Requested approval from my Workers Comp Insurance Carrier (WCIC) to approve a psych eval to ensure I was mentally fit to live with leads poking out my back for a week or so.
Passed Psych Eval!
Requested approval from WCIC for surgical evaluation.
Facts were shared that only 30% of WC patients were approved for Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Implants
Passed Surgical Eval!
Alerted my prayer peeps to pray with me for SCS Approval!!!
Requested approval from WCIC to do actual trial
Surgical Date set
SCS Trial Surgery
Done without any anesthesia or relaxation meds … pain was minimal and meds were, in fact, not needed.
Was not anxious about the procedure or pain … but, was anxious about lying flat on my stomach for longer than several seconds … let alone an hour! Surgery table was placed with foamy arc shaped pillows that made the procedure very tolerable.
Surgery & Recovery time lasted about 3 hours
Nevro Rep turns on the Stimulator!
Nevro Rep asks several ?’s and through his computer sets the starting level & program to begin with.
though I was able to feel the stimulator “doing its thing” at one point … the rep set the unit so I would not … and did not feel an impulse of any kind thereafter.
I was cautioned to not twist, bend, lift my hands over my head, or lift anything heavier than 5 lbs. ….. Not hard to remember given the leads coming out my back.
Pain was DRAMATICALLY improved (by about 75-80% overall) very quickly. Can I get a Hallelujah???!!!!!
Received phone calls from a Nevro rep each morning to monitor my pain levels and tweak settings for ultimate improvement. Very impressed with the Nevro peeps!
Week of Trial
Pain remained reduced by 75-80% the entire week.
No Showers while leads were taped to my back. eeeeek!
Leads were “a little” uncomfortable when leaning against them while in my recliner and the tape became itchy around day 3 or 4 … but, that was the extent of the uncomfortableness.
Learned somewhere during the week that just because the trial was approved by WCIC… does not mean the permanent stimulator would be approved … AND approval generally takes 6 weeks time! WAIT … WHAT!?!? Locked myself in my bedroom and truly lost my “trial glow”.
Day before leads were to be removed, I determined not to waste my last day of “trial success” with negative, poopy, feel sorry for myself attitude. Walked 3 miles, climbed stairs, vacuumed and more! Really pushed it!
Challenged … almost begged the rep to have the Dr. leave the leads in … but, I eventually consented that since the leads were “external” … it gives way to bacteria and infection. (I am telling you …. I would have gone 6 weeks with sponge baths and annoying leads coming out my back to wait for SCS approval with such reduced pain!)
Leads removed. I felt the beginnings of increased pain before the end of the day. As hours evolved, I also realized I was feeling the pain of drastically increased activity from the previous day. Lesson learned ….
Pain completely returned with 48 hours.
Realized it had been a blessing (pre trial) I was unable to remember what it was like to live life without pain. Having the “fresh” memory of minimal pain made the return to the pain world much more difficult.
Fought depression. I entered back into the pain world MUCH less gracefully than I left it.
Alerted my prayer peeps and even made a social media plea for anyone willing …… to pray with me for SCS Approval
Braced myself for the “expected” 6 week wait time for the Permanent SCS Implant approval
My husband and I decided to go on a 3 night “glamping” trip in our RV to our favorite campground on the American River.
Requested approval from WCIC for Permanent Spinal Cord Stimulator
Day 1 of “Glamping” trip, received word that approval was given for SCS.
Approval was requested and received within 10 days!
Rep gave credit to my Pain M.D. for the way he wrote up the request for the SCS … and I am sure God used his expertise … but, again … full glory to God and thankfulness to all those who prayed for approval.