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It's showtime, Permanent SCS tomorrow...



  • Glad you were able to get a shower. That is one of the greatest feelings after any kind of surgery. I found that by taking the gel ice packs and placing them in an oversized t-shirt, I could manipulate the ice pack to anywhere I need it and then secure it in place by wrapping a beach towel around myself or lying on the pack.

    With the Medtronic SCS, there's no magnet, just a programmer. I carry mine in my purse or fanny pack depending on where I am going or what I am doing. It is small enough to go into an inside cell phone pocket on some jackets. I think everyone comes up with a way that works best for them based on what they do and their lifestyle.

    Hope you get some good sleep.

  • I have not been on here for sometime so am just now reading of your recovery progress.

    Happy to hear everything is going as it should. Yes, the surgery pain is rough for a while. Mine was gone within 2 weeks if I remember correctly. The PM I had at that time gave me Oxycodone for my surgery pain and it worked well for that.

    Also happy to hear you were able to get some badly needed sleep. Hope that continues.

    It's wonderful that it covers your neuropathy pain!! I too have neuropathy but all the SCS did for me was tingle on top of my pain! Not a good feeling at all.

    Continued success with your SCS. Isn't pain relief wonderful? Just concentrate on healing now and get as much sleep as you can.

    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
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  • Thanks for all the feedback guys! I'm on day 7 post-op. The pain is much more managable...still some burning, tenderness, and I'm sore...not at all as bad as the first few days home. That part totally sucked! My swelling is down at the IPG site, but is is red directly over the IPG. It is warm, but not hot and aside from the skin irritation from the dressings (my skin does not like adhesives, even from paper tape), I don't know why it is red. I'm curious if it from icing the area, just normal...or what? The skin directly over the IPG is completely numb and has been from day 1. I'm holding off on icing it today to see if the redness goes away...I've had 2 layers of towel and a shirt between the ice and the skin so I have been careful in that respect. The highest my temp has been was 99.6 and it's been hovering around normal today.

    My teenage girls are doing a fabulous job helping me out and doing all the driving, helping with showers and dressings (I've got both sites open to air as of today) so I'm good there, my husband...not so much

    My husband who has completely ignored me all week...took me to the hospital, wasn't there when I went in, wasn't there when I came out, brought the kids out in the evening (and left), to the bar I found out and then...My daughter brought me home. He decided it would be a good idea to go out Saturday and get so drunk that I had to stay up with him passed out on the bathroom floor with like 30-70 second pauses in breathing...he was rousable so I left his sorry butt there and kept an eye on him all freakin night...embarassing to him or not...next time I'm just calling the medics. He is leaving to Vegas for a week in the morning (business trip...)so perhaps the toxic environment around here will mellow out. He hasn't asked me once how I'm doing or feeling. I had to call him one time because I was in the house alone and could not get out of bed by myself (the first time I was horizontal). Enough of that, yes he's an alcoholic but he rarely gets THAT drunk...usually you can't tell he's even been drinking.

    So, I've been playing around with the programs and can't quite get my right leg and foot covered...they are buzzing right along, but I still feel the neuropathy. I get reprogrammed next week. I'm hoping that my NS didn't put the paddle lead too high in my back. He told me L1-T12, the op report says he ended up putting it at T8-9, I of course don't remember the surgery so I have no clue why it is so different than what he originally planned. My St Jude Rep was there, showed me the xrays from my stim trial...so I know the info was supplied to him... I'll be sure to ask him during my postop visit. Did you have to get reprogrammed quite a bit in the beginning? I don't mind it, I'll do whatever it takes to get this gadget working and get off some of the meds...but it's almost an hour trip there, and an hour trip back... Oh well, I'm just learning at this point :)
  • Unfortunately, it's probably gonna take some time to get the programming right. You should definitely ask the surgeon why he moved the leads. The ANS rep should have been in surgery also, so they should be able to answer that question. Why do a trial if they're going to change the parameters when they do the perm implant.

    I would press them to foot the programming bill if it takes a while to get your coverage right. Just my two cents.

  • Yes, my St Jude reps were at my surgery, even showed me the fluoroscopy photos from the trial. The only reason I know any of this stuff is because my NS told me at my pre-op appointment that he was going in at T12-L1 I told him that seemed pretty low, he flipped through my chart and read my stim trial results outloud and said "oh, they had to advance it to T11". Well, while I was in the hospital I had my nurse look up and read my op report (mostly because recovery told them I had general anesthesia-and i was curious to know if i did, i signed an informed consent for both conscious and general) well she's reading this to me and the op report says T8-T9. So, the incision is exactly at bra strap level...I can't wear a bra (TMI sorry), I can't sit back in a chair or when i drive (only short trips...otherwise someone else is driving) because that's right where the thoracic curve is and I have no extra padding, my IPG is right at my waist (belly button level) slightly in the front but the vertical incision is on my side...weird placement but what do I know? If they were trying for back pain relief, my back isn't that painful, it's the burning neuropathy in my hips, legs, and feet that are my problem. As much as I didn't want to be aware when they woke me up...now I wish I knew what the heck went on in there...I'll ask my reps when I see them for dang sure. Yeah, got my hospital bill ... $67,000 ... Can't wait for the rest of the bills, good thing I have good insurance and I work there!

    I'll keep you guys posted
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  • 13 days post-op and NS as well as PM post-op visits and reprogramming. It was a tiring day. Finally got to see my incisions, they are healing pretty well...my skin came off with the steri-strips (dumb me, I requested them instead of staples) so I'm a bit raw. My surgical pain is much better, swelling is way down. I now have 8 programs to choose from... Some relief from the neuropathy, they say will get better with time. He can get the stim up to my upper ribs and even to my arms and hands...my problem is my hips, legs, feet...The left side has decent coverage, the right is where the majority of my nerve damage is...it's gonna take some work. I spent an hour getting reprogrammed, so I need some time to try out the programs.

    My PM doc was not pleased about the no post-op meds...that's water under the bridge at this point. My big issue is work. My NS says I can go back in a week or two, my PM doc first asked me if I HAD to go back...umm yeah, unless you want to pay my bills and feed my four kids...not going back is not an option! He said he wants me to stay off for as long as possible ... For obvious reasons, scarring in, I have a very physically
    demanding job, and apparently a very bad marriage issue. ( husband left to Vegas last
    week for a supposed conference, that didn't start until Sunday...he's been there since Thurs morning...no call, no texts, no emails nada...no "are you okay" nothing). Anyway, I am short on leave because I had to use all 12 weeks last year for my fusion recovery. I have some quick thinking to do about when to go back...I wish my diva would come to an agreement on something...anything. Aside from my wounds or possible revisions, I don't see my NS anymore. PM doc...at least once a month. I know my NS will give me a release, but my PM strongly advises me to stay off for more than just a week or two lo I ne to.HR and scheduling know ASAP. I've lost enough sleep over it for the night
  • I meant that I wish my doctors would agree on something ... Not my divas ( although I do have three teenaged daughters...they don't agree on anything either...lol).

    And I need to let HR and scheduling know ASAP how much longer I can be/will be off. They tried to fire me last year when I ran out of leave and came back with restrictions. So, yes politics is a bitch with our new company... They also forget I just made them over $200,000 off my surgeries alone. I'm headed to bed and maybe some sleep now.
  • Good luck Toni, Hope it all works out for you. I kinda wish the scs trial would of worked out for me also. Both trials i was geting zapped every time they would set the program by the time i get home it would change and almost taze me to the ground.

    Hey i heard if you stand on 1 leg and face nw your scs picks up free hbo. That might explain the 65.000 bill. Best wishes. Alex
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Yeah! Free movies :)

    I'm sorry your trials didn't work out Alex. I think my trial actually worked really well...I'm pretty sure after everything settles in, I will get better relief. My St Jude rep told me I'm showing excellent progress (that's his job though). So far my two St Jude reps have been great. My PM doc doesn't want to change any of my meds yet...grrr. I have been reducing my Neurontin dose...why have me on 2400mg if I still needed a SCS. I've been having vertigo for months and I'd wake up with my hands so swollen it hurt to move them. I've noticed a huge improvement since I've decreased my dose.

    Now if I can find the program he set that makes ATM machines spit out cash for me as I near them...I will be a happy camper! Then the whole return to work deal would be resolved :D

    Hope you can find something that eases your pain Alex!
  • How are you coming along with your new programs? Did you make a decision about going back to work? I think I'm ready to start going to the office, but since they won't let me haul my laptop back and forth, I'm going to wait until someone can bring my new desktop computer up to my office and set it up next week sometime.
    I was just thinking about you and hoping that things are improving. My hip has just started to bother me and I think it is because I'm getting more active and the swelling is going down some so I'm feeling it more when I sit for long periods or walk around a lot. I am pretty sure this happened the last time I had this surgery too.
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