I finally had my spinal cord stimulator implant done yesterday. The operation took about 2 hrs and then it took another 45 minutes to get the leads right in my back so it would control my pain at the correct places.
Got home yesterday, and took a long nap. We had to get up so early and go down to hospital yesterday morning.
Today, I am sore but I have started using the remote to control the pain and so far so good. Need more time with it to get it set right and leave it but have no problems with it as of yet. It was my resort to use, if I wanted to try and get better and have a better quality of life.
Just wanted to drop a line for now. Will come back in a week or so. If anyone who is thinking about this alternative for themselves and want to talk to someone about it, please feel free to ask me any questions on here. I will keep up to date on here with everyone.
Yes, I am glad its over. Was on the operating table for over 3 hrs. Mainly, was because of relocating the leads for my leg pain. Very sore this morning but that is normal. They wanted me to wait til monday before starting a walking regimen. I will start slowly I guess but I am anxious to get well. This has been going on for a long time. Last July was when my leg started bothering me alot and it just got worse up until my surgery on friday.
I will stay in touch weekly for sure. Thanks Teri for all of your encouragement with me during this trauma in my life. I am hoping in 8 wks that I can go back to work but the dr is only giving me a 50-50 chance of that. We will see.
Tuesday I am having carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand. Yeah, I know that is very soon after back surgery but wanted to get this over before my wife and I go to the beach in May. This surgery should be a breeze, I hope.
I will stay in touch for sure. Talk with you later.
I had surgery on my nose in January and it took as long, well almost, anyway, as my 3 level fusion. In recovery the nurse kept fussing over me, asking about the pain. She started to explain the 1-10 pain scale to me -- I just laughed and told her I had two previous lumbar fusions and this surgery, my pain wasn't even on the same scale! She looked surprised but at least stopped hovering and asking me questions.
Had carpal tunnel surgery done on my left hand yesterday. Typing with one hand now because of sling so won't type much. Hand sore but doing okay I guess. Dr. said this hand was worse than right hand.Well, now I have had both hands done. Hope I am done with surgeries.
Went walking today for 15 minutes with stimulator on and it was like dragging a ball and chain around. Too early to tell about my recovery but will continue small walks.
This one hand typing is tiresome so will close for now. I will stay in touch with how things go for me.
Yeah you would think I could get some kind of discount, wouldn't you?
I had to go see my orthopedic dr today and I did get 20 % off my MRI bill because I was there today. Probably because alot of people not paying and when they get someone in there who owes, then they give a discount. I guess, but anyway I did get the 20% off my bill which was nice.
Anyway thanks teri for keeping in touch. I drove the hr's distance to dr today and drove back with my stimulator on. It is beginning to help me but I need more time to see if I can ever work again.
Have a great weekend and I hope your health is good.
Thanks for the good wishes. I am doing well. My perseverance paid off and I hope yours will, too. I almost went to a doctor who was in the adjoining state for my last surgery...but I realized I was too needy...meaning I would require the surgeon's attention every month or so and I wouldn't be able to drive myself to the appointment. My other choice was right up the road -- like 10 minutes away...and I had no reason to believe he wasn't as good as the other guy.
I'm sorry you have to travel so far. That has to be hard on you. Did he think you're doing OK?
yes, he said it was going to be up to me on whether or not work was in my future. I go back in 7 wks. Between now and then, it is walk as much as I can but to start slow and work my way up. That is what I will do.
If I can't work, then he will start the disability papers but am hoping for good results from my walks. Talk with you later.
Went back to dr. for follow-up visit from my SCS implant. Dr. said I had alittle swelling around implant but that it is normal and told me to just be careful for the next 6 wks.
The rep from Boston Scientific was there to re-adjust my stimulator remote settings. I needed one of the programs to deliver alittle more sensation to my right leg closer to my knee. He did that and I started feeling alittle better in my right leg.
Don't go back to dr. til june 11th. At that time, I decide if I am ready to try work or just go on disability for good.
It will be up to me. Now, it's time to start walking. Hoping for the best.
Talk with you later.
I had one put in back in 2001 after everything else was tried. Long story short, back then you had to stay awake for it to be put in during surgery. I'm wondering, did you still have to stay awake during the surgery as I did? It was the absolute most painful procedure I'd ever had in my life. And for me, it did not work. Within days it slipped and didn't work unless I was standing in a particular position. Just standing. And it didn't help at all for my low back pain. My doctor also refused to go back in and adjust it because it was too traumatic on me. I had it removed this past July and ended up with a staph infection and told that there were two tubes left in. Well, the radiologist claims there WAS and the surgeon claims there WAS NOT. Anyhow, I sure hope this continues to help you. Keep us posted.....
Last edited by Shadowsmom42; 04-30-2012 at 10:15 PM.
I'm so sorry Shadowsmom42 for all that you went through with your SCS. When I had my trial done, I had to stay awake and yes it ranked right up there with a discogram as very painful. I was asleep with the permanent implant until they needed to start the stimulator and check the leads for being in the right place. My procedure was okay except when the dr had the leads to close to my side one time and my ribs started real pain but other than that it was uneventful. I am having swelling at the implant site but was told it was normal. Still have a ways to go whether or not if I can go back to work or not and stand 10 hrs a day on concrete. My doctor gave me 50-50 chance on work.
Are you still working or are you on disability? Hope to hear from you soon.
Keith, I'm on disability. Have been for about 8 years now. I hired Binder and Binder a while back as I was turned down on my own. I won the case and SS paid me for about 5 years of backpay. That was a surprise!. Anyhow, I had a severe car accident in 1992, not sure I talked about that at all, where I was rear ended at 70 mph and I was at a dead stop on the freeway along with everybody else, except for the lady that was behind me. Apparently, she wasn't paying attention. Due to that accident, I've had chronic pain (mainly all nerve damage and chronic low back pain) since then and the accident caused Post-Traumatic Fibromyalgia. (Before these accidents, etc., I was working full time AND I was a bodybuilder. Oh, how I miss those days.....) Then about 1+ years ago I woke up with my right arm tweaking (it was painful but at the same time funny as I couldn't hold still). I ended up having an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) at the C5-C6. Then in 2010, Christmas eve, a car went through a red light and t-boned my car. My neck hasn't been the same since since the surgery was only 7 weeks prior to that accident. Just pain, stiffness, etc., now. I am on a ton of pain meds and have been for almost 11 years now. (Don't go that route if you don't have to. As you may know, you build up a tolerance. I sure have.) I really, really hope the SCS helps you!!! I wish nothing but the best for you. If you have anymore questions, just let me know! - Terry
You have had alot of bad luck and I hope all of that is behind you and that you continue to get better with your health.
I am at a crossroad myself about work. My doctor said it's 50-50 whether I can work again. It's up to me. I am now about 2 weeks out from implant and the incision site is still swollen and painful to lean up against. My right leg, which was my biggest obstacle as far as pain is getting some relief from the SCS but I feel horrible when I first get up in the morning. I am still taking pain meds first thing in the morning which helps. At the 6 wk mark I have to decide if I want to go back to work and stand on concrete for 10 hrs a day. My job is not that difficult. More mental then physical but I do have to stand alot. My wife just retired and I have been at the same place for 31 yrs come next month. The medical insurance is the big thing about either going on disability or working. I have had 7 back surgeries but get around pretty good. It is a decision I have to make because I think I wouldn't have any problem getting full disability if I apply.I am nearly 59 yrs old. How old were you when you went on disability if you don't mind me asking. I would like to work 6 more yrs. I just don't know yet. Thanks for your reply, teri.
Hey, Keith...if I might....please, if you can keep working, do it. I say this because since you are 59, I can guarantee (after going through this with an attorney and them explaining things to me), I can almost guarantee that since you're 59 you will NOT get permanent disability, but instead, social security will have you take your '62' age SS instead of your age 66 or 67, which ever category you fall into. As you know, if you take social security at 62, it isn't nearly as much as if you were to wait until age 66 or 67. My husband is your age and has also considered some surgeries that would qualify him for disability (and get him out of pain) but since he's so close to 62, social security will end up making him take his 'early' social security instead of disability. So, for now, he keeps plugging away for another 6-7 years......if he even lives that long. He just knows that we can't live on my disability and a measly $1,200 that he would get if he collects now. You're better off waiting, IF YOU CAN, until you're 66....67.....You mentioned that you stand a lot....Is it possible in the job you do to have a chair to sit and stand, sit and stand as you please??
You asked how old I was when I started getting my disability.....I'm almost 48 (I know, still a youngster, right? There are days I feel 148! haha) and it was 6 1/2 years ago that I started getting it monthly. But when I won the case, SS had to pay be backpay from the time I originally filed and got declined. (I got a check for about $35,000 at that time. I never would have won if I had not had an attorney, though. Never.....I also got lucky in that I got a 'visiting' judge on this day. He was sooooo cool and even my attorney walked out of there saying, "I know this judge. You'll get your disability even though the judge technically doesn't have the final say. He can just put a good word in for you.". Anyhow, because I am on disability and my husband is still working AND there are LESS than 14 employees at his company, that makes my Medicare my primary insurance. If you were to try to get disability, you'll not only end up getting early social security, most likely (they'll give you disability first but then SS will automatically put you on early SS), but you'll end up with Medicare being SECONDARY AND having to pay for another health insurance....as a primary. Medicare doesn't cover everything as you might know.
Sooooo, long story short (and probably explained confusingly, if that is even a word, LOL), please keep working for just another 6 or 7 years if you can. That way you can collect ALL of your social security that you are entitled to. Once you collect your '62' age SS, you can not change that........ Keith, really, if you can pull it off, keep working. I have regretted it every single day. Ever since that first accident, at age 29, I have not worked. And now I'm 48, collecting only $792/mo in disability AND having to depend on my husband. And his health is poor. If something happens to him, I'm kinda......well.....screwed, if you don't mind me using that word. He has life insurance but it can only help so long. Basically, at my age now and the economy the way it is, I will never work again.....and I've regretted not at least trying to go back to work so many years ago. I stayed home and raised our daughter who is now 19 and doesn't need her mommy much anymore. Oh, oh.....empty nest syndrome here I come! LOL.
Hey, keep in touch and let me know what you decide, OK? Don't let an attorney talk you into TRYING to get permanent disability, ok? And I don't recommend applying yourself, either, for reasons stated above. With that said, only you and your wife can make that decision.
Regarding your surgery site....it will be sore for quite a while and especially leaning up against things. When they removed mine last year, the surgeon cut into the same sites and that one area in my back is so thin, along the spine. It took a long time and a major infection to heal.
Yeah, I've been through a lot but I know there are others out there that have been through even more. My life is good. I can't complain. Would I make some changes if I could go back??? ABSOLUTELY!!! But I'm not going to dwell on it now, LOL.
You take care of yourself and keep me posted, ok?? - Terry (OMG, did I just write a book or what!!!! Sorry so long....)