So today was the pain management teleconference. As I’d never participated in one before, I thought it would be a cool way to hear from other people dealing with pain. The whole event was sponsored by Medtronic and the guest speakers were: Dr. Joshua Wellington from Indiana University and two patients. So, clearly, the bias was in favor of getting one of these devices. One has a spinal-cord stimulator (SCS) and the other has an intrathecal or implanted pump delivering pain medication directly to the person’s spine. There was a disclaimer stating that there was no obligation and that this was merely an info. session.
It was very informative. Since this seems to be the way I have to think now, getting a pump I mean, it was good to hear from a patient. They couldn’t hear the participants though, unless we were picked to ask a question. I wasn’t, though I tried to get the right buttons pushed quickly.
The woman who has a SCS has a story SO similar to mine that I got choked up listening to her. She was a nurse, it all started in her foot, she has RSD. The similarities were eerie. By the time she found a doctor who really knew what they were doing, she required two SCS’s to control her pain. She still has both and they keep her level of pain, (along with medication), at a 4. That’s pretty great considering where she was.
The man who has the implanted pump didn’t really say how his problem started, but he was in really bad shape prior to getting the pump. Both people are ambassadors for Medtronic because they had SUCH great success that they wanted to give back, to speak with people in pain and say how great their lives could be with the right treatment.
My doctor has said that the pump is the way for me because I would need coverage for my legs, back and arms. He doesn’t feel that the SCS will cover my pain. So, eventually, I will continue on the path toward getting the pump.
For now though, I will pretend that this isn’t my only option and glide along on a cloud of denial. Not for long, just for a little while longer.
Peace and painlessness,