It is three days since I started the Spinal Cord Stimulation trial. I will explain how it works, what has been done to me, what will be done to me, and finally what the results of Spinal Cord Stimulation appear to be for me this far into the experience of it.
The idea with this surgery is to treat Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome Type 2, that used to be known as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. When my back was operated on six years ago, the nerves in my back were damaged causing incredibly severe neuropathic pain.
The damaged nerves were sending scrambled signals to my brain, that were interpreted as very severe pain. If pain 0 is no pain, and pain 10 is pancreatitis, I was constantly between pain 7 and 9, which is pretty bad.
With Spinal Cord Stimulation, electrodes are inserted up your spine, inside the spine itself, and they generate a 10kHz electrical impulse that masks the scrambled neuropathic pain and reduces one’s experience of pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulation only masks the neuropathic pain, it does not fix the damaged nerves or cures one, it just makes one feel in less pain.
On the picture of my back, you can see in the middle of my back a dressing over a rather deep hole that was cut to reach my spine and slide the electrodes right up inside my spine to between my shoulders. That is currently held together with staples under the dressing. Smarts a bit.
Coming off that at the bottom left there is a little cut where the wires from the electrodes were run inside me to where they come out on my left flank to meet the trial Spinal Cord Stimulator. This is the big lump glued to my left-hand side.
You will note I said ‘trial device’. This is because Spinal Cord Stimulation is a ‘rest of life’ procedure, that requires running constantly forever (or at least for 5+ years).
A device that is running for so long cannot be attached to wires poking out of one’s body, as is the case with the trial device. It has to be put inside one where it is safe and will not let infections into one’s body.
A device that sits inside the body for so long, being recharged by wireless charging, running constantly, has to be a robust and serious piece of kit. Consequently, it costs a fortune.
This is why one has a trial with an external device. Before the expense of putting a device inside one is shelled out, the medics want to know that Spinal Cord Stimulation actually works.
So, the trial must end at some point, the start of next week for me, you must be allowed to heal up a bit, and then the permanent device is put inside one.
Where will it be put? In my left buttock. Yes, the neurosurgeon will be cutting a new arse hole in me!
Sadly, this means there will be a gap between the trial and the permanent device when I will be returned to hideous pain levels. If any of you have any strong painkillers, post them to the usual address😉. That period will last for 13 days! Ouch!
However, after that period I will be returned to the same level of pain reduction I am getting with the trial device.
What level of pain reduction is the trial device managing for me? I experience a pain reduction of between 80 and 100% – that means that me and all at Elitistreview Court could not possibly be happier!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, especially to The Editor who is paying most of the cost and my great friend Keith who lent him the money so he could pay it off gradually.