The wait is over,Its here,it happening,you got the butterflys in the stomach,you can smell that stench of mixed sweat,anxiety,disinfectant and other nervous patients passing gas.Today can change the rest of your life…
This is important-Stage 1 is a trial-Like taking a car out for a test before you buy-Makes sense right?
Stage 1 is different for all because of different makes/models dependent on where you live or what your doc recommends
Conventional batteries last 2-5 years-You will not charge these at home but will need more surgurys to replace them
Rechargeable 10+ years(i.ie you’ve got to charge it everyday or every other day etc-Depends on make/model…
I can only speak here of one type that I have personal experience and the other one I am using second hand information
- One very popular brand needs you to be awake,sedated,given local anaesthetic but still be able to guide the doc and give feedback in real time as to can you feel a tingling sensation where you previously had pain as he/she moves the electrode’s around. When you feel the tingling where you once had pain you are knocked right back out. Some people say the relief is instantaneous,for some its take a week or so, for some more, for some it will not work efficiently .I’ve no experience in this so am writing second hand info.You will need to know what he/she will be doing to you while on the operating table, so that you can do your part in accurately describing where you are feeling the stimulation, or if you are ‘not’ feeling the stimulation where it should be. It’s a 3-way teamwork gig when the moment comes for the Rep to turn on the unit, but it’s you who will call the shot because only you can feel the sensation of the SCS.As for pain (surgical pain) you may need to mention it to your doc if this is stopping/distracting you from the giving info about your chronic pain then they can juice up the surgical pain control.During this procedure a thin cable called a lead is threaded under your skin and connected to a battery-powered stimulator that is worn outside your body. The trial system is temporary and allows you and your doctor to determine if SCS will work for you-AKA a test drive
- Another brand you are knocked out by anesthesia, cold. The procedure takes an hour or so and this is for sure the most comfortable I would imagine.When you wake up you will have your whole lumber area bandaged with what looks like two Ethernet/Telephone cables coming out of the bandages maybe a few inches-This is the best way I can describe it.It will feel very tight but not painful really. Those 2 leads will then be attached to an External device which is attached to a belt on the outside of your body about the size of two pagers stuck together (remember this is only the trial) but this will act like the full implant so you can see if its working for you. You will visit the hospital where you will be given different programs programmed in to your remote control (by a specialist) to see which works/is best for you and you can try them at home with your snazzy little remote you’ve been.given.Maybe none will work, maybe some will work, maybe one will work a bit, maybe one will work amazingly-who knows hence this trialling period for about a week, maybe more
For both types you will be given a remote(an actual remote-like a TV remote) with pre-programmed “programs” to try to make your pain less you can turn the current on and off, or adjust the intensity
What are electrodes?
A fancy word for leads: A strip of electrodes on a lead is placed in the epidural space next to the spinal cord in the spinal canal
“Programs” are programmed in to your remote control (by a specialist) to see which works/is best for you and you can try them at home with your snazzy little remote you’ve been.given.Maybe none will work, maybe some will work, maybe one will work a bit, maybe one will work amazingly-who knows hence this trailing period for about a week, maybe more, just don’t confuse it with the TV remote cause you’ll blow up the TV—-JOKE!!!!
What’s a program I hear you ask?
Programming involves selecting the electrode stimulating configuration-Remember the leads, they have 8 or 12 “nodes” on them and using different combinations can -Kind of like tuning your radio I guess, which frequency is best. Maybe one frequency is ok bit if I turn the knob a little here and a little there then voilà . Your specialist will tell you more
You will be asked to keep a diary also because no-one knows your pain except you, really important. You really have to work as a team.Uber important
**Personally I think this is what makes SCS so special and so appealing against wheelbarrows full of pain meds. You can try before you buy…
Long in hospital?
Can be an outpatient or you may need a few days-Ask your doc
External SCS On all the time for the trail?
Depends on the make/model/country but yes it will be on 24/7
Can I wash?
Yes but you cannot shower, it’s very important to keep the area where the stitches are dry and clean in case of infection etc.-Remember it’s a bandaged up wound but it’s still open.Wash with a cloth and soap but no baths or showers…A week of no showering for a potential lifetime of massive pain relief is worth it right? There might be a ripe smell of sweat off you but who gives a damn right now…..
Can I travel?
Why take the risk. This is the short-term trail and could change your whole life. Of course you’ve got to travel home but otherwise take it easy..
Take it easy how?
(I cannot stress how important this is because of lead movement/breakage)
These leads are designed to move as you move and are durable but the first few weeks while there bedding in are when there most likely to move-Can’t express how important this is
Surgery will be required to move the lead back-When I say move I’m talking millimeters here
You really need to be treat yourself as a statue and for anyone else in your household to treat you as a child as in picking up after you.I’m not even sure if some docs will give a patient an SCS if they live alone for this reason if they are looking for optimum success
Don’t drive. Can you? You Probably can…why risk it…its a short term trial
SCS systems may set off metal detectors at airports and elsewhere. Your doc will give you special ID (Ooh fancy you) that certifies you have a SCS system. It’s nothing; don’t worry about it.Theres millions of people in world with metal etc. in their bodies…Its more that your SCS will get damaged by the magnet force of the metal detector than anything else
Know where your leads are: Upper,lower back,wherever and think about your movements before acting…….
Don’t exercise too much-Yes a 5 minute walk every few hours but again why risk a long walk and fall maybe,walk around the block when you know the neighbor’s dog won’t knock you down-DOH!!
Do not bend over forwards-Ever.Ever.Ever-If you drop something leave it. Seriously,my niece became my personal butler during the trial……..
- Get a grabber thing,you know?The ones with the handle
- Do not twist-Ever.Ever.Ever.
- Do not raise arm over head-Ever.Ever.Ever-Ask for help
- You will be shown how to get out of bed-If not ask the Docs exactly how you do this and if you forget ask the again and again and again………
- No sudden movements. Easier said than done I know but think before you move….
- Don’t lift anything-at all, just don’t, why risk it….why risk it-Get someone else to do it…..
- For women no high heels for now
Don’t wear a tight belt aswel as I found out the hard way
Might need an o’l laxative there aswel for the strain on the bowels there depending on your diet and meds………..
All the above are so important i cant stress it enough so i made this line purple,why not!!Purple rocks!!!!
I’m sure other sites(and Ive seen them) say you can do this and do that after a day or two-I even saw one saying you can play rugby after 6 weeks??!!
If you’re a multimillionaire and you can afford to have all the surgery’s to get the leads moved/replaced and you don’t really care about or are too lazy to take care of yourself by all means listen to the other sites.But be warned you heard it here first………
If you don’t live with someone who can get you through the trial and im talking get you through the trial like a trooper,you really have to come up with a plan beforehand like,whos minding,kids,whose,going to shop and the million everyday things
Dude I got kids!!!
I hear ya but you’ve got to get help, it’s just instinct to bend over and hug your kid if he/she falls and there a million other scenarios like this……
YOU WILL NEED SOMEONE PRETTY MUCH 24/7(not in person but always but contactable by phone) FOR THE TRAIL FOR OPTIMUM SUCCESS-Trust me…….
The hospital staff will give you a phone number aswel in case you have any questions-Don’t be afraid to use it………
Do I need to charge this external device?
It’s an External device that takes average AA batteries
Still sound nuts!!
Stage 1 is the trial.Its an External battery even though the leads in your spine will remain should you go to stage 2,if your not going to stage 2 because you didnt get much relief out come everything,i.e leads and External SCS…
At the end of this trial you will decide if its best for you-Massive decision!!
Only you know your pain and what the SCS trial has done for you.Be patient during the trial.Don’t give it because it “hurts” or is “uncomfortable”.It will be sore and uncomfortable.Theres a massive difference between “hurt” and “pain”,if its just too painful then speak to your doc but it will be sore.I know someone who had a seven week trial.Seven weeks!!!Seven weeks of having a box strapped to his body.Seven weeks of no showers(and boy could you smell it),seven weeks of “will it work”just when he had given up all hope it started to work and gave massive pain relief changing his life forever.Don’t give up its a once in a lifetime opportunity but that’s just my advice.Take it or leave it………….
Got it-Whats stage 2?
Hover your mouse over “Stage 1” at the top of the page and then click on “Stage 2″….