Spinal Cord Stimulator Day 1


Yesterday, we put in the spinal cord stimulator. While you read this, I will be on the phone with my doctor because Day 1 didn’t go well. My pain levels were outrageous. Now, I expected some pain and discomfort. I was not prepared for what I got. And since I’m sure my best friend is reading this and about to roll her eyes…. Let me explain.

The electrodes are small enough they can be put in with a large needle and that’s how we did mine. No problems there. Programing also went fine. I cried on the table it hurt so bad. I’m not a huge crier when it comes to pain, so that surprised me.

But the pain got worse. By the time I arrived home after the 20 minute ride from the doctor to the house, it felt like an iron rod had been inserted in my back and attached to my lumbar spine. When I try to sit up, it shoots pain up my back. So, I spent 6 hours laying mostly on my stomach. Around 6:30 pm, I had to get out of bed. I was getting sore from laying in it.

So, I decided to try sitting in a recliner with a pillow behind me. The pillow made me cry. I spent 2 hours sitting up. I took a pain pill at 6 pm. At 7:15 pm, I took a second because it didn’t even feel like I’d taken the first pill. The second took the edge off my pain. When I got out of the chair (with some help), the pills instantly wore off and I began to cry again. Even J was asking if I thought I needed to go to the ER. And by 9 pm, I was beginning to wonder when I could safely take another pill, even though I was lying down again on my belly.

At midnight, I was still awake, despite taking a couple Benadryl and having taken 2 – 5 hydrocodone by 7:30pm. And at that point, I decided to dictate this into my phone for publishing today. I intend to be on the phone with my doctor’s office first thing tomorrow morning. Sometimes, it even hurts under my right rib when I take a deep breath.

I suspect I won’t be getting much if any sleep tonight. I don’t have a fever and the titanium electrodes are coated in something, so I shouldn’t be having a reaction to them. But something is weird. I talked to a handful of people who have them to see what they experienced after their electrodes were inserted and all of them said the same thing, I had some pain and some discomfort, but nothing like what I’m describing. I even fiddled with the settings on it increasing and decreasing the strength of the stimulation and it had no effect. The tech I spoke to at 9 pm, had me turn it down to just above “off” for the night to see if that helped… so far it hasn’t.

Needless to say, I am miserable tonight. Really, really miserable.

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