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!

3 thoughts on “A Waiting Game”

  1. I also have a nerve stimulator, I have had it for about 3yrs and it has worked great. The battery is in my lower back and the leads run up the middle of my back to my head. About 3 weeks ago I got up from laying down in my bed and felt my leads move and got a major jolt. I called my doctor and after xrays they have decided that the wires have snapped. I will have surgery on Saturday to have the problem fixed. Good luck to you.

    Good luck to you, too. I hope the surgery goes well and that you get relief from it. Let me know how it goes.


  2. I’ve been reading along, do keep talking about this. It’s one of the more interesting (in that live in interesting times way) decisions I’ve read about. I haven’t really heard of nerve stimulators before your talking about it.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad you find it helpful.


  3. I was wondering about how the battery affects your movement? Does it get in the way with yoga? or is it just that any funny movements move the leads around that you had to be careful of? And how do you turn the machine off and on?

    Also, I wonder if you let you body rest for 3 to 6 months, and then tried turning it back on again? Maybe it would be like the first time, and start to work again?

    Enjoy that yoga class!!

    The battery doesn’t interfere with movement, just the leads. Sometimes I get a little pain near the battery — like if a child hits it while we’re playing or I run into a wall — but it isn’t bad.

    I have a remote control that I place over the battery to turn it on and off. I can also change the rate of the stimulator (which increases the amount of “vibration” that I feel).

    Generally people respond to the stimulator quickly, so I don’t know if time will be a factor. I’ll definitely try turning it on again to see if it helps.


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