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Old 01-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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Buttons HB User
Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

Does anyone know the exact reasons you are required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS? I already see a psychologist for depression and while I’m not on any meds for it, I sometimes feel as though I should be. I’m 52 yrs old and I feel as though my life has halted, I went from being active to only existing (And sometimes that “existing” is with pain so bad, even with my meds, I just want to cry). I hate the thought of going to someone new and having to explain all this again. My psychologist is use to me being in constant motion; sitting/standing/leaning/lounging (lol)

I have a great PM and he thinks this is my next option to explore for foot/leg nerve pain and lower back pain after L4-L5 failed surgery two years ago.

I don’t post very often but read all your posts fairly regular. I have severe carpal tunnel and it’s hard to type, plus after sitting to long I have blaring burning/stinging sensations in my left foot and lower left leg, not to mention the softball in my lower back. I just wanted to say that even though you didn’t know it, “You guys are angels to me and help me when I’m at my lowest”. I get good medical information and a lot of inspiration from all of you. I always pray for you’all when I read about you having new tests or surgeries and my heart goes out to everyone having bad days and extreme problems.

Thanks,
Buttons

 
Old 01-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

They do an assessment of several factors. Lots of people get freaked about this thinking they don't believe them about the pain or something. The reason they do it is to evaluate your ability to deal with the process, your support system, your coping mechanisms.

 
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
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Re: Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttons View Post
Does anyone know the exact reasons you are required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS? I already see a psychologist for depression and while I’m not on any meds for it, I sometimes feel as though I should be. I’m 52 yrs old and I feel as though my life has halted, I went from being active to only existing (And sometimes that “existing” is with pain so bad, even with my meds, I just want to cry). I hate the thought of going to someone new and having to explain all this again. My psychologist is use to me being in constant motion; sitting/standing/leaning/lounging (lol)

I have a great PM and he thinks this is my next option to explore for foot/leg nerve pain and lower back pain after L4-L5 failed surgery two years ago.

I don’t post very often but read all your posts fairly regular. I have severe carpal tunnel and it’s hard to type, plus after sitting to long I have blaring burning/stinging sensations in my left foot and lower left leg, not to mention the softball in my lower back. I just wanted to say that even though you didn’t know it, “You guys are angels to me and help me when I’m at my lowest”. I get good medical information and a lot of inspiration from all of you. I always pray for you’all when I read about you having new tests or surgeries and my heart goes out to everyone having bad days and extreme problems.

Thanks,
Buttons
Hi there,

I have already had my psych test/evaluation in aug 08 prior to having the scs trial in sept 08, I suffer from chronic back pain from my neck down to my bum, then the pain travels down my arms and legs. My surgeon told me prior to the surgury that in my case that there was only a 50% chance of him geting the electrode in the right place the first time because he said its easier to find the right place when patients have lower body pain (legs & feet) but when trying to find the right place for my large area of back pain its a lot harder to do. So like he warned me my surgeon put the electrode on my spine in the wrong place, so my first surgury didn't work and am scheduled to have another re-trial in apr 09.

So that is why they do this psych test thing to make sure that you are mentally able to cope with the outcome if the surgury doesn't work for the first time or if it doesn't work at all, and also to ensure that you are mentally able to cope with the surgury and in the recovery time and to make sure that you have somebody to help and care for you after your surgury, also to make sure that you are a chronic pain sufferer and to make sure that you understand what the scs entails for its future maintainance. I hope your not in too much pain right now or when you read this and I hope all goes well if you do get the scs, I'd like to be kept updated with your progress, if you wouldn't mind if your not in too much pain, take care of yourself xx

 
Old 03-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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Re: Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

Buttons - i hope you are doing better lately. Did you do your tests? You know the tests are simple. Mine were mostly pain questionaires, finishing statements about pain and what I do to relieve it or deal with it when I have it with a few scattered questions about family and support structure. It was followed up by a couple review meetings and then approval - but I haven't proceeded to the next step in getting it because they finally found a medication combination that works for me and would have been equal to what they thought the scs would do for me.

I think if you are going to pursue an implant it is important to get good explanations on:

1. What is a good expectation for outcome and how much of the pain will the stimulator address? (some of this is answered from the trial you do before hand). Make sure your trial is long enough for you to get a good answer for yourself.

2. Will you need to continue to take pain medications with it?

3. What are the potential issues of living with it, are there restrictions, does it inhibit any medical proceedures for you.

4. What is the maintenance or expected future maintenance in your lifetime.

5. What are the most common complaints and side effects or problems people have.

6. Ask for patient referrals in your doctor's practice and see what they say.

I am sure there were others, but these helped me have a good discussion and make my own decision. Take care!

 
Old 01-14-2010, 03:31 PM   #5
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RSDx4 HB User
Re: Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

Buttons, it has been awhile snce you started thread so hope all went well.

Robochick, love the name. Been called similar, mostly R2D2 since i have 2 stims.

Others looking for answer,
I see subject was addressed sufficiently but i wanted to add one more thought i was told before pre-implant psych tests. I guess some people hve issues with having foreign object inside of them. However, i don't see that developing with RSDers, especially if it relieves any of the pain.

Just FYI

 
Old 02-18-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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mcarr36 HB User
Re: Why are you required to take a psych test before having the trial SCS?

I haver never had a psych eval. and I have 2 SCS implants. I guess each insurance company is different in terms of their requirements. I have Aetna.

 
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