I’ve had a number of months to get used to this stimulator, and I must say it is a significant improvement over what I’d tried for the previous 20 years. Pharmaceutical approaches are a wonderful option, but it was always only partially successful for me. I wasn’t willing to go the opiate route, simply because I’m unwilling to accept the IQ handicap. There are a couple of other reasons I don’t use the stuff, and they’re named Daniel and Rachel. They deserve better than having that in the patriarchal mix.
One of my fondest hopes, was to be able to wean myself off of prescription drugs entirely. The last time I visited my pain doc, I told him I wanted to kick the vestiges of the drugs. Though receptive to my wishes, I got a raised eyebrow. He warned me that I might be successful initially, but that I would probably start hurting more than I expected. He was correct, sort of.
In any event, a titration schedule was worked up to reduce my dosages, and within a little more than a month I was off the prescription drugs. It was not without cost. Though some folks get depressed and suicidal coming off serotonin reuptake inhibitors, I didn’t find any of that. I was, however, really really cranky. I’m not talking about raising my voice (not my style, except with the kids). I’m talking about two weeks of being really irritable. Now I know what it’s like to be the victim of raging hormonal imbalances. I mean, I should have worn a dress!
That aside, the aftermath of that emotional period has left me pharmacologically clean. It has also taught me that I’m in big trouble if the stimulator ever fails. One evening I was foolish enough to turn the stimulator off just before I went to bed.
Two hours later, from a dead sleep, I was reminded that adhesive arachnoiditis is a remarkably unpleasant disease. Stabbing, lancinating pain in the legs and feet is what woke me. Now, if I’d been back in the medicinal era, I’d have been in a pickle. Realizing my error, and cursing my bad judgement, I reached for the remote and reactivated the stimulator. Within 4-5 seconds the pain disappeared. I’m not kidding. Scary effective.
I have new respect for Medtronic. Now if I could just get them to give up more on how their technology works, I’d be pretty happy. After all, I’m quite intimate with their product now. It’s a lot like having a chunk of their electronics installed inside my body……wait, it’s exactly like having a chunk of their electronics installed inside my body!
More on that in the next post.