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SCS Surgery - Recovery Question

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Unread 10-13-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
Nanc
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Default SCS Surgery - Recovery Question

First of all I want to say hello! I have been a lurker, reading posts and information about SCS and their use for RSD/CRPS. I have RSD/CRPS in the right side of my face, both hands, left arm and left leg (I think it is spreading to the right leg).

I had two St. Jude stimulators implanted at the end of June, cervical and thoracic. The cervical is great, but I am having issues with the thoracic one. It has migrated a bit and when it's on I feel a great deal of pressure on my lower back and I also get some shooting pains November 2 I am scheduled to have the leads on the thoracic stimulator replaced with paddle leads and they are also going to move the battery as it has caused a lot of discomfort where they first placed it (hip/buttock area).

To my question, I know everyone is different on this, but I am just curious about how others have done with these as far as time away from work. I had the first two put in at the same time and missed a week and a half of work. I think I should have stayed home a little longer. This time I am having one done (and the battery moved) and think I should go ahead and maybe take that extra week but I feel so guilty.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Nanc
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Unread 10-13-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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Hi Nanc! I am interested to hear responses to this as I'm having my permanent implant coming up and I am someone who likes to get right back into things, but I don't want it to impact my recovery either. It can be hard to know how much time is enough, especially when life is waiting.

Good luck with your upcoming surgery, I hope it fixes things for you!
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Unread 10-13-2011, 09:40 PM   #3
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Hi Yellow!

Thanks and I wish you luck on your upcoming procedure as well!
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Unread 10-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #4
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But I will try nevertheless. I was not gainfully employed, but wanting to be..... that was my goal as I approached the healing of my T8/T9 implant of paddles for lumbar and leg pain. 30 June 2010 was the permanent implant date. I was continued on the pain management meds until early August of the same year, at which time I began the horrible process of withdrawal from pain meds..... all of them. Depression and anxiety set in October of that year, and was quite a hurdle. By January 2011, I was at last truly ready and working hard at locating work outside the home. Two weeks ago, I began to work at the position I secured in my profession. It feels absolutely GREAT to be needed and wanted again, practicing my profession and doing well by those who employ me.

Back to when I could have, would have been able to really go to work in my scenario- I call it January 2011, and I worked very hard at seeking employment, even starting up a group of similarly situated people so we could mutually assist in the "get a job" economy. The group grew to take in all of the churches of our area, and now all but one of us have employment, and the remainder is the favored candidate for a job that will open very very soon.

This example is maybe NOT what you wanted to hear or read, but it is life in my neck of the woods. Now as to the withdrawal from those pain management meds..... my pain management doc and surgeon agree I am kinda unique there, but I had a passion to get away from the chemicals, not knowing what they would do to me in the long run [I had been on them since April 2005].

Yup,
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Unread 10-14-2011, 12:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input Mark56, appreciate it. Also, sorry for what you have had to go through.

I have so many allergies that I cannot tolerate majority of the pain meds, which is good and bad. Good that I will not become addicted and bad that I do not get any relief. After so many PM docs, I finally found one I like and these stimulators were a last resort...we tried pretty much everything! I do need the pain meds when the breakthrough pain gets unbearable (they only take the edge off), but I cannot take anything when I am working which makes for a very tough day!! It takes all I have to get through the workday.

Anyway, it has been a tough road and I have to keep believing it will get better...eventually!

Thanks for listening.
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Unread 10-14-2011, 01:19 PM   #6
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Smile Hello Nanc!

Glad you decided to start posting! This is such a wonderful forum.
I'm sorry about the ongoing problems you are faced with. It sounds as tho your medical team has a good plan in place and you are determined to make this work.

The fact that you've had this done before works in your favor because you know what to expect. I'm assuming you will have a laminectomy (removal of a small piece of bone) if they are going to put paddle leads. This is a more in-depth procedure which will certainly require more recovery time. Surely your employer will support you in this, as it IS a back surgery nonetheless! Pretty serious stuff....
You'd be setting yourself up for a more successful outcome, I believe, if you take some additional time off - less chance for complications.

I wish you the best! Please keep us updated. It's always amazing to me when someone has TWO units! Hopefully this will give you much more pain relief.

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Unread 10-14-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Heart FionaB a good Twins Source!

While her pain is not face centered, she has twin units installed, and her posts would be good to view, and even sending her a Private Message would elicit help for you Nanc. She gets it. She cares. She is cool and helpful.

Prayin,
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Unread 10-15-2011, 09:24 AM   #8
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Hi Nanc,

I have "the twins"...a lumbar SCS and a cervical SCS. For me, it took several weeks before I felt able to resume normal activities, but then I have other health issues to deal with.

I, too, have allergies to many meds. even pain meds. What I found works for me for pain is Dilaudid suppositories along with a Phenergren suppository. Phenergren is great for the nausea I get from Dilaudid. Not the greatest way to take meds. (have plastic gloves and KY jelly at the ready), but since they do not go into the gut and are absorbed through the rectal area, no allergic reactions for me. If you do try these meds. this route, make sure that you lay down for half an hour after taking them so they absorb into your system, as moving around or having a bowel movement will negate their effectiveness.

Good luck!!
Fiona

Last edited by fionab; 10-15-2011 at 09:26 AM. Reason: error
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Unread 10-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Heart Hi Fiona!

Blessed to have you and the Twins chime in for Nanc. You are inspirational and a warrior to have among us sharing your walk with other twin prospectives!! Here is hope and prayer that life is well with you!

Prayin,
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Unread 10-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Hi All! Thanks for all the kind words and tips.

Rrae – I have enjoyed reading this forum. I have found so much useful info in it. The dr and St. Jude said they would not have to remove any bone from my back, they said they can use the same path that they used for the other leads. My husband is great and my biggest supporter. He is the only one who truly sees the pain I am in every day and who knows what I am going through (to a point). Others just don’t get it; if they can’t see it then they don’t think it is there. So, work is tough in many respects. That is why it is nice to find a place where people do get it.

Fionab – thanks for the tips on the meds. I got to where I couldn’t tolerate Dilaudid, gives me terrible headaches. I take the nausea meds and then two Demerol, it still upsets my stomach! I felt that the pain meds never helped my pain much, they only make me sleepy. If they would take the edge off and help me fall asleep, I would be happy with that! Did you get “the twins” implanted at the same time?

Mark56 – as always, thank you too

Thanks again to all!
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