Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: Day 13
Day 13, Improvement in sleep quality is not something I can expect to see during this trial. Maybe with the permanent device I will see improved sleep quality, less pain should equal better sleep. I will not get to find that out during the trial, the wires, tape, abdominal binder everything is too intrusive to sleep. This morning I sat with Lindsey for 40 minutes then again for about 20 minutes or so, then I had Lindsey put two Lidocaine patches on me. One patch on my right calve and the other on my right butt cheek. I wanted to test the device with a Lidocaine patch and get a feel for it driving too.
I had an errand to do: drop a bill at the town hall. Its a short drive and the hardest part of the errand is getting in and out of the car. But I use this as an opportunity to do some driving and test the device again. In total I drove about 30 min, but the last 10 minutes or so were very tough. The pain in my leg and butt cheek were enough make me want to get out of the seat, I would have if I was home. After the drive I lay down for a while before lunch to recover from the morning drive.
At lunch I sat again for 25 minutes, during lunch The Nevro Rep Jon calls and we discuss my Program Setting and decide to try the new program that was loaded on P1 on Wednesday during my adjustment. The new P1 program sends impulses up the spinal cord whereas Program 2 and Program 3 send current down the spinal cord. So it was possible I lose my pain relief, if that happened I would switch to either program P2-6* or P3-6* I had positive results with both programs. I changed my device to P1-6*.
Around 3:00PM I was sitting at the table as usual, trying to see how I felt compared to earlier and yesterday and all the other settings. The feeling of pain that came over me while I was sitting overwhelmed me. I was in a lot of pain fast, I worried did my leads move getting in and out of the car? Was it the setting? I went and lied down for a couple of hours and I recovered to a reasonable level.
Tomorrow I will have the Spinal Cord Stimulator removed after a two week trial. I’m excited it will be over. I need a shower. I need the tape off of my skin. I need the wires out of my back. I need the abdominal binder off my waist. All of that said I’m glad I did the trial, its the only surgery you get to test drive first. I’ve had four previous spine surgeries and had I got to test drive any of them first I certainly would have chosen a different path. The trial was difficult at times but I am glad to have had the opportunity.
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.