Originally Posted by Wibley
Well I was notified today that my surgery date will be 02/27 for my permanent SCS.
I know some people are against this surgery and my having the procedure and some are for the surgery, but at this point I am doing what I feel is my best hope to control pain and stay off of narcotics. I do not know why I am so negative on the narcotics for me, but every time I think about being on them for the rest of my life I just cringe.
I have had a few weeks to really think the SCS over and have no feelings that it is a wrong choice for me.
Some of you have offered to answer questions and I have some now, but in the next 10 days I will likely have more, thanks for all your help and support.
1) How soon on average will your SCS be up and working ?
2) What kind of pain will the implants cause, ( in other words pain control for wounds after surgery ) ?
3) What do any of you recommend for the first week after implant, Do's and Don't's that are not discussed with you by the Dr.
4) I was notified today that my surgery will be in the hospital not the day surgery center where the trial was performed, the reason given was that they needed more equipment . Anyone else ever had the SCS done this way?
Yea Wibley, the inquiring patient is and becomes the prepared patient to make the all important informed decision..... for it is your body, your decision as you approach the step. My wife and I surely contemplated it together, as we do all things, yet, when it came to proof in the pudding I had to decide. Interesting, all of the way into the night before as I lay my head upon my pillow contemplating and praying, among those last thoughts were "am I really going to be OK with this? Emplacing something foreign within me forever?" I had the implant the next morning.
1) Mine was implanted, then an appointment to visit the surgeon two weeks hence was made. During this appointment, I met also with the Boston Sci rep and it was in that meeting I was allowed to perform the one and only ever necessary so far--- programming of my Precision Plus implant. It has worked fabulously to this day.
2) Since the dura space around the spinal cord is, although just filled with nerve fibers, not really sensate, I had never a sensation of the paddles laying in there next to the cord. The thoracic incision through which the laminectomy was performed and insertion of the paddles into my spine occurred was justifiably sore for a while post surgically, but this was anticipated. The incision where the pocket was formed in my right hip and the generator inserted for permanent emplacement was definitely sore and tender to the touch [though deeply bandaged]. The route of the cabling [think of yourself as an office with computer cabling strung from a server to a workstation, the generator is the server, the paddles or leads the workstation] was the most sore.... this is because of the subdermal without incision routing of the cables and drawing them through from point A to point B occurs. It felt most uncomfortable for a few weeks post surgically on me, but once subsided, I cannot even discern their existence anymore.
So, bottom line, rare the surgery without pain. On the other hand, compared to my spinal fusions this was far less painful post surgically. Doc prescribed pain meds to be used in addition to my usual morphine and neurontin which were continued until full withdrawal just a few weeks later. The prescribed so called "break through" med for me was vicodin... thus I was using opiates on top of opiates. The "break through" meds were only used for about seven or eight days post surgically, then I was off. All of that is in the sticky thread at the top of the forum about Boston Scientific Precision Plus Mini Rechargeable.... kind of a misnomer, but consider it poetic license.
3) Most important among do's and don'ts also found in the sticky thread discussed above is the BLAST acronym- no bending, lifting, stretching, twisting.... taught that one to the recovery nurse who was trying to tell me to add no stretching to the tried and true BLT acronym for post back surgery limitations. BLAST incorporates all of the concepts. Gotta follow it because to do otherwise risks messing with the expensive works nesting in your body.
Add to the follow on litany, LOGROLL. This is the back patient's tried and true method of descending to and arising from bed. Thus to descend to the bed,
a. Back up to the edge of the bed
b. Standing straight, facing away from the bed, begin a slow descent from standing to sitting erect on the bedside with arms planted to either side, hands on mattress for foundation.
c. Take a breath or two, because at first this will hurt and you need to collect your wits.
d. Then, depending whether you descend from sitting to lying either left or right, make sure you know where the pillow is relative to you. Using your abdominals and your arm on the pillow side of your body, begin to ratchet yourself down to the mattress, raising your legs simultaneously away from the floor to get your legs onto the mattress while you plant that head comfortably on your destination pillow.
e. Properly achieved, you will be laying straight at exercise end facing the wall as your back is to the other side of the bed.
f. If, as I learned from physical therapist, you sleep with pillow between knees, this is the time to place such pillow.
Ta Da! There you are. On your bed. Reverse it so arise from bed:
a. Breathe deeply
b. Move to near the edge of bed so your body is a straight log waiting for motion.
c. Gather your arms under your head, hands against mattess having already moved any pillow away from between your knees.
d. Begin simultaneously to swing your legs out over the edge of the bed while your mattress side arm is levering you up and away from the bed, using those abdominal muscles to achieve sitting position.
e. Once sitting, enjoy it a moment as you collect your wits, take a deep breath, then arise using your legs and abdominals so you are erect standing on your feet.
Walk in easy on you, fairly measured slow steps to gain your balance, momentum, and direction. You are not running a marathon.... you may just be headed to the restroom... Oh, that brings up an all important feature of post surgical necessity, that restroom trip. Think part of the Logroll.... back up to the commode, then using abdominals and legs take a seat carefully and slowly. Arising is just the reverse. If you are concerned about this one, medical supply stores sell a fixture which can temporarily be mounted to the commode lifting the seat about one foot up from normal so the movement up or down is less on the healing back patient. I used one after fusion and it was wondrous to have.
Wear loose comfortable clothing. For several days following surgery, you will not care one whit about fashion statements. Just make it through. Take care of you.
Walk. Walk. Walk. I did so within our home, as it promotes restoration of muscle tone, strength, balance and self esteem after having been pummeled in surgery.
Sleep. It is important to healing.
Stay hydrated. The hospital will have issued you a drinking thingie with a corrugated straw conveniently bending to your comfort... use it.... constantly.
Last one on this topic so I do not put you to sleep- consider asking the nurse in recovery for a washcloth. I promise you for your own dignity, it is helpful, and this is why.... Post fusion in my hospital rooms I learned right away how horrid THAT particular pain was and it was audibly punctuated by those in rooms around me who cried out, moaned, or screamed.... I did not want this for me. I asked for washcloth. Nurse looked at me as though I was NUTS. Who cares about nurse at that point???? She supplied me the cloth. I rolled it up, placed it in my mouth and bit down, THEN I was ready for movement, rolling over, arising from and descending to bed. In a word, I could scream my heart out, and I did, while the washcloth muffled my noise. My screams and moans became personal exclamations NOT broadcast to the whole world. I felt dignity preserved. May not be a biggie for you, but it helped me.
4) I was in hospital, where I was from 5 in the morning until about 6:30 that night before being released to my wife so we could go home. The hospital gig was simply this, if complications arose, they had ALL necessary talent and equipment at hand. Sterility of environment was better preserved in the minds of the staff. Obsevation in recovery was more heightened as it was a hospital environment. Lastly, if it had been determined I needed to stay overnight, a room in the hospital would have been mine without need for transport by ambulance to another facility. In a word, I was in a good place.
I feel blessed to have been allowed the miracle device, as I understand it for MY application. Truly, there are those whose outcome is different, so please do not allow me to paint a rosy picture only to think someone else may have had different results and I did not point to them as well. All humans are unique.... and that night before surgery trepidation I was feeling was just the manifestation of the unknown.
So, I will be prayin for ya,