Tag Archives: Spinal Chord Stimulator

Chicken…head…definitely cut off!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! So yeah… surgery is FAST approaching, so I pretty much am on the run (okay walk but you know it’s the saying here)! I have at least one if not two appointments a day right now as we get things ready for surgery. I am working fast and furious getting the last few details down before surgery number 4.

There have been some anxious moments like when my paperwork packet didn’t show up on time, so we thought it was lost in the mail. No it showed up..just two weeks late! I had the doctor’s office fax it to me. I got my physical, I’ve been having more evaluations done on my physical and mental health right now. The neurological symptoms have been better and worse all at the same time, so we are looking to get more of a baseline right now. So I am doing some testing there. They also want to make sure that I am fully recovered from that concussion I suffered from last year. I had some testing about my physical abilities to see where I have made improvements there before I have surgery again to get a baseline before I get more anesthesia. The moral of that was I have awful balance and I sway. I also snap, crackle and pop A LOT.

So I am a lot high strung, I was going to write a little and then realized I should not lie. I am very high strung right now and it’s hard to deal with and I used to be on medication to help bring me down a notch or two, but they stopped that in January and I think my family is missing it right about NOW! Sometimes it’s better to be on medication than without it, but once they finish the testing the doctor is going to prescribe me something again, but we want to wait until testing is done.

High pain + Disappointment

So I have been quiet at least on here, I am in a high pain period. I am trying to get stuff done before my surgery which means a lot of doctor appointments. Everyone has to sign off that I am cleared to have surgery. Lots of boxes to be checked. I am also finding that my arms are going numb a lot more often which is frustrating, but then I also have validation that I need the surgery. I know the time is right.

Today I have pain from the base of my skull down the right side. The nerve must be slightly pinched. I keep rubbing it gently hoping it will feel better. I got the packet about the upcoming surgery and it says you can’t take over the counter pain killers for 3 months or until your fusion is complete which brings me to my disappointment…

So I got x-rays done a couple weeks ago on my back. The last set were done in January and it showed that my back was still not fused, but there was some signs of fusion just not a lot. I just got the x-ray report and it says there has been no change since January. Which is a huge disappointment because we really thought that with the hardware my back would fuse. This also makes me wonder WHY isn’t my back fusing. I mean it’s been 22 months since the first surgery, it’s been 10 months since the hardware was put in, but no fusion yet. It is frustrating to say the least. So I’ll take the images to the doctor to find out his opinion on things, ask some questions and see where we go from here.

I do know that no matter what ALL IS WELL! Even with this disappointment I am well.

Healing SLOOOWLY

So I’m getting ready for another surgery, and I was talking about the first spinal surgery yesterday with 2 doctors (they work together) and how I am healing REALLY sloooowly from the first surgery. The first surgery was in 2014, and then I had to have the surgery repeated in 2015 because it did not take in 2014. Now since then we have found out that I have an autoimmune disease so that slowed healing, but it should not have slowed it down by this long. We’re actually not sure if I’m totally done healing even YET! I just got new xrays of my back done this week and I’ll find out soon if I am fused finally. My guess from the way they are talking, I am NOT. Which means that it’s been almost a YEAR since the surgery in 2015, it’s been almost 2 years since the surgery in 2014 and I’m STILL not healed…something is definitely WRONG.

So the one doctor asked the other doctor about if I had been diagnosed with pseudo neuropathic joint disease and the doctor said they were waiting to look at the images. I would have had the images for them, BUT there was an issue putting the images on a disc and I didn’t get it in time for my appointment. So what I find interesting with this is that in 2015 they had to put hardware in my back to keep everything stable because things were not fusing properly, but after reading I think they might be on to something as if I need something else to add to my laundry list of ailments. I have been leaning again which is what is concerning the docs. Of course that is an old habit from before the first surgery and I am trying really hard not to do that, but old habits die HARD!

I will have the images to the doctor before the next appointment so they can look at them to see how the fusion is looking. I want to know myself to be honest. I’m ready for it to be DONE, but from what they are saying its sounding like its still not healed…(they had the report just not the images). So we shall SEEEEEEEEEE. I just keep on taking life one day at a time. I can tell there has been some shifting in my hips/low back which is what they are working on right now to try and get me to correct my posture again. The pain just gets so bad…who wants to stand up straight when it HURTS?

 

$40 Chair

I had physical therapy yesterday which isn’t anything new. I have been going weekly for months now. We have been working on strengthening my legs, and the muscles surrounding my knees because my knees are crap! When I am in the office I don’t have my braces on, so I look really normal. I also don’t have my stimulator on so that I can feel if the exercises are bothering my knees/legs. If I have the stimulator program running then it is disrupting the pain signals coming from my low back and legs which is not helpful when I am doing physical therapy on my legs.

So I went to sit outside my doctor’s office and there was a gentleman waiting to speak to the doctor. He engaged me in conversation this way…

Him- “This chair will cost you $40”

Me- laughs “You are charging the WRONG patient! I haven’t worked in years and I’m disabled and possibly won’t work again!”

Him- slight confused look on his face “But I saw you walk over here, and you look like you walk just fine…”

Me- laughs “Well I am one of those looks are deceiving kind of people. Last year I was told by 3 medical doctors that I should be dead because I got a saddle pulmonary embolism after surgery. One doctor told me I should be on medical mysteries because he’s not sure how I survived it. I’ve had 3 surgeries in 2 years and I’m about to have another surgery in August to have my neck fused because it’s bone on bone.”

Him- “So the neck…I guess that’s painful…”

Me- “Very painful. I get migraines multiple times a week.”

Him- “Hmm I guess you have more going on than meets the eye.”

Me- “Yeah and I’m here for my knees!”

Him- “WHAT? You’re not even here for the neck?”

Me- “Nope…I am currently here because I have MCL sprains on both knees and I have no ACL in this knee.”

Him-“Okay I guess I won’t charge you $40 then……”

He gets up and walks off

The funny part about all this was I had just said to the tech that for everything that is wrong with me I do walk well. I mean seriously! I know that a lot of it is all the physical therapy, all the stretching that I do at home, I do work hard to be able to walk. Walk in a straight line I do not, but hey I can’t be perfect!

Now this guy was not trying to be mean, he was really trying to be funny, he just got more than he bargained for! Because if you look at me especially without the braces on you really have no idea. With 2 knee braces on you have some idea that I have some knee issues, but still that doesn’t clue you into the back. When I have to check in, I have 12 tabs on a normal basis because each part of my body that is injured/hurts is a tab. Sometimes I have more because if I have something extra that hurts I have to add it, but I have 12 tabs that I have to fill out info on a normal day. And I know you are thinking WOW!! Yeah, that’s my life with chronic pain and yes it goes from my ankle all the way up to my neck and both sides of the body, so it’s not so fun. I try to keep a good sense of humor because I need something to escape all this pain!

What is that bright yellow thing??

OH MY GOSH!! There is a bright yellow round thing in the SKY!! Yes ladies and gentlemen we have SUN!! Luckily I have transition lens otherwise I think I would be sinking into the ground from the brightness! I would be standing outside all day but a) I surely would burn in the first 5 minutes since I am pasty white and b) I can’t stand for long periods of time so I’m just out of luck! I did walk outside for a couple of minutes just to feel the warmth on my skin and soak up a little vitamin D before my body began to hurt.

Today the most pain is across my upper back. I feel like I have a really heavy backpack on. Yesterday I was experiencing chest pains again, I checked my heart rate and it was 140…it should not have been that high. So I am going to have to bring this up with my doctors again and see what they think. It could be related to my thyroid. We are confident at this point the issue isn’t stemming from my heart so we have to look at other areas in the body. I know with fibromyalgia you get the pains across the upper back so I believe that is what is causing that pain, at least I think that is…you never can tell with me. I still have a bad headache on top of everything else that is going on right now.

The doctor is going to tell me I’m falling apart again, I’ll just sweetly smile and say YES. There isn’t much else I can do at this point. I know he’s going to run a couple tests tomorrow but that’s a given at this point. I am used to it, I just wish I got a sticker at this point! I mean when you are a kid you get a sticker, why can’t you get a sticker as an adult! I should tell Mom I want ice cream! I don’t think she’ll go for it, but I should try anyways!

I am ready to crawl back into bed! Which it’s so pretty outside I also want to enjoy the day because it FINALLY stopped raining! Oh the battle of chronic pain!

 

Steel trap? More like a sieve

So I used to be able to remember EVERYTHING. It was very handy when I was a school teacher. Especially if I wrote it down. I had this ability to remember things really well if I wrote it out, I was able then to visualize it and then I was good to go. I loved to color coordinate things as well. I was super organized and I LOVED writing things down on a calendar. I still do. I have to write things down, but I don’t have the same recall like I did before the fibromyalgia. Today I have serious brain fog an I keep forgetting what I am doing. This morning I was in the middle of a project and I totally forgot about it and I sat down at the computer and 10 minutes later I look up and realize everything is still sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to finish it.

One of the pharmacists at the coumadin clinic laughs at me because I have to have a specific color highlighter on my paperwork, I am very specific! He just laughs because if he picks up the wrong color I make him change it. Last time he picked up the right one without me correcting him! He’s learning!

It’s raining AGAIN, I didn’t want to get out of bed today, I’m actually thinking about climbing back in it to take a nap. I have a migraine and I am so sore. This wet weather is really playing havoc on me. I will be glad when we finally dry out a bit. I just want some warm sun on my face! Of course when it’s 90 degrees and we’re in desperate need for rain everyone is going to remind me of when I begged for the rain to stop.

There just needs to be a bit of balance! I mean like everything else in the world right? Balance makes things better!

The rain is falling EVERYWHERE!!

So we had over 4 inches of rain fall this month! CRAZY! I hope the gardens everywhere are SOAKING IT UP! I mean I want lots of fresh veggies at the local farmer’s markets, because someone should be benefiting from all this rain, rain and yeah MORE rain! The wifey planted a small garden for us and she has a few more plants to get in, but all this rain has made that a bit of a difficult task!

My knees have been rather swollen, I noticed last night they were about twice their normal size, they still have a nice click, click, click, if I was Dorthy I wouldn’t have to click my heels, my knees should do it! I could just close my eyes and bend my knees “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”

I really am over being sore. I had to turn the spinal cord stimulator off for a bit earlier to give my stomach muscles a break. I have had my stimulator turned up higher than normal because I am in more pain, so my stomach muscles can feel the buzzing which normally they don’t. So I can only take that for so long and then I have to give them a break.

I do like the stimulator and I am glad that I have it, if only it covered my WHOLE back I would really be in business! I mean my upper back and lower back I wouldn’t complain. Actually they are working on a wireless one that can be put in to do other regions and I do believe they will be able to do neurocord stimulator all over the body in the next few years. So who knows maybe in the next 10 years I will have the ability to have it over my whole back….

For now I am going to enjoy the coverage on my low back and legs. Try to cover up the really annoying nerve pain in my feet and enjoy life because life is too short!