Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spinal cord stimulator

Dear friends,
Sorry its been so long since my last post. Nothing has really changed so I just i didn't have much to blog about besides my emotions which i figure most people don't want to necessarily hear about. I guess the last time I posted was about my sister's fiance Johan, who I am so happy to say, has made a magnificent recovery. As far as myself, again, not a whole not a whole lot has changed. I've tried more therapy, injections, and acupuncture and got little to no relief from any of the procedures. I stopped physical therapy per my pain doctors orders because most of the time it was causing me more pain after the fact than helping. So after many talks with the medical sales rep, talks with my parents, etc, I am going to start a 7 day trial of a spinal cord stimulator on Thursday. The SCS is basically a pacemaker for pain. Electrodes will be placed in my neck that will help to block pain signals. For the trial, all that will be implanted are the electrodes. The wires and the battery will be external. With the SCS i can have different programs and settings depending on the location and intensity of my pain. I turn it off when i drive, but can pretty much have it on as much as a want. The success rate is pretty high. They say with the trial, since the electrodes are not anchored to anything, my pain can decrease 40-50%. With the permanent implant where everything is implanted in my body ( the wires would run down my spine and the battery would be implanted in my loved handle, upper buttocks area. The permanent implant could relieve 80-90% of my pain. The permanent implant would be an day, outpatient procedure. Friends, please pray that this treatment works. Its a big step and a big commitment, as it would most likely be in my body for 10-12 years.
Another prayer request is for Harrison as we go through this process. He is so supportive but it will be a long week. I wont be able to shower (or get my neck wet) so i will probably be washing my hair in the sink and sponge bathing. So i will need his help even more this week. Luckily my mom will be coming up for the week so she will help as well.
Some other big news in our life is that we have a new addition to our family in the form of a dog. We have been talking about getting a dog for awhile now. We went to the humane society "just to look" and when we rounded the corner of cages, there she was. She has the cutest, sweetest face. She is a 5 month old chocolate lab/german pointer. We took her outside to play with her and she pretty much immediately took to us. We put her on hold that night, went to PetSmart and went back and got her the next morning, about 6 days before Christmas. She is super sweet and despite the high energy level of both breeds, she is relatively low key. She is dark chocolate but at the end of her nose has an area of lighter brown. She also LOVES peanut butter so we decided to name her Reese. She is a puppy and has her moments of chewing on things she shouldnt but again, for the most part, she is a great dog, She loves to snuggle and give kisses. She has been a good companion for me during the day.
I will try to remember to post a few days into trial to let you know how i'm doing. Please pray for me during the next week. As always, your prayers and support are so meaningful to me and on some days are the only thing that keeps me going. Emotionally, things are getting much more difficult for me. As the options come and go with no change in my pain, my hope that I'll ever live a pain free life becomes more and more a distant idea. So as you can understand, my hope and my joy in life becomes a little dimmer each day and that is very difficult. I know my hope and joy should come from the Lord but I am having trouble even finding that somedays. Friends, I just need lots and lots of prayers for many many things. Thanks for reading.