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Old 03-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

I just had Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery on Mar.8,11 and released on the same day. Two hour surgery went well, a bit sore and getting better. This was the surgery for permanent. There are restrictions while you're healing.
Anybody know when you can resume loving physical intimacy with your partner. It seems that the doctors communicate about all the restrictions during healing, except for intimacy unless you ask. Hope I can get a response from some of the members onboard here, so implanted wires leads are not broken or dislocated. The Stimulator is giving me some relief that I didn't have before.

 
Old 04-12-2011, 12:18 AM   #2
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi JCW247
I had my stimulator implanted 03/29/11 for low back/leg pain and have all of the restrictions I had from laminectomy/facetectomy I had in 06/10 - no twisting, bending, stooping, reaching, lifting more than 5 lbs, sitting more than 30 min at a time, plus as little flexion/extension of my neck, no driving, I have to wear a very restrictive back brace, and no loving physical intimacy for 8-12 weeks.The hard part is finally feeling good but not being able to do anything. Everyone's situation is unique and only your Dr. can give you the answer that is best for you - you definitely don't want have anything get messed up and have to repeat the surgery. In my experience asking my Dr. directly never ended up being as awkward as I thought it would be. If you don't mind me asking since you had your SCS implanted a few weeks before I had mine, how long before you no longer had the inconsitent stimulation/coverage due to positional changes?

 
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Thanks for your feedback. It's been five weeks now since my March.8, 2011 Spinal Stimulator was permanently implanted. Going well, still sore and able to get around pretty good.

I know you had a question. Would like to respond, but not sure I understand what you are asking. Respond back and I'll do my best with a answer. Hope you're doing well after your implant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorylassie View Post
Hi JCW247
I had my stimulator implanted 03/29/11 for low back/leg pain and have all of the restrictions I had from laminectomy/facetectomy I had in 06/10 - no twisting, bending, stooping, reaching, lifting more than 5 lbs, sitting more than 30 min at a time, plus as little flexion/extension of my neck, no driving, I have to wear a very restrictive back brace, and no loving physical intimacy for 8-12 weeks.The hard part is finally feeling good but not being able to do anything. Everyone's situation is unique and only your Dr. can give you the answer that is best for you - you definitely don't want have anything get messed up and have to repeat the surgery. In my experience asking my Dr. directly never ended up being as awkward as I thought it would be. If you don't mind me asking since you had your SCS implanted a few weeks before I had mine, how long before you no longer had the inconsitent stimulation/coverage due to positional changes?

 
Old 04-12-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi JCW247
My question is: If you had inconsistent coverage/stimulation and if so how long before you no longer had it? Depending on how I move (and sometimes for no reason at all) the stimulation gets stronger, weaker, stops covering the left side, etc. I'm told it will get better as I heal - just wondering how long. I've already had programs added/tweaked twice and only two are marginally helpful. The surgical pain is long gone - just trying to be patient now for the permanent SCS to work as well as the trial did. Glad that you are getting relief that you didn't have before.

 
Old 04-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi ivorylassie, I had my stimulator implanted 12/2010, four weeks after, I had to have surgery to put the leads back in place. as far as the stimulation being stronger or weaker when you move or maybe lay on your back, mine still does this my rep said thats because I have the percutaneous leads, it will always do this to some degree. If it is not working as well as the trial or when you first came home from surgery, you may want to ask your doctor to do an xray to make sure nothing has slipped a little, when i had mine done at week 2 all of a sudden my stimulation was in my stomach instead of foot and leg. They tweaked and programmed over and over and nothing, my doc sent me for xrays and my leads had slid upwards. So two weeks after that I was back in surgery getting it fixed. good luck
kelly

 
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorylassie View Post
Hi JCW247
My question is: If you had inconsistent coverage/stimulation and if so how long before you no longer had it? Depending on how I move (and sometimes for no reason at all) the stimulation gets stronger, weaker, stops covering the left side, etc. I'm told it will get better as I heal - just wondering how long. I've already had programs added/tweaked twice and only two are marginally helpful. The surgical pain is long gone - just trying to be patient now for the permanent SCS to work as well as the trial did. Glad that you are getting relief that you didn't have before.

Like all of us that are new to this technology, still figuring things out with the remote. I've noticed when laying on my back, it shuts down, so I assume it's the way the equipment is setup to function like this. It helps my lower back, but I'm still getting those sharp shooting pains on the foot. Will have to look into that further. Hang in there, it will get better.

 
Old 09-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

I'm so confused.) I read that some results are good and some bad, but I've yet to determine if there is a consensus of opinion for or against. Are there any non-partisan reports that I can find that give the stats on success or failure of spinal stimulators? I am absolutly anti-pain meds. I have a friend who has been on a morphine pump for six years and she has aged 30 years in that time and looks like a junky and slures her words when she talks. That is not an option for me. After five lumbar and two cervical spinal surgeries I'm ready for anything non chemical. I am a retired soldier and 100% disabled, surrender is not an option.

Last edited by Snowis; 09-17-2011 at 01:51 PM. Reason: ad info

 
Old 09-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi Snowis,
I don't know of any reports that give the stats, however, from what I've experienced first hand and then from those I know of that have/had the SCS, people either love it or hate it. The really good thing about an SCS, unlike surgery, you get to try it out before making it permanent. Also, unlike surgery, if later it stops working or whatever, you can have it removed. I had the trial done in Jan (got 70% reduction in pain without taking any meds); then permanent (wire leads) done in March (was unsuccessful because we found out that my anatomy is not average), so did a revision and put in paddle leads in July. Not working as well as the trial yet due to the swelling/fluid is not completly gone nor is the area completly healed yet. Hope this helps, best of luck and thank you for your service.

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
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Wink Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

I appreciate your reply. I guess everybody is different depending on activities, sex, size and spinal injuries. I suppose I will have to make my decission based on what I read here. I am proud to have served you and our country and would do it again. I would appreciate any information I could get on physicians in my area or elswhere if that is allowed in this forum.

Last edited by Snowis; 09-18-2011 at 09:59 AM.

 
Old 09-18-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi Snowis,
Yes, everyone and their injury, just like their solution, is unique. Maybe check out the various companies/makers of SCSs: St. Jude, Medtronic, Boston Scientific and possibly others, for answers to your specific questions relating to your unique situation. Also possibly finding a good pain management doctor, as compared to a general MD, since the treatment of pain is their specialty would also be beneficial. Sorry I don't know of any in FL. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you.

 
Old 09-18-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Have you spoken to a Pain Management Doctor to see if
you qualify. With my case, I had no corrective surgery
options to correct the shooting pains going down my leg due
to impingement on the nerve that was being caused by
the original fusion surgery that was not done right and corrective
surgery was to risky. The Spinal Cord Stimulator was the
only option available to help deal with the pain. I also continue
to take prescription pain killers (lower dose). I am happy with
the Stimulator, you just have to remember to shut it off while
driving or going through these electronic security entrances
at your retail stores. Also, the implanted battery needs to be
replaced every five years (surgery). Hope all goes well for you.


Last edited by JCW247; 09-18-2011 at 08:26 PM.

 
Old 09-18-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi JCW247,
Glad to hear you are doing better and the SCS is working for you. I had to have the wire leads replaced with the paddle leads, so now just patiently (at least trying to be patient) wating for swelling/healing to resolve in order to adjust the programs - but each visit we make head way. What type SCS do you have and is it a rechargeable battery? Mine is rechargeable and I was told it should last up to 10 years. So far I've had no problems with store security systems, but not looking forward to airport security when I travel - oh well, minor inconvenience compared to the pain.

 
Old 09-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #13
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi IvoryLassie:

The Spinal Cord Stimulator that my partner is using (rechargeable Battery)
Brand: have to get back to you on that. Yes there are different brands
that are used. You indicated that the battery should last ten years for
the remote to activate the stimulator that is implanted in your body which
I think needs to be replaced after five years.

I know for sure about the driving issue with the unit on. Airport Security.
Let them know at the Security Check Point that you have implants in
your body that will set off their alarms. Security will pull you to one side
and do a body search by a female if you're a female passenger. It's not
invasive, can be done in the open with other passengers present or it
can be done in a private room, your choice when they ask. Hope all goes
well for you with your SCS.

 
Old 10-02-2011, 07:38 AM   #14
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorylassie View Post
Hi JCW247,
Glad to hear you are doing better and the SCS is working for you. I had to have the wire leads replaced with the paddle leads, so now just patiently (at least trying to be patient) wating for swelling/healing to resolve in order to adjust the programs - but each visit we make head way. What type SCS do you have and is it a rechargeable battery? Mine is rechargeable and I was told it should last up to 10 years. So far I've had no problems with store security systems, but not looking forward to airport security when I travel - oh well, minor inconvenience compared to the pain.
Your Question: What type Spinal Cord Stimulator do you have.

Answer: Rechargeable

Model: Precision SC-5500-4

Manufacturer: Boston Scientific

Hope all is well on your end.


 
Old 10-02-2011, 11:50 PM   #15
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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator Personal Question

Hi Snowis, Im sorry your friend with the pump made such a negative impression regarding pumps and meds. I had my first pump implanted about 8 years. I also suffered tremendously through 3 failed fusions for a decade. I suffered to the point that I had my first heart attack due to High BP from pain on my 36th Bday. My experience has been quite the oposite of what your friend had.

It's not the pump, it's the person. If someone is unwilling to except 50% relief and continually talks their doc into increasing and increasing this can happen, But for me, the biggest change from oral meds to the pump was cognative clarity. Once a working dose was reached I began excercising daily, lost 50 lbs and returned to work part time. It sounds like your friend is using meds to kill the emotional pain and crossed the line from something helping to something hindering. Sure, I could get my doc to increrase the meds to the point your friend is, but having a clear mind and being able to function at the level I can is something I'm truly greatful for.

I'm married and have an 18 year old daughter and I would never allow my daughter to see me live that kind of life. I had my first back surgery fail one month before she was born, then a couple more longer and longer fusion revisons over the next 7 years that failed. Back then Oxycontin didn't even exist. The last surgery was in 99 and left me bed wridden for a year before a PM doc offered me pain meds. I had truly tried everything else from self hypnosis, guided imagry, acupuncture, TENS, TINS, cognative therapy, multiple pain clincs where I spent 8 hours a day in their program for 30 days and all the non opiate methods simply didn't work. I have so much nerve damge now, the areas of my legs that were once on fire are now numb so I wouldn't be a candidate for an SCS. But nothing touches the pain when the screws pull out and I get stuck in some twisted position. I still crunch and squeek with every step, but it's tolerable more often than not.

Ive watched the use of opiates double and triple over the years as far as general use in PM or by GP's thinking they are qualified to treat chronic pain with the most potent opiates ever available to man. There are people that are in the same position as your friend that are willing to live that way. It's no different than any addict that chooses that way of life despite all consequences.

I look at things from a positve perspective, the glass is half full rather than half empty. As a father I was able to spend more time with my daughter and be her primary care providor her entire life. I see that as a gift despite the financial consequences.The alternative is depression and solitude. I would never want my daughter to see me in that state, or my wife. I'm pretty sure my wife would have left, if blasted out of my mind was my idea of pain relief.

Just like everyones outcome, expectations and what they are willing to live with are different. The same is true with pumps or oral meds. That simply wouldn't be an exceptable way to manage pain or live for me and many others. I know the relief I get is the best I can without crossing the line. I get about 50% relief and that's as good as it gets without loosing function. Sure their are moments I wish they could just sedate me, but I can't live that way so why even consider doing that to myself.

Of course my life has changed greatly, we had to change our lifestyle due to loosing my income, but I look at all the good in my life and see that I could ruin that chasing unrealistic levels of pain relief. IF i was single and had nobody to care for or care about me, my perspective might be different. The story about your friend is sad and doesn't have to be that way if she was capable of excepting some relief and some degree of pain or discomfort. Instead she chooses as much relief as she can talk her doc into despite the consequences.

What you describe in your friend doesn't sound like an improvement in quality of life. IMO That level of medication should only be used in hospice where the only thing that matters is qwuelling intractable pain so that people may pass with the least amount of suffering. When the meds themself are slowly killing the persons quality of life, soul and ambition it is the drugs that make that kind of life exceptable. That's simply crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed. Your friend has a problem and it isn't the pump. She could do that to herself with orals, given the same mindset she has now.

Healing time and stuff like that are general guidlines and peoples experience you can gage things by. But you have demonized a device based on your friends willingness to live a life with no purpose or meaning. By all means, If you can manage without any impairment or without any opiates, that would be ideal. Unfortunately it's not an option for everyone and everyones outcome is not like your friends. My doc would cut me back in a heart beat if I ever went in sluring and my wife would certainly report this to my doc. Not out of cruelty but out of love. If it was something I was unaware of, Im happy to have someone looking out for my best interest.

I Hate to see you write off something that can be a blessing when used properly and a curse when used improperly. If one person response to a med or procedure was the basis for all decsions, Think of the world we would live in.
Ive lived in that world with pain before meds like oxycontin, Fentanyl patches and loli pops and even 10 mg percs didn't exist. Where every doc was tought in med school that anything outside of post op or short term use after horrific inuries lead to dependence, addiction and abuse. Even hospice patients were left to die suffering because all opiate use leads to addiction and greater suffering. I remember my grandparents dying in horrific pain where death was a relief to be celebrated. It's not a world I want to go back to. Unfortunately due to the abuse like your friends, or all the celebs I shouldn't name, we risk everyone thinking like you and going back to those days.

It wasn't pretty back then. Pain meds weren't ever used for chronic pain regardless of how crippling or how devestating to qulaity of life. Even the dying suffered untill their last breath because of what? They were afraid someone might become dependent or addicted to the meds in their last days, weeks or months of life? It was sad and it's horrifying to think we could end up back their because these meds are over prescribed to anyone that looks hard enough or travels far enough or has unrealistic expectations and thinks Pain management means pain obliteration along with their cognative abilities.

I get the whole addiction is a desease, but choices are made and some people have absurd expectations and think it's thier docs job to give them whatever they ask for regardless of the outcome. Opiates make me drowsy so give me a stimulant, stimulants prevent me from sleeping so give me a sedative. They make me nausaus so give me some zofram or compazine. Yes people become addicted and dependent, while other lives can be greatly improved by the proper use of meds.

We can't live in an all or nothing world. Docs need to say no sometimes and sometimes patients need to learn to live with some degree of pain even when it's greater than they think they should. Good luck with your SCS and hopefully you will never need anything more. Fortunately there is something more if it means the difference between walking or not or ever making love to your spouse again, or not. My sex life after 23 years of marriage is still improving because our relationship continues to grow and I'm able to function with a dozen screws and 8 rods in a twisted mess in my spine.
Take care, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 10-05-2011 at 12:10 PM. Reason: grammer

 
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