So for the first few months after surgery, it actually did kind of feel like I had an evil parasite in my neck. But now that I've healed, and learned the ins and outs of working with my stimulator, I've come to love it. It's been just over six months now (I know! Can you believe it?!) so of course I started going in to reflection mode. And I know some of you were curious, so I figured I'd share a little more about what it all is.
|Not an evil parasite after all.|
This is the electrode - not the actual one that's in my neck, but similar. It was implanted under the vertebrae of the cervical spine, where it sends electrical impulses through the nerves. So now instead of the horrible pain from the CRPS that I had been feeling constantly for years, I just feel the electric tingling.
It definitely took some getting used to, and it doesn't completely solve the problem, but it does do a world of good.
The electrodes are attached to a battery just like this one. It's implanted just under the skin in my back, roughly in the kidney area. With periodic charging, it keeps everything going. They say that the battery should last for about 10 years, after which they'll have to go back in and replace it. Fortunately, the incision for this part was nothing - not anywhere near as miserable as the one for the electrodes. So that surgery should be no problem.
As you know if you've followed this blog, particularly in the early days, the recovery from this surgery was not, by any stretch of the imagination, easy. It was painful. Really, really painful. I couldn't move, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I couldn't do anything for myself. It wasn't something I'd want to go through every day.
But that lasted for a few months. By about the 4th month, I was pretty much able to resume most activities, and the pain had gotten much easier to deal with. (It probably would have taken even less time to reach that point if I hadn't developed complications. But even those eventually passed.) And now, 6 months out, I think I can safely say that I'm completely healed. While I still have other pre-surgery issues that I'm continuing to deal with, I haven't had any more problems from the surgery itself. Overall, I'd definitely say it was totally worth it.
And ok, we all know that this scar is actually from where the electrode was implanted. But be honest - next time you see me, isn't a little part of you going to want to check and make sure my eyes don't glow?