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    Old 11-07-2006, 04:52 PM   #1
    goldnlady's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Intrathecal Pain Pump Removal Advice

    my pain management doc is taking me off the medtronics intra-thecal pain pump after 12 years because i also take oxycontin. i have had this pump for over 12 years (this is my 2nd 1). the pump change my life. it gave me such relief from nerve damage after a failed disc fusion surgery which left me with severe nerve damage in my neck. can anyone tell me why he would do this, because i have been on the oxycontin for years with his knowledge. also, has anyone had their pump removed for that reason or any other reason? and how bad is the withdrawal from coming off the pump. i'm so sick and tired of getting pain relief just to have it taken away. depressed,scared and mad in illinois paula

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    Old 11-07-2006, 07:44 PM   #2
    Ginger Snap
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    Re: Intrathecal Pain Pump Removal Advice

    Here it goes for another opinion. Yes the pump controlled my pain and spasticity (I have MS). I was taking large amounts of morphine orally 600-800 mg with Actiq for B/T.The pump worked well for 3-4 yrs, But I got meninigitis. This is a risk you take with a catheter in your spine and a reservoir that must be filled every 30-90 days depending on dosage. You can also get meneingitis from epidural injections if the meds are contaminated.I was in a coma for 3 mos, with major organ failure, collapsed lungs,pulmonary emboli, on a ventilator with virtually no chance to recover. Surprise!! I did survive. I was only 47 years old. I don't mean to scare anyone, but this is a decision that has to be taken extremely seriously. On a lighter note, it does look like a tuna can under you skin and I am 5'9 and 145lbs. Please,Please consider all your options before taking such a drastic step. It was extremely effective with the morphine baclofen mix, but in my worst nightmare I could not have imagined the price I would pay.

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    Old 11-08-2006, 12:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Intrathecal Pain Pump Removal Advice

    Hi Paula: Were you getting your oxycontin from another doctor.It doesn't make sense to me anyway to have a pain pump and also be taking a sustained release opiate on top.Maybe a quick release opiate for break thru....Dave

    Old 11-09-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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    Re: Intrathecal Pain Pump Removal Advice

    Yikes ginger. How long did it take to figure out you had Meningitis? My docs do treat refills like a surgical procedure in a surgical theater where they do blocks, ESI's and all the injections. Betadine swab, fancy drape with a whole, mask and gowns, but I guess it's always a risk.

    I don't know why they would use long acting meds with a pump, it defeats the major advantage of pump meds which is a clear head and acces to the most abundent supply of opiate receptors. There is no limit on what the pump can deliver, It doesn't max out to where you have to use orals. Worst case scenario if you have the old synchromed 1 you would be on a high dose and need refills every 3-4 weeks. With the new pumps that's not an issue due to reservoir size.

    The inability to give up the oral meds or the feeling they create or the feeling someone might associate with pain relief would make someone a poor candidate for a pump. There isn't an explanation as to why a pump can't be programmed to manage someones pain where they still need to supplement with long acting meds. Aside from BT pain, which you're going to have if you don't set the pump to manage your worst possible pain . That would leave you oversedated just like trying to adjust orals to manage the worst possible pain.

    To the young lady that still wants to have lots of children, You would really have to talk to your doc. It's not just a cosmetic problem, the catheter may pull out of position or pull free from the pump as your tummy grows. Pumps wshould be the absolute last option. When orals are maxed due to side effects, when you can't afford the dose of meds required and you trust your doc to work with the pump untill your getting max benefit.

    It took 6 months to adjust the dose after implant. After 10 years of CP, 6 months isn't squat. It seems odd that folks have run through the gammit that fast and are ready to take it out because they haven't found the right dose in 6 months. The screening and trial system failed if this is the case.

    Just so folks understand, it's placed under the skin on the outside of the abdominal muscle wall. If you have enough fat they can scoop out an area to place the pump sort of flush with the skin surface. It's not inside the abdominal but it's still a major decision. SO someone with minimal body fat would truly look like they placed a can of tuna under their skin.

    I've lost 30 lbs since the implant, mainly due to exercise which I wasn't able to do prior to the pump. As I've lost weight, I've gone from just feeling the access port which sticks off the round synchromed 1 like a small triangle too being able to see the entire outline when I look in the mirror. I can feel the cath run around my side and where it makes the bend to go into my spinal area. But the cosmetics aren't an issue at all.

    My wife can feel it and It bumps into things. Sure ,everyone wonders what it will look like, but If the cosmetics are a bigger issue than the pain, It's hard to imagine actually needing something as advanced as a pump to manage pain. JMO
    Good luck, Dave

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