So I'm not gonna lie ... it's been a rough couple weeks. I had surgery on Tuesday, May 18th to implant a spinal neurostimulator to treat my pain and numbness. The idea is that the stim unit sends signals to the brain that block the pain signals my nerves are sending.
This is the second surgery of this type that I had. The first one, last September, ended with me in the hospital nine days later with MRSA. All the equipment had to come out and the battle against that terrible infection began. I left the hospital 13 days later with a PIC line and received daily IV antibiotics for six weeks at home. Finally, they declared me infection-free, but the infection took a big toll with residual inflammation and scar tissue. The worst complication is that my left foot is completely numb on the bottom and portions of my right foot are as well.
Fast forward to this month. I rejoiced greatly when I found a surgeon willing to do the stim procedure, even with all the complicating scar tissue and inflammation. But it was a rough procedure. I left the hospital with two incisions -- one about three inches long and the other about five inches long -- and 20+ staples in my back. A few years ago, a procedure this big would have required a hospital stay. But times change and I was fine coming home where I could rest better, get my meds on time, etc. But like I said, that first week was really rough.
Last Tuesday was a week from surgery, and we turned on my stim unit, at the very lowest setting. (By we, I mean the Nevro Rep and me. Nevro is the maker of my stim unit.) It has to stay on the lowest setting for a week, which means this Tuesday I get to turn it up a notch. I think I'm getting a very small decrease in back pain - maybe 10% - but no change at all in my foot numbness, so I am anxious to turn it up. I totally believe this will make a huge difference for me; we just have to find the right setting. There are a ton of different programs/settings to choose from with this unit, so it's just a process to get where we want to be.
I see my surgeon's nurse on June 8th to get my staples removed. I don't see the surgeon until mid-June. I expect to be doing really well by then.