In a couple of days it will be 17 weeks since my Spinal Cord Stimulator surgery. I would say I’m pretty much back to my pre-Spinal Cord Stimulator self with some small improvements. My exercise has been increasing a little bit each week, I’m using 6 and 10 pound dumbbells now and occasionally the 15 pound dumbbells too. I’m walking further each week and was just shy of 2.5 miles the other day. These improvements are great and I’m happy to be outside and using my body again. This increase in activity comes at a cost, my pain increases as a result. I need to rest after a walk or exercise and the discomfort lingers for the rest of the day and effects my sleep at night. I don’t recover as quickly from exercise as I do a car ride or night out. That should get easier with time, as it did before, and I’mContinue Reading
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Spinal Cord Stimulator Device, back injury, back pain, back surgery, chronic pain, fighting back pain, fightingbackpain.com Spinal Cord Stimulator Device, back injury, back pain, back surgery, chronic pain, fighting back pain, fightingbackpain.com
It’s been just over 12 weeks since the Spinal Cord Stimulator was implanted in me body. I’m happy to say I’m starting to feel like I did before this last surgery. The incisions no longer hurt and I’m starting to trust myself again, I can move without thinking about it first. I started exercising again, at 12 weeks I picked up 6 pound weights and started some very light exercises. The plan is to start to slowly ramp up my exercise and activity. I’ve been walking several time a week and trying to go a little further each time. The plan is to go back to the gym soon and start up my old Physical Therapy routine. I’ve got the ok from the doctor but my body does quite feel like it there yet. I’m still unable to pick things up off the floor and I worry about dropping my keys or my phone, drivingContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
8 Weeks!!! I made it!!! All of the restriction I’ve been living with the last 2 months are gone, imagine 2 months without Bending, Lifting or Twisting. No Bending, Lifting or Twisting sounds like it eliminates just about everything. Those were my doctor’s and Nevro’s imposed restrictions on my physical movements but I don’t think my body would have allowed much more movement and activity. While the surgical pain has been gone for a little while now anytime I spent significant time on my feet, standing or walking, even just in the car my wounds would ache. Similarly the scar tissue on my spine still imposes it’s own limits on my movement. My walking is improving, I can typically walk 1.5 miles and I’ve gone as far as 1.7 miles when I miscalculated, I made it home even though I contemplated calling for a ride when I realized my error. My pace has even improvedContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
It’s now 6 weeks since the Spinal Cord Stimulator was implanted in my body and just as in my previous entries things are still slowly improving. The surgical pain is gone, though the device pocket is still kinda sore. There has’t been much improvement in my sitting or driving but I have been walking almost everyday. It feels good to be doing more, to be out walking and feeling the sun and the nice summer weather. Things are going slow 34-36 minute miles, not exactly setting any speed records but I’m walking further each time. I come home sore and limping each time and my pace tends to fall off a cliff after the first mile, but i’m so happy to be able to do it. I’ve got my eye on week 8 and being able to do more without the worry that I still have, the finish line is getting closer and I’m excited.Continue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
I am now at 4 weeks since the surgery, things are improving; surgical sites hurt less but I am still sore. There has been little improvement in my nerve pain and my function hasn’t improved much but I’m getting closer to my pre-surgery self and the limits that came with that. I went to see Dr. Gill at the hospital for my four week follow-up, while we were waiting I happened to see Jon my Nevro rep from the Spinal Cord Stimulator trial. The doctor was running late so Jon and I had an impromptu meeting. He checked my device settings and ran a diagnostic test between the two leads to see if they moved. The test was interesting, he sent a signal between the two leads to see where electrode A and electrode B lined up and compared it to the same test done in the operating room. The results were nearly identical soContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
When my 3 week mark hit it was without significant improvement. My surgical pain is less everyday, the device pocket is still very sore but I’m getting used to it. Charging my battery is a bizarre experience. I’m moving better though sitting is still difficult. There was a failed attempt get on the couch last week, this week I made it and we watched TV on the couch for the first time in 3 weeks. I tried driving but getting in and out of the car was very difficult and that may have to wait a bit longer. The Nevro Rep and I spoke and move my program up from P1-4 to P1-5 with the plan it increase to P1-6 on Friday morning if I haven’t had any significant improvement. On Wednesday night I put on two Lidocaine patches and went out with Lindsey in an attempt to go out to eat, it didn’t workContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord StimulatorNevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
Similar the the first week, there was little change day to day. My surgical sites were hurting less every day and I was walking around more. Things are still pretty painful, though I am off of pain killers and just taking ibuprofen a few times a day. Sleep is difficult, both falling asleep and staying asleep. There have been no positive effects from the device, but they told me to expect that, it could take an 7-10 days to feel any improvement. And they would start slow and low, with the strength of the stimulation to allow the nerve to slowly acclimate. I’m patient. I’ve learned to be patient, it’s been 5 surgeries in 2 1/2 years. Two of those were fusions with a long recovery and months with a Physical Therapist. I continued my physical therapy 3 times a week over the last two years trying to make my body as strong as possibleContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
Post SCS Implant 1 Week Follow-Up The 1 week follow up with the doctor is a good meeting, everything looks good. We review my limitations for the next 8 weeks. They will tell you throughout this process no  Bending, Lifting, Twisting. I thought I was going to have to live like a robot for the next 8 weeks. But I asked the doctor to show me my limits for Bending and Twisting and surprisingly it is less limited than I would’ve thought. The words ‘can you show me’ greatly changed how I will approached the remaining 7 weeks. I am able to take the Abdominal Binder off, and I will be able to shower for the first time in a week. That was all fantastic news. Next we met with the Nevro Reps about how to work the device and the the process of fine tuning my device. We also reviewed the protocol going forward; weeklyContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
Post SCS Implant The First 7 Days This week has been a bit of a blur, so much so that it is not worth breaking down the individual days. For the last week I have been in significantly worse shape than I was prior to the surgery. All of my previously existing pain symptoms were not only present but they were made much worse by the  surgery. I have two incisions, one mid-back were the doctors placed the wire leads on my spinal cord. The other is on my right buttock, where they implanted the device for simplicity rather than; Spinal Cord Stimulator or Electrical Impulse Generator. On top of my normal pain there is surgical pain. Additionally, the right buttock where the device is implanted is a prime area for my pain prior to the surgery and now I have swelling in the area; as well as a device that they had ‘carve outContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator
My Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial It has been a couple of months since my Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial has ended. The trial was a tough experience but also a very valuable experience. The trial itself was a very painful two week ordeal, with very little sleep and more pain and discomfort added to my existing chronic pain. It was great to be able to test the surgery beforehand and see it it would work. The two weeks of the trial is long and sleepless. It took two more weeks to return to my previous level of everyday pain. The trial provided some answers, I certainly saw improvements in my sitting and driving endurance. As more time has passed and I settled into my previous pain levels and limits it has become clear how much improvement I got out of the device. I miss it, I’m back to my old limits and I hate that I’veContinue Reading
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1 Month Post Spinal Cord Stimulator
1 Month Post Spinal Cord Stimulator Trail It has now been 1 month since my Spinal Cord Stimulator trial ended. The surgery date was been moved back a couple of weeks, part of me was glad to be able to put it off a little while longer. On the other hand, that’s two more weeks to think about it and have it hang over my head. In a lot of ways this surgery will bring closure, this is the last treatment option available. There are no mainstream treatment options out there, certainly nothing left covered by insurance. There are some talks of stem cel treatments or neuro-prolotherapy but it is expensive and experimental. So this is it, for now anyways. We can make plans for the future, no longer going from specialist to specialist, or surgery or injections. We have lived holding our breath six months at a time; try this and wait and see,Continue Reading
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2 Weeks Post Spinal Cord Stimulator
2 Weeks Post Spinal Cord Stimulator Two weeks have past since the end of my Spinal Cord Stimulator Trail and things are firmly settled into their old limits. The device is a memory and my pain is as if the trial never happened. The world around me has constricted to its old limits; a 10 minute drive maybe 12-15 if there isn’t a lot of stop lights and traffic forcing me to keep my right foot on the break. If I was 90% sure when I met with Dr.Gill last week, now I’m 99% sure I want the device. I still hate the idea of another surgery. And I hate the idea of surgery for the limited results I gained from the trail. But I got a glimpse at less pain and less limits, and I’m having trouble adjusting back to that, to spending all of my time lying down or standing and Lidocaine patchesContinue Reading
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1 Week Post Spinal Cord Stimulator (Day 22)
1 Week Post Spinal Cord Stimulator (Day 22) It has been 1 week since the Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial has ended. My body is returning to its previous state of discomfort and there is no longer any increased symptoms from the device removal or my fall. My familiar limits are starting to return; sitting, standing driving have all regressed to their previous thresholds. The device is seeming more attractive. I have returned to the gym to work on my back and core strengthening exercises. It certainly helps to relieve some of my stress, this has been a difficult few weeks of the trial on top of a difficult 3 1/2 years. My Physical Therapist would be happy to see my dedication to the routine he set up for me. I lost some strength and endurance during the three weeks I took off but it shouldn’t take long to get back to my old self. MyContinue Reading
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Day 16: 2nd Day No Device
Day 16: 2nd Day No Device Day 2 no device started much same. I was able to sleep last night better than any night during the trial, but the night was still difficult. There is still some soreness in my back one the surface where the holes from the wires were as well as muscular in the same area. It is a huge improvement over yesterday and it feels good to be out of the binder and equipment. My leg and butt cheek feel up a level compared to before the trial. It is surprising, I thought this part would be worse. In a lot of ways it feels as if I never did anything, just the same old symptoms. We sit for coffee and breakfast and I’m able to have coffee for a while and make to through the meal. But it’s only 23 minutes, thats way down from during the trial. It feelsContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 15
1st Day No Device Today I woke up without the Spinal Cord Stimulator wired into my body, I felt rested. It would be close if I were to say I got more quality sleep last night than I did the entire trial. Prior to the trial I wasn’t a good sleeper, I often had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. This has been the case most of my adult life. Once my injury occurred I became an insomniac. Only a valium a night or two allowed me to sleep during the trial. I began my day a little more sore than normal, but I feel that is to be expected given the day I had yesterday. I sat for breakfast with Lindsey and it’s clear that I can’t sit for nearly as long as I could the other day, after 15 minutes or so I need to get out of the seat. As the dayContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 14
Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: Day 14 Device set on P1-6* Day 14. The last day of the trial, my device is set to be removed between 11:45 and noon. Last night I was restless, my mind was occupied with all the events of the last two weeks. There was never a break through moment, no life changing moment when I realized this was for me. I had seen results; my sitting improved from 10-15 minutes to 45 minutes. But is that life changing? I was able to sit in less pain for longer time but it was only 45 minutes. Similarly my driving improved from 10 minutes to 25 minutes, but is that worth having a surgery for? Is it worth a 5th surgery? When the device is out I plan of tracking the same activities of driving and sitting and comparing them. Both the doctor and the Nevro Rep have said that for manyContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 13
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 useContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 12
Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: Day 12 Day 12, sleep was difficult last night as was the case most other nights, I actually got out of bed in the middle of the night and took off my abdominal binder to let my skin breath for a few minutes; I also figure I would be less likely to wake Lindsey. I took off the binder and sat for a little while, if I’m going to spend the night awake I’d rather do it with my brace. After a half an hour or so I went back to bed with my brace on and fell back to sleep. I began the day on P3-7*. I sat for 30-35 minutes for breakfast, it felt as though there was little difference between P3-6* and P3-7* I am getting anxious that I am running out of time with the trial and there are still more settings and programs. A short whileContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 11
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 wereContinue Reading
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Nevro HF 10 Spinal Cord Stimulator SCS Trial Day 10
Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: Day 10 Device set on P2-6* change to P3-5* Day 10, began much like the others, after a tough night of sleep. I had heightened nerve activity after adjusting my program settings last night. I did eventually fall asleep but I woke up during the night and it took a long time to fall back to sleep and then I woke up early. I swear I will sleep for a week when this trial is over. The trial is starting to wear on me. I’m tired of the abdominal binder, tired of the wires, dying for a shower. I’m also tired of the restrictions, I lived in a world of limitations prior to having the device wired into my back, yet somehow I can’t wait for this to over so I can go back to that. Before I had the Nerve Stimulator I could bend over, it would hurt and IContinue Reading
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