Hi friends! Long time no see.
I've got exciting news. My pain doc suggested to me that I could have a spinal cord neurostimulator put in to deal with my angina. It sounded really interesting, so I went ahead and applied to my insurance company, had a psychiatric evaluation, was accepted, and am now awaiting the initial procedure which will happen on Nov. 7.
Here's what will happen, as I understand it: In the clinic setting, under xray, two very small wires will be snaked (internally) up my spinal column, to my thoracic nerve. This is the nerve that sends pain impulses from the heart to the brain. With one of the wires on each side of the nerve, I'll be able, via remote control,
to send electrical impulses to interfere with my many angina pain signals. On an average day, I have angina around 4 to 7 times.
I'll wear this temporary device for a week to try it out. There will be a technician available to me 24/7, to troubleshoot, teach and support me during the trial.
If, after a week, the thing is a "go", the temporary device will be removed, and I'll be scheduled for a more permanent placement which will take place in the OR.
FAQ-- What happens if you're having an actual MI?? The good folks at the clinic have assured me that MI pain will get through, that I'll know the difference (as I'm assured I will now, without the device. After all, I'll be in control of the stimulator, not the other way around.)
Another FAQ-- What happens if something goes wrong and you want to take it out? Removal is absolutely possible. This doesn't grow into my body like some implants do. There will be a main unit, sort of like a pacemaker in size and dimensions, that will be imbedded in my upper outer butt cheek (not in the sitting area!)
From what I've been told and have researched, this application for neurostimulators is relatively new in the U.S. It has been done, however, in Europe for several years with very good success.
I'm looking forward to not taking as much medicine, having better immediate control over my very very chronic and irritating angina, and, above all, being more active and less tethered by my disease.
I'll let you all know how it goes. I'm also wondering if anyone else has had this procedure??? I'd love to hear from you.
LOVE to you all,