Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: Day 11

Day 11. Last night was a tough night of sleep, tough to fall asleep and stay asleep. Lindsey said it was like sleeping with a Rockette last night. I got very little quality sleep. It was a big day, I had company for 3 1/2 hours it was a lot of sitting and standing and I was very uncomfortable afterwards. I don’t know if it was the visit and the activity or the fact that I changed to a new my program that morning to P3-6* that wasn’t as effective. That’s part of what is hard to evaluate the device: Would I have been better on anther program?

Today was a big day of activity. I drove to Foxboro a 21 minute drive according to google maps, its probably more like 25 min. Though I made the drive before the SCS trial, it was much easier with it. We were at the birthday party for 2 hours and I was very uncomfortable by the time we left. The reasons why are difficult to sort out. I believe it was a combination of the drive there (twice as long as my normal), the time on my feet, as well as the setting. I attended a child’s birthday party, there were six children and 10 adults in a small space. There were children running everywhere and parents chasing after them. I was very stressed and anxious, my entire body was tense after just a short time. It is certainly possible the stresses of the party added to my discomfort and the severity of my symptoms. The setting of the Nevro Stimulator is also a question, I have a feeling that today may have been a little better if I was still on program P2-6 or 7, I’m not sure but it’s a nagging thought in my mind. All of that said, it’s safe to say I did better than I would have done without the device.

A note on my driving. I drive much slower now and rarely on the highways, my driving tends with in a 10 minute radius of home. Holding the brake pedal in traffic and especially in at a red light really aggravates my leg and sending shooting pain through my right butt cheek, calve and foot, that is in addition to the pain I get from just sitting regularly. My foot has felt a little awkward with the device, I feel like I’m mashing the pedals a little bit; there was some awkwardness with my foot before the device as well, but my foot just feels a little different. I have only driven this far in a few circumstances when I had no other choice, it was a nice feeling to be able to make that drive.

When we got home I needed to lie down badly, I did for a couple of hours and seemed to recover a better with the Spinal Cord Stimulator. Lindsey’s parents invited us over for dinner, though I wasn’t sure if I could make it we decided to go so I could test the Device. It was doable, we drove 20 minutes to get there and had a 2 hour visit. By the time we left i was in a lot of pain, the car ride home was very difficult. When we got home I was in a lot of pain, there was no relief from the Stimulator. However, I must also state that it is unheard of that I would have had such an active day with out the Stimulator. So, although it ended with a lot of pain and spasms I had done more in one day than I have in a long time.

When I spoke to the Nevro Rep, I reported the events for the day. But I also asked about Lidocaine patches, what would the doctor think if I used my regular Lidocaine patches in conjunction with the stimulator to see if I could get that much more relief from my pain. The doctor came back that was a good idea, I will try it tomorrow. We also decided I could go to P3-7* tonight (I went to P3-7* around 8PM)or tomorrow morning, then either go to P1-5* and try the new program loaded in the Stimulator or go back to P2-6* or P2-7* that I thought had been working best and try that some more. I think I’m going to go with P1-5* but we may discuss it first, I’m curious what program I have a better chance of finding relief statistically.

SCS – Spinal Cord Stimulator

*The Nevro Spinal Cord Stimulator is programmed at the hospital with several pre-set programs. There are three programs P1, P2, and P3. Each program targets the spinal cord differently. Each program also has seven different setting that adjust the intensity or strength of the program. So a program may be referred to as P2-5 is Program 2 at the 5th highest strength of signal.

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