I suffer from extreme facial bone and nerve pain. My doctor has talked to me about installing a pump that sends the drug, in my case hydromorphone, directly into the spine at a much lower dosage than necessary with oral or iv administration and with far less side effects. The medication needs to be refilled about once every 3 months and the place that actually installs the pump will even send a nurse to your home to refill it for you instead of having to wait in a hospital. From what I understand its a relatively simple outpatient procedure and provides tremendous relief. Opiates aren't the only medications that are put in the pumps though, I've heard of steroids as well, sort of like the steroid shots you hear about on these boards, I suppose. The pump protrudes from the back just enough so that the medication can be refilled.
I have heard some people having problems with the pumps getting infected, unfortunately, but the pros seem to outweigh the cons in my case.
I have a pump. The test went great. I know alot of people who have great sucess. Personally. I had the pump put in Feb.27th since then I had the cathader pull out of my spine (two weeks after installation) Then after surgery to fix it I started getting very sick from the medication. A migrane for two solid weeks, throwing up for three weeks. Then the doctor shut the pump off. Changed the medication to Fentanyl. Now I have spinal fluid leaking so I don't know if it will work. Have to have surgery to move the cathader and hopefully stop the leak. If I had to do it over again I would have a neurosurgeon install the pump. During the test I did get great relief with very little medication. I think when I get the issues worked out and get the right medication put in everything will be ok.
Hi there, I just joined this board today and I know this post is several months old, but I have a pump and just love it. I got it in March 2008 and I'm already almost out of pain. I've gotten my oral meds cut way back & should be off of them in 2 months or so. I hardly notice the pump while sitting, but when I get up it's still a little tender over the inscision. I have mine in the left lower abdomen area and you have to feel around for the area where they inject the needle to refill it. They stick it thru the skin into the pump. There is an area in the center of it that accepts the needle. It's pretty cool. They give me a little something to numb the area first cause I'm somewhat of a weenie about needles.
My pain used to be about a constant 7 and now it's a 1-2 daily. I still take my Ambien for sleep cause I have a bone disease that has my hips, shoulders, collar bones and spine hurting. Whenever I put pressure on them, it really hurts, so of course laying on them still hurts more than I want them to.
If anyone is thinking about a pump, I highly recommend it. I had an out-patient trial and out-patient pump surgery. Both were great, as surgery goes. The inscision area hurt bad for a few days, but nothing that extra meds couldn't help. I came home from the srugery center with meds already in the pump. I have Dilaudid in it
Whenever you get a refill, which can be anywhere from 2 to 5 months, depending on how much was put in the pump versus how much you get on a daily average, you get a "printout" that tells you everything about your pump and how it is working. Keep a current copy with you at all times, and keep one in a master file for you personal records. I happen to have to go the the ER for a bout with Pancreatitus in May and good thing I had my copy and (Medical ID card) with me. It helped them determine how much more pain meds to give me.
Well, if anyone has an other questions, feel free to post and I'll keep an eye out.