January 24, 2006
decisions, decisions RSDS , update  

I visited Duke today. It was okay, really. My mom and I had brunch in Durham before my appointment, and eating really helped me feel a lot better. Just call that common sense, right?

So here's the news about the stimulator:

Dr. O will replace my electrodes/leads if I say yes. I haven't decided. But it will be a more serious surgery. He would have to make a larger incision in my back, and shave the bone of my spine to place this different kind of lead (called a plate, I believe). And he would have to do this by sight, which is why the incision is so much bigger. I'm not sure if this could be a day surgery, which would have insurance implications. I forgot to ask that question!

Here are the unknowns:

  • There is no way to know if this will stop the pain or muscle spasms when the stimulator is on. It is just a best guess.
  • There is no way to perfectly place the new leads, that is, they may not provide better stimulation -- it may be worse or none.
  • There is more risk involved in the surgery itself.
  • There is a greater recovery time.
  • This could increase my pain.

So I am praying about this, and I'll let you know what I decide. If I say no, the stimulator comes out. So there will be one more surgery at least.

The other aspect I hope you will pray about is my medication. I am going up on it, and it might cause some side effects for a while. Pray it won't be so bad. And I'm trying one new medicine that might help me sleep better (and therefore get more rested).

I'll keep you apprised.
And I hope to be blogging more in the future. About more than my RSD, that is.

Posted by micah at 06:32 PM
January 03, 2006
broken RSDS , update  

I was at Duke today again. I'm really tired and worn out. A little discouraged too.
My stimulator could not be programmed. I started having back pain almost immediately when setting the stimulation levels. And beyond that, the stimulation started causing muscle spasms. So...we turned it off.

The doctors have no idea what is wrong. Obviously, there was a problem with the actual IPG that was replaced on December 5. It was deffective. But, it seems that was not the only problem to the system.

I will see my surgeon in about 3 weeks. I doubt I will continue with the stimulator; it looks like medication will be my best bet for pain management. Well, really God's grace.

Posted by micah at 08:53 PM