I Sing The Body Electric 2

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.

Pretty Accurate Placement
Electrodes are too low here

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.

Medtonics controller. Not yours!
Medtonic controller

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.

3 thoughts on “I Sing The Body Electric 2”

  1. Hi, Habib:

    I found this website after reading your impressive post on the SCTA website. Like you, I am far more interested in sharing information than in spreading moral and emotional support, and the posts certainly split cleanly between the two.

    I have chronic knee and ankle pain following surgery three years ago to remove an ependymoma, T10 – T12. A pain management specialist recommended the Spinal Cord Stimulator, but for some reason the nature of my scar tissue and the laminectomy seems to make it impossible for me to try it out in advance, as you did. Having read some less favorable reviews than yours in the SCTA archives, I’m hesitant to undergo another surgery that might not yield results.

    So I’m heartened by your success and would like to stay posted on your continued experiences with it. Like you, I’d love to leave the pain and meds behind. If there’s any way for you to keep me notified of updates, I’d really appreciate it.

    Bill Anschell

  2. One thing to consider on being updated on my progress, is to try out the RSS feed at the top right of the blog page. You could get a notification that way, although you’d also be notified of all the other “drivel” I put out as well so it is not a perfect solution by any means. Otherwise, just drop back occasionally. As you can see, I do keep writing, so chances are I’ll be spewing some more about my back.

  3. Bill,

    Just posted a PM to your email address. Sorry I haven’t written sooner, but what I’ve sent is good news. Certainly nothing to be concerned about, and it’s a bit of a nice story about my chronic pain progress to date.


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