2 with that. She's had some really "good" days in a row - of course followed by "sore" days. But she and I are estatic about those good days. Hopefully soon we will get her morphine dose at a therapeutic level for her.

    Hope your experience with the pump is a good one!

    Take care now - and keep us posted!
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  • I think the biggest iffy part of being on meds while doing the trial is the fact that the meds can also dull the sensation of the SCS.

    It is hard for me to get into words, but, maybe I am doing it? The SCS is much more annoying in its own right without meds. It still dulls my pain, but it has an annoyance factor to it that is more pronounced now that I do not take Narcotics.

    For people who's drs have no expectations of the patient ever being completely off drugs, doing the trial with meds on board is no big deal at all. When you get the dr that insists that with the SCS you don't get the meds, well that kind of throws a big old monkey wrench in the works.

    It's not going to be like this for everyone, but for some of us the SCS is a little less wonderful once the narcotics are removed. Hey, Patsy could have had excellent trial results meds or no meds and still ended up with a permanent placement that failed her. The numbers are out there, these things happen.

    For me, I was having a lot of difficulty balancing the annoyance level of the SCS against my pain level, until I added in Valium and Flexeril. Oh, and that whole thing of finally getting a correct diagnosis of Bipolar Type II :D Funny, being glad about having a mental condition. The glad is not about having the condition. The glad is knowing what the problem is/was and seeming to be in a treatment plan for it that is working.

    My point is simply that Medtronics recomends patients not take narcotics while doing the trial. My second opinion PM said he would wean me off before doing a trial. My current PM said nothing about it, I hurt, I sure as #e!! was not going to volunteer to stop and be in more pain. Maybe if I had stopped all narcotics I would have said NO to the implant? Since it does help, would that have been any help to me? Would I be better off than I am?

    Hmmm, I think I'll shut up now as I have completely ran on way to long...

    Patsy, keep us up to date on how things go!
  • I want to thank everyone for taking the time to leave a comment. ALL comments are appreciated.
    I would answer each and everyone of you but right now am in to much pain to sit here long.

    Wrambler....I know my shoulder pain is not as bad as yours but right now mine is throbbing and using my right arm is very painful. Thamk you my friend.

    Dave.....I think this may be the "hard" pain you are talking about. Also my feet and legs pound and throb right now. Oh my....I think this may be the night i weep.

    Again thank you everyone. I will try to answer all your most welcome comments at a later time.
    Patsy W :''(
  • wrambler said:
    my point is simply that medtronics recomends patients not take narcotics while doing the trial.
    i don't mean to be a stickler, but can you point me to a reference for that information, as it pertains specifically to the trial placement?

    according to the faq on medtronic's website, the answer to the drug question is a most definite maybe but maybe not -

    can i have pain medication during the screening test?

    your clinician may reduce or withdraw your oral medication 1 to 2 weeks prior to the test. during the screening test, oral medication may be given for breakthrough pain. never stop taking your prescribed pain medication without first consulting your clinician.
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  • To everyone, I am sorry I stated that Medtronic Recommends or recommended stopping narcotics when doing the trial, I see that is no longer the case. I wonder if the doctor I saw in Pittsburgh has changed his recommendations?

    I also know BW intended to simply make sure the facts are correct.

    NOTE: this post was much, much longer, but....I now feel that what I had to say is inappropriate for the general forum. I will add, a simple PM would have let me see the error in my ways and I would have changed the post.

    Thank you, for not allowing me to do that.

  • I totally get what Dave says about "hard" pain. This is how I see things- that pain is always there no matter what you use to relieve it. In other words, I think that it really wouldn't make a difference if you get off all narcotics before a trial, stim or pump. Nothing out there can totally eliminate our kind of pain IMHO. However we proceed is based on what our doctors think is best. Ones like mine kept me on my meds as usual while others say wean off everything first.

    Wrambler, I agree that it takes a variety of ways to attack chronic pain and that one can certainly compliment or supplement the other. I think that you should be able to use oral meds along with stim to get the best results if just the stim alone isn't quite cutting it. The same applies to the pump. If you get for example 70% pain relief from the stim/pump, then you need something to help out with the remaining 30.

    Hey Jeaux, how long did it take for your mom to start PT? I'm so glad to hear about her progress. My doctor says it takes time, maybe a few months to get to that therapeutic dose. I had mine adjusted recently and I will keep going back to have it titrated as long as I can tolerate its effects.

    Patsy, I hope today is a better day for you and I hope you got some much needed rest yesterday. Let us know how you're doing and I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Take care >:D<

  • My two cents...not worth a penny, or two...but here it goes.

    My PM doctor said that SCS will not totally take everyone off medication. He said to continue to take my daily pain meds and see if they reduced on their own. I did exactly that didn't take a BT med the entire time of the trial. After my permanent implant he told me to remember that I may always need pain meds...thus the SCS is a tool to help manage not cure the pain. There are many reason for a trial to go good and permanent to fail. It is a risk you take. I am not totally off pain medication but I have reduced them to a point that I am happy with. I am not a zombie, I have quality of life back. Personally I feel if you are taken totally off pain meds before the trial you are throwing too many variables into the mix and who knows if the SCS is helping or not because you are dealing the the pain without the daily help you are use to. I understand that some doctors do things different...I am just saying my opinion...do don't shoot this old dog for opening her mouth to put in her two cents.
  • I suppose I could have sent a private message with the question, but then there wouldn't have been a public conversation to clarify the issue for anyone else that is following this thread.

    With over 200 views of this thread in just 4 days, there must be people following but aren't posting.
  • I will not be commenting in this thread about the meds I was on during my trial and the meds I am now on. This is about my SCS removal. I will leave a comment Wenesday after my visit to this new PM who may be doing my pain pump implant and I learn of his views on this prosedure.
    I will be starting a new thread about my pain meds and why it is important for me to always bring them up when I talk about my trial. That subject seems to be of a lot of interest to people...but this is not the place for it, in my opinion.
    I am sure those of you that have the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant will have a different opinion and can express their viesw in the new thread that I will start tomorrow.
    Thanks for understanding and I will look forward to reading your comments and your thoughts.
    Patsy W :H
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