Implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain

Posted by zjandre @zjandre, Apr 13, 2016

Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health group.

Day 2 with the stimulator controller turned on. My feet hurt pretty much the same as before. I hope it gets better than this. The surgery sites hurt much less, but by the end of the day, I’m quite sore, and can’t lie on my back. The battery pack is quite prominent because I don’t have any body fat above the belt line where it’s implanted, so it could cause discomfort for a while. The incision for the wires is swollen a little, but I’ve probably been doing more than I should. Weeding, watering lawns and gardens, cleaned my bathroom, including polishing the tile floor on my knees. Don’t tell my doctor.

At the same time as all of this, I had a sleep study, and yesterday ordered a BIPAP machine, that will replace the CPAP I’ve been using for 15+ years, plus I changed from a full face mask to nasal pillows. The pillows are a lot more comfortable.

Talking with the therapist yesterday, I noted that my depression level is better than it’s been the past few weeks. I guess the stress and anxiety of having the implant has made me more depressed. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my mental health issues in this group. I’m being treated for major depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and suicidal ideation. When chronic pain entered the picture 5 years ago, it exacerbated the mental illness. My last therapist moved to a new job 2 years ago, and I couldn’t get back into therapy for 18 months. I told my new counselor that he probably saved my life because I was having more thoughts of suicide the last 2 or 3 months before he came.

Past time for bed. I always look at the mail after cleaning up the supper dishes, so I tend to write at a late hour. I need to take my morphine and Clonazepam, rub Lidocaine cream on my feet, hook up to the CPAP, and sleep. Life is more complicated than it was 20 years ago, but God is still taking care of me, in spite of my inadequacies.

Jim

REPLY
@jimhd

Day 2 with the stimulator controller turned on. My feet hurt pretty much the same as before. I hope it gets better than this. The surgery sites hurt much less, but by the end of the day, I’m quite sore, and can’t lie on my back. The battery pack is quite prominent because I don’t have any body fat above the belt line where it’s implanted, so it could cause discomfort for a while. The incision for the wires is swollen a little, but I’ve probably been doing more than I should. Weeding, watering lawns and gardens, cleaned my bathroom, including polishing the tile floor on my knees. Don’t tell my doctor.

At the same time as all of this, I had a sleep study, and yesterday ordered a BIPAP machine, that will replace the CPAP I’ve been using for 15+ years, plus I changed from a full face mask to nasal pillows. The pillows are a lot more comfortable.

Talking with the therapist yesterday, I noted that my depression level is better than it’s been the past few weeks. I guess the stress and anxiety of having the implant has made me more depressed. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my mental health issues in this group. I’m being treated for major depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and suicidal ideation. When chronic pain entered the picture 5 years ago, it exacerbated the mental illness. My last therapist moved to a new job 2 years ago, and I couldn’t get back into therapy for 18 months. I told my new counselor that he probably saved my life because I was having more thoughts of suicide the last 2 or 3 months before he came.

Past time for bed. I always look at the mail after cleaning up the supper dishes, so I tend to write at a late hour. I need to take my morphine and Clonazepam, rub Lidocaine cream on my feet, hook up to the CPAP, and sleep. Life is more complicated than it was 20 years ago, but God is still taking care of me, in spite of my inadequacies.

Jim

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Jim,
From my past experience (7 implant surgeries in the last 3 years) I felt the most pain in recovery around days 4-7. Hang in there it will improve pretty quickly after that.

Also, YES! you are overdoing it. Your body needs all the rest it can get in order to heal.
Especially avoid any of the activities that require bending or twisting your torso. I was told that could pull one of the leads out of position and so not get optimum performance or coverage.
Of course, now I figured out that most of that was just a way for the Dr.s to blame any complications or less than perfect outcomes on something other than their surgical ability.
But I still think it is logical advise to follow.

I hope your recovery goes well and they can adjust it to get the best outcome for you.

Carl

REPLY
@jimhd

Day 2 with the stimulator controller turned on. My feet hurt pretty much the same as before. I hope it gets better than this. The surgery sites hurt much less, but by the end of the day, I’m quite sore, and can’t lie on my back. The battery pack is quite prominent because I don’t have any body fat above the belt line where it’s implanted, so it could cause discomfort for a while. The incision for the wires is swollen a little, but I’ve probably been doing more than I should. Weeding, watering lawns and gardens, cleaned my bathroom, including polishing the tile floor on my knees. Don’t tell my doctor.

At the same time as all of this, I had a sleep study, and yesterday ordered a BIPAP machine, that will replace the CPAP I’ve been using for 15+ years, plus I changed from a full face mask to nasal pillows. The pillows are a lot more comfortable.

Talking with the therapist yesterday, I noted that my depression level is better than it’s been the past few weeks. I guess the stress and anxiety of having the implant has made me more depressed. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my mental health issues in this group. I’m being treated for major depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and suicidal ideation. When chronic pain entered the picture 5 years ago, it exacerbated the mental illness. My last therapist moved to a new job 2 years ago, and I couldn’t get back into therapy for 18 months. I told my new counselor that he probably saved my life because I was having more thoughts of suicide the last 2 or 3 months before he came.

Past time for bed. I always look at the mail after cleaning up the supper dishes, so I tend to write at a late hour. I need to take my morphine and Clonazepam, rub Lidocaine cream on my feet, hook up to the CPAP, and sleep. Life is more complicated than it was 20 years ago, but God is still taking care of me, in spite of my inadequacies.

Jim

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Carl,

Can I get the leads checked to see if they’ve moved?

Jim

REPLY

Jim,
They usually want to wait and do it after 2-3 months when they heal in place. But you can talk to your doc and see what he says. It’s just a simple X-ray.

I hope I did not get you worried when I brought that up. I just want you to have the best possible conditions for success.

I apologize for my synicism in the pervious post. I should not have put that in.

I don’t think that is very common. When mine moved the Dr. and the rep said it was very unusual. My original doc said they had a professional hockey player go back to playing after one week.

That being said, once it has healed in your Dr could order one to check.

Again I did not mean to cause any stress or doubts about your Dr.’s surgical ability, I just wanted to encourage you to take good care when you are healing.

Carl

REPLY
@cbrackle

Jim,
They usually want to wait and do it after 2-3 months when they heal in place. But you can talk to your doc and see what he says. It’s just a simple X-ray.

I hope I did not get you worried when I brought that up. I just want you to have the best possible conditions for success.

I apologize for my synicism in the pervious post. I should not have put that in.

I don’t think that is very common. When mine moved the Dr. and the rep said it was very unusual. My original doc said they had a professional hockey player go back to playing after one week.

That being said, once it has healed in your Dr could order one to check.

Again I did not mean to cause any stress or doubts about your Dr.’s surgical ability, I just wanted to encourage you to take good care when you are healing.

Carl

Jump to this post

You didn’t cause me any more concern. The rep and the doctor stressed the importance of not bending, twisting, lifting or reaching above my head, and I’ve been doing all those things, though with caution. Tonight my feet are burning and in a lot of pain and my back is quite sore. I did little today after church – took a sound nap and did some watering outside. I’m so ready for this to end.

Jim

REPLY
@cbrackle

Jim,
They usually want to wait and do it after 2-3 months when they heal in place. But you can talk to your doc and see what he says. It’s just a simple X-ray.

I hope I did not get you worried when I brought that up. I just want you to have the best possible conditions for success.

I apologize for my synicism in the pervious post. I should not have put that in.

I don’t think that is very common. When mine moved the Dr. and the rep said it was very unusual. My original doc said they had a professional hockey player go back to playing after one week.

That being said, once it has healed in your Dr could order one to check.

Again I did not mean to cause any stress or doubts about your Dr.’s surgical ability, I just wanted to encourage you to take good care when you are healing.

Carl

Jump to this post

Jim,
I found that the inscision areas were tender off and on depending on my activity level after the first week or so.

I think I asked before, but did they turn on the burst program yet? Or is it in standard mode? One way to check is to look at your controller and the display should say:
Program Burst
Mode Cycle – On
Remaining < 1 minute

It will cycle between the two screens I inserted pics of.

I’m sure they told you that you can contact them with questions.
I would suggest calling your technician. Mine told me that with the burst turned on, if it is set too high, it can actually cause the same buzzing/tingling feeling that you get w neuropathy.
Also, they should be able to meet w you somewhere to check and readjust your levels if necessary.
Note, they will tell you it can change as it heals into place. They r correct, but you should be getting some relief.
Don’t be affraid to be pushy. I found I got put aside or forgotten unless I was persistent.
Carl

REPLY

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

REPLY
@ayankeeinnm

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

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I did as well. Dr William Mauck did my Stimulator and one of psychologists at Mayo did my evaluation

REPLY
@ayankeeinnm

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

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@ayankeeinnm

My pain specialist told me who could do the psych evaluation. It only takes 15 minutes. I had to wait 2 months to get an appointment. An lcsw (licensed clinical social worker) who has a masters degree can do it. You might try calling public health department. I’d just be persistent until they get you in. Speak up for yourself.

Jim

REPLY
@ayankeeinnm

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

Jump to this post

Jim et al.

My insurance company requires a psychiatrist.  My psychiatrist refuses to write the letter because he is not familiar with the device.   I have been seeing him for seventeen years.  There are two other psychiatrists within 100 miles.  Neither is accepting
patients.

I read the posts again today and found a lot more failures than successes.  Don't really know what else to do.  Have read the distractions but not for me.

Thank you for caring.

REPLY
@ayankeeinnm

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

Jump to this post

@yankeeinnm

That’s strange and unfortunate that the psychiatrist won’t do the evaluation. I’m going to talk with the local company rep and ask him what you can do. I’ll get back to you.

Jim

REPLY
@ayankeeinnm

Hi. I’ve tried just about everything else. I need to get a psych report for the insurance to pay. Can’t find a psychiatrist who is accepting new patents. My practitioner likes this modaility. Would welcome other comments. Thank you.

Jump to this post

Thanks, Jim. I know the psychiatrist pretty well. He does not see clients personally. Has three med ladies and four counselors. I have only followed this thread recently. Have read only of failed neurostimulators. Would much prefer to read stories of successful implants.

REPLY
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