A Waiting Game
The neurosurgeon gave us some insight, but also made the decision more difficult. He doesn’t think that removing the leads and keeping the battery is a good idea. Because the main risk with the surgery is infection, removing them now to have another surgery down the line to either replace them or remove the battery just increases the risk of infection.
Yesterday’s headache didn’t settle down too much and it continued into today. I’ve been turning the stimulator on and off throughout the day. My headache pain is worse with it on than with it off.
Eventually I will have to decide to have the leads replaced or the device taken in out, but it’s not an urgent decision unless I have mechanical pain (the pinching pain and tenderness) even when it is off.
Today’s plan is to keep in and leave it off for a while — maybe three or six months. If I decide my pain isn’t any worse than it has been with it on, I’ll have it taken out. If I feel worse now than I did with it on, I’ll have the leads replaced. It’s a matter of waiting, which I’m not very good at.
The great news is that since the current leads are migrating and will continue to do so, I don’t have to worry about how my movement affects the leads. I can bend and stretch and carry heavy things without a second thought. I’m looking forward to a celebratory yoga class when I get home.
Thanks again for listening to my saga. I’ll start blogging about something other than myself soon, I promise!