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It's showtime, Permanent SCS tomorrow...

24

Comments

  • It was a long night with not much sleep. I woke up this morning and the IPG site is super swollen...my surgeon thought I was okay, but it sure does burn (now I understand the comments about the site burning). My St Jude rep came out about 0830 and programmed me with several options, showed me how to run the thing. Turns out my T12 laminectomy ended up being T8-T9...they advanced the lead because they were actually able to get coverage to my lower back. Anyway, I'm parked in my recliner with an icepack on my side and honestly feeling pretty punk at the moment, I'm sure some sleep would help...I'll work on that. I'm in an "I don't feel good and don't give a damn" mood so I'll sign off for now...thought I'd let you know I made it home :)
  • lol- I thought "feeling pretty punk" meant that you felt pretty good (hehe) shows what I know. I actually think that I feel a little envious of those of you with the SCS now, and this is a brand new feeling for me, as far as this treatment is concerned. Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy for anyone who get any pain relief in any way at all, I just never really thought seriously about the SCS before & doubt I could ever even be a candidate..hmmm.

    I hope you are feeling better and get great relief!
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  • Ice packs were my best friends during the first several days. Even past the magic "72 hours", ice helps numb up the IPG pocket and reduce the burn for a bit. Since mine is in my backside, I don't know how much the movement difference will be that you experience, but a change of position was always the kicker. Good thing is, that is settles fairly quickly, that is until I changed positions yet again.

    It's good to keep an eye on your battery status the first week. The battery is charged fully before implantation, but programming an IPG chews up a bit more than normal operation. If you have lots of swelling at your IPG site, you may have trouble charging any time soon. By the time I was able to do my first charge, it had been 11 days and I was about on fumes. I also found that initially I couldn't stand to do a complete recharge. So I would charge for an hour and then ice the pocket down. By about the 3rd or 4th charge I was able to do a full charge without stopping.

    Robin

    What you said makes total sense. I started a thread a few months after I first got my SCS, and talked about how I felt I had an unfair advantage over others with chronic pain. Of course with everyone's situation being different, that makes it an unrealistic view of things, but I still remember feeling like I had a headstart in the race of life.

    "C"
  • Punk in my understanding=feeling poor, aka: "I feel like crap!"

    My PM doc tried to convince me last summer to get a SCS. I've had a he'll of a time at work because of my surgery...I am an RN, I work 12 hour shifts (nights), as a nurse, I risk losing my license if I take any narcs before, or during, my shift. The only way I was cleared to work by my NS was if I continued to wear my LSO brace...so I work in pain, I just can't continue to do that. Why do you think you are a poor candidate? I was very skeptical until I had my stim-trial.. Aside from the pain of lead placement, my neuropathy was gone. :D. Ack, I'm posting from my phone so I'll cut this short. All I can say is... Never say never!
  • We haven't gone over charging this thing yet, I've got the box of goods and only glanced at it so far. I'm supposed to go in on Monday, it's almost an hour drive so when my rep called me today...he told me that he can walk me through it on the phone...I don't see that as a problem. I have a full battery, but it's only day one ( it feels like a week!)

    Why was it difficult to charge? Does this thing heat up? Or is it just sitting for that amount of time? My biggest problem right now is surgical pain control...my NS sent me home on the exact same meds that I take every day! Exactly the same doses and all. My PM doc told me that my NS would be in charge of my post-op pain control...i think he neglected to tell my NS that. I'm calling my PM doc first thing in the morning to hopefully get some help. 1 Norco every 6 hours is not cutting it...I have no idea what my NS is thinking. When I asked him about surgical pain control, he told me to break a Norco in half?!?? Maybe he wants me to take 1.5 Norco at a time, I dunno. I really appreciate all your input and advice! I did not realize the discomfort I would have...it's for a good cause though :) the burning pain is the worst! Holy cow. so I am trying to lay flat so that when I get up, I don't have to stretch the tissues over the IPG if that makes an sense... it's already stretched over it because I'm not curled-up (much as I'd like to be). I'll let you know how the pain control calls go tomorrow...now if only I could sleep! Not sure what the insomnia is all about.
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  • Yeah, the IPG pocket might get a little warm while charging. I believe you said you were getting a Medtronic SCS. If so, there's quite a few of us that can share some tips we use in charging. Take it slow while you recover and this will all be a distant memory real soon.

    Dave
  • Some folks have experienced difficulty acquiring a good signal when there's significant swelling present. I didn't have that problem, however when charging the first few times I could only tolerate it for so long before I had to remove the charger. I did all my post op pain control with Tylenol and Celebrex. I did not have a laminectomy with my implant though, just percutaneous leads.

    I found that by using a pair of running shorts I could charge more comfortably. No matter how still you sit or lay while charging, there's still small amounts of movement between the IPG, your skin and the charger. By using the shorts, it provided a smoother surface for those small movements and kept the charger from "grabbing" my skin and increasing the discomfort.

    Like Dave mentioned, many of us have a Medtronic SCS, so we can easily assist you if need be. I have a Medtronic RestoreULTRA and it is 3 years old. Couldn't live my life without it!

    "C"
  • I have a couple DVD's to watch about my new toy. It does say not to use the charger if you have staples because of the risk of burns. I have steri-strips this time around so that isn't an issue. I have a stylin' belt for the antennae wand and charger, I'm assuming most of these units operate in a similar fashion. I will definitely watch for a heat while I charge.
  • I'm actually wearing yoga pants at the moment, I can see that these would probably work well...like your running shorts do for you. The good news is...the swelling seems to have gone down some this morning, so maybe the burning at the IPG site will be less today. I figured that if my surgeon let me have Toradol in the hospital...it is probably okay to take ibuprofen at home...in moderation. I'm trying very hard to take it easy now that I'm home, not an easy task with 4 kids (three of which are teenage girls-talk about little slobs!). There is no reason they can't step up and help out more. My husband, well...if he can't fix it, he avoids it...he will help me if I ask him to...I just have to ASK him... Like yesterday when I was laying in bed and found that I couldn't get up, the kids were all gone and I found myself stuck! ( it was the first time I'd been horizontal ). I can't reach my other incision, so I haven't been icing that one. I'm going to see if I can get showered today (have to be diligent about keeping my incisions dry)...I will see if one of my co-workers can come do my dressing changes this afternoon.

    I slept for 5 hours straight last night, more sleep than I've had all at once in days. Yay me :)
  • Yep, that's right. I took a FIVE hour nap, and this evening, with the help of my teen aged daughters, I even took a real shower and they changed my dressings! I managed to keep my incisions dry, from what I can see they look okay...he got a bit carried away with the steri-strips. The bruising is starting to show and you can totally see where the lead wire is tunneled to the IPG...weird. I'm pretty thin so there will be no hiding it, that's for sure. I had a pretty rough morning, which is why I laid down...the 2+ weeks of sleeping an hour at a time...plus working nights must have all caught up with me...however it is 2:30am in Oregon and I'm still awake now.

    I had changed my program earlier, then after a while I found that my IPG wasn't running at all. I have no idea why it just stopped...it's running now that is all that matters. Time to shut down and get some shut-eye. Hopefully tomorrow will be an even better day. My lami incision area is now much more sore so I better find a way to ice it, and my Side..later on and not right now. Thank you guys for sharing your experiences and advice!! How do you guys carry your magnet and programmer? Do I just get a bigger purse? I usually wear a zip-up hoodie and many have inside pockets I can stuff the case into...is it safe to carry my magnet with my programmer? Maybe I should carry them separate. I would hate to fry my programmer.
    ~Toni
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