Since I posted back when, I had the cervical implant. It definitely isn't as effective as the lumbar. My lumbar is probably 90% effective, where cervical tops is 50%. Cervical doesn't reach mid-back at all unless I turn it way up and then my arms shake terribly. If I have a hangnail, I can't take the pain.
I did have the lumbar replaced yesterday as original wasn't put in properly and always sore. The new one hopefully will be so cool, will be able to know my movements from up/down in a chair to laying down and not being buzzed to death. Also adapts to changing position during sleep.
But I have the cervical wires, not paddles and have never had anything adjusted. I'm going to talk to my new doctor who is so much better than any of the other 3 I've gone through.
I take Cymbalta, Neurontin, and about 4 Norco a day (better than the 12 I used to take). Also Valium for the muscle spasms in mid back. I detest pain meds, but detest the pain too and how it limits my life.
Imnotmaggie, I had to fight with my 1st doctor to get the cervical. I don't understand how docs don't realize the resultant pain they cause by spinal fusions, nerve cuttings and their side effects, and today's news on WebMD about epidural injections possible side effect of increased spinal fractures (but cited mostly people with Osteoporosis.) I had Osteopenia from having the gastic bypass in 2004 and taking the wrong Calcium, changed and a year later, the bone scan was perfect. I was told by Medtronics whose systems I have that cervical is not as effective, but after neck pain and less than 5% movement at times due to my neck since 1979, I can't appreciate this system more. It helps my neck the most.
I was hit by a drunk this year on 8/30 by a drunk at a stop light who blew threw it and literally sheared off the front of my car doing 75mph (managed to do $13,000. worth of damage, even bent the frame). I was in shock and told them my neck hurt and headache was awful, but couldn't see going to the hospital (on my way to a critical dental procedure). Thankfully I'd left 2.5 hours early to shop, so made it. Now I'm in physical therapy for impinged joints in my shoulder, presumably from the seat belt). Surprisingly while doing exercises pulling arms back along my sides (pushing the center back together) I could feel the tingling. I was so excited and now when it bad pain and not around an ice pack, I can do that for a while and the pain subsides.
I was very interested in what Sweetpete mentioned regarding the right doctor and paddles versus leads. I'd like to hear what he has to say about repositioning, etc. Medtronics has not mentioned it, but I would like to have a day without a headache.
Nothing stops me, just turned 60, I get out on the Quads (but carefully), but by thinking I'm still 20, had 4 other major accidents this summer, hematoma's on both knees and one chip, bruised ribs, took the skin off my shins trying to get up on a dock holding 2 SeaDoos', and ultimately finding out how to do 360's on Seadoos, was thrown, came up under and broke my nose. So nasal surgery in a couple of weeks, diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus so having it checked next week (pre-cancerous lining), 3 knee surgeries, ankle surgery, a couple of years before replacement of other knee, and 6 fused discs, I guess I can just say I'm bionic. When my vision went wacky on Easter I just figured, yep just another thing, floaters in 1 eye. I think I have a bull's eye on my forehead, yet I'm still laughing and enjoying what I do have.
Thanks for the responses, I will check out the Cervical issues with my doc. Responses like this are sometimes the only way we find out things.
No doctor ever told me that dry mouth from Norco would cause dental decay. I go every 6 months no matter what, lost my insurance, and in 2 years, I developed major problems that cost me $7000. Pain docs should be telling people!!!View Thread
Lyrica helped me, but couldn't afford, so used the Gabapentin, 300mg to start, then to 600 mg. But after 3 months my equilibrium was so bad and still running into furniture. I recently stopped as I wanted to see how much nerve pain it was really helping, but I'm still off kilter. Wonder if it's still in the body to some extent, or the increased Norco and Tramadol are contributing to it.View Thread
My first trial (lumbar) did quite well. Had the permanent implant in July 2010. But follow-up appointments with the maker of the unit is the important part for me. Finally after my 6 month appointment (4 changes in the program), then have indeed pinpointed sore areas. My lower back also was so painful even though the buttocks and legs were okay. The rep was so patient and worked out a program where it did get all the way up to my waist and that low back pain is controlled. I also have Diabetes, and she was able to get it down to my toes which is such a relief. With more changes, we also got to where my right knee after 3 surgeries, last done Sept. 2009, still swells and limping, but now with the adjustments I am able to walk many times without a limp. Knowing how successful this has been for me, and seeing after 7 months, that successive changes in the program by the rep is indeed a huge part of the success with this.
Now next week I have a trial for the upper back, from my shoulder blades up. Sure hope it is successful. Nerve pain down arms, neck, upper back. Do not want more fusions as after 6 months from the 2nd one in the upper the disks above and below were getting bad. I want my spine to stay original until I have no choice.View Thread
Boy, you have so much going on, it has to be suffocating. With so many different medical things going on (me too) depression seems like a natural thing. Like your body is out of control, and pain for me makes it tough to fight doctors to actually listen and do their job. I've been shunned and walked out on when I stated I had been researching on line. I stuck with it, and am having a 2nd STIM trial next week. I already have an implant in my lumbar area and can no walk, sit, etc.
My mind says I have to be off the medications. I feel like they control me, or don't help all that much, just take the edge off and in turn I feel fuzzy headed.
I'm bi-polar too, and went through 6 weeks of deep depression in this frustrating search to heal the body pain, then switched to so manic I'm having to take Ativan to calm down all the shaking. I can't stop, feel pushed, unable to sleep much, and going and going increases the pain because of what I am doing, but also makes more muscle pain, and a screaming meanie towards my husband. We aren't good for each other right now with him on the 14th week of Chantix to stop smoking. We both yearn for some normalcy and not so dumped with a huge multitude of external problems.
Yes Sheila, keep writing. I've been off of here for over a month with that horrible depression that had me like a potato sack.View Thread
Wow gabbybb, you have a nightmare of an injury. I wish the best for you. When was the implant. Wondered how it was helping. I'm hoping to get a cervical one in addition to the lumber implant I have that is highly successful.View Thread
Thanks Joy, hearing others take me out of this place and give me more resolve. It's 8 hours one way to get to where my Mom and kids and grandkids and with a super snowstorm hitting this weekend will make trips longer. My docs are all still in CA until I get insurance changed, but it's so much cheaper there right now. But if I get flack from this spine doc, I may switch. On a fixed income makes it very hard.View Thread
Thanks Joy, my answers hopefully will come in several weeks, or not. Depends on if the doc has an open mind.
We went through 11 years with my father-in-law, then 3 years with mom-in-law (last 6 months in our house through hospice), a lot with my 97 year old and 102 year old grandmothers, now Mom. But they're releasing her to a rehab. The problem is most of the time she gives up and that stops progress. Doubt she'll be able to walk again, but this is her M.O., and nothing we can do. We can motivate her for a day, but then it goes downhill.View Thread
Thanks Joy, left quickly for 8 days to CA as my Mom wasn't going to make it. Somehow she has so far and has had major surgeries, still d-fib, bp problems up/down, and much else. But I finally had to come home. My body couldn't take any more. I left so quickly I left my charger for the Medtronics implant and freaked, but a wonderful rep loaned me one and created some new settings. I'll see her in about 3 weeks and if this spinal cord doc is not going to listen to me, because this C3-C7 nerve cutting did not work and headaches and neck/back pain are still what I would say are moderate/severe. So after all these years and procedures, I want to try the cervical spinal cord stim test. The C3-C7 block worked perfectly, but the radiofrequency nothing. If he won't, I'm switching insurance to this state, and Medtronics will work with me to get a specialist. If that doesn't work then I feel like the only answer is pain management. I'm already working closely with a Psychatrist for the past 15 years and he's an expert with my stress factors, and some chemical imbalances. He pays attention to every med prescribed to me and makes sure I can handle it. We'll see what this sanctimonious doc has to say next. My answer may be bye-bye.View Thread
I take Norco 10/325, Vicodin ES 7.5/750, Tramadol 50, Tylenol (always count all amounts to make sure I don't overdo it), lots of coffee for headaches, Valium, Ativan, Neurontin. I think that's it. The Valium is to relax but I only take at bedtime as it puts me to sleep during the day as does the Neurontin and Ativan. I've been the route for 9 months with pain specialist and they had me on 7 meds including Oxycodone and monthly Cortisone, and every visit (no exaggerating at all) was 4 hour waits. I finally called the shots and went to the Neurosurgeon to find out bone spurs, 2 missing discs cervical and lumbar. I have a lot more research to do and a lot more thinking, but have 2 weeks until I see the doc and will be prepared. I only take 600 mg Neurontin, so may see if I can get into the Neurosurgeon and see about it. As he isn't going to do any surgery though, I'm not sure he can advise me much, but is still prescribing meds for the last year.
Thanks for all the input, the quantities and what other people do help me to research what to do. What I was reading yesterday is a problem I have since I've had the gastric bypass and absorption of these narcotics people have 50% or less absorption rate, so now I'm wondering. I always wondered why they said Norco for 4-6 hours and 2 of them lasts me 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours max, then I have to take Tramadol to tide me through. Also research chewing the Norco and with my lack of stomach acid after the bypass, it takes nearly 45 minutes for Norco to work, chewing it I'm getting relief in 10, and most people have said it's okay. They referred to something on Mayo Clinic re: this, but I couldn't find it. If I chew to a powder (could crush but they are really tough) and put under my tongue sublingually, it absorbs really fast.View Thread
Thanks, a lot going on in my head and body, and my Mom very ill in another state, so am either going to fly, Amtrak, or drive today or tomorrow. I am beginning to think these nerve cuttings are not the answer. As the SCS was so successful for my lower extremities, if it would be considered for cervical, I might try that, otherwise it's pills, pills, pills, and yes another doc. This spinal specialist gives me no pills. Only my Neurosurgeon is still prescribing and brand new PCP who doesn't understand the problems, and the gastric bypass surgeon who isn't any help.View Thread