Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The First Year

Last night it occurred to me that today is my anniversary. It was one year ago today that I went under the knife and became the proud owner of my very own spinal cord stimulator. And yes, dear friends, this feels like an event worth commemorating. (I kind of feel like I should have baked a cake or something.)

As with any relationship, my stimulator and I had a bit of an adjustment period. We had to get used to each other. Some wounds had to heal. We had to figure out who was in charge. It was definitely not love at first sight. But I am happy to say that we've put our differences behind us, and ours is now a happy, healthy, beneficial relationship.

If you've been with me this whole time (of if you've gone back to the beginning and read all about the journey) then you know that the surgery (or mostly the recovery) was not even a little bit easy. But you also know that I would do it again in a heartbeat. When it comes to the CRPS pain, it has made a world of difference.

But there is another, very important thing that I've learned from all of this: The spinal cord stimulator is not effective for every kind of pain. For the CRPS, it works wonders. I don't have nearly the pain I used to have. (I still feel some of it now and then, but it is nothing close to what it used to be.) Unfortunately for me, though, the CRPS is not my only problem, or my only source of chronic pain.

Going into this, my doctor and I had kind of been cautiously optimistic that, since the stimulator was being placed in my neck, it might also be able to help the other pain that is being caused by my oddly misshapen spine. But sadly it has not. The unit is set up so that I can get stimulation to that area. Unfortunately the pain is such that the stimulation just doesn't mask it.

Obviously it's disappointing that the stimulator couldn't do it all, but we knew that might be the case. (And we're still working on other ideas for the neck pain. Hopefully one day in the not too distant future I'll have some good news to report there.) For now I will continue to be very happy that at least I was able to get some much needed relief in one area.

And so, because it's my anniversary (and because I really like balloons), here's today's little bit of happy:

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