About Me

My photo
I am a 24 year old woman who has been battling chronic back and neck pain for the past six years. I am writing this blog to help others and to educate others about Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation (PNFS) which is a new application for Neuromodulation technology that treats pain. My trial PNFS implant is scheduled for Monday, July 6th, 2009 and the final surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21st, 2009. I will be documenting my journey through the process. _____________________________________

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7 Days Post-Op Update; & The Trial Costs How Much?!?!?

7 Days Post-Op Update
So here I am 7 days post-op back at work and trying to normalize my life. I came back to work on Monday. It has been really hard, especially driving. It is very very hard to drive. I cannot move very much to turn my head or make sharp turns with the steering wheel. Not to mention every time I turn I am in excruciating pain where the battery is because the car makes me lean to the side. I drive with a pillow behind my back to minimize the pain. Honestly, I probably should not be driving ... it is pretty dangerous given my limitations. I just take it slow because I have to get to work. Sleeping is getting better. Sometimes I will move wrong and yelp out because of the pulling pain at the battery site. It still feels like a very painful pulling with most movements (more like my skinis ripping apart). I am starting to notice more pain at the lead site since some of the battery pain has subsided. I am feeling pretty bad after yesterday since going back to work has been my first real challenging activity since the surgery. Of course there is NO BENDING, LIFTING, TWISTING, OR REACHING for the next 6 weeks. The restrictions haven't been too bad, but I am sure my Fiance is ready for some more help around the house ;).

I think I am ready to get my programs updated soon because I am having a hard time feeling the stimulation on the upper left and right lead. I am wondering if certain frequencies can more deeply penetrate the muscles. I am still happy that I got the implant. I changed the bandage for the implant site so I saw the wound. It is about 2.5 inches long and it actually looks really nice (weird to say, I know.) It is a very flat, straight line. I was surprised by the appearance because I have seen other peoples incisions that were very jagged looking. I still don't know what it looks like under the three lead site bandages. I don't know if it is a puncture, a long incision, or a small incision. I am very curious so maybe I will talk my Fiance into changing them and taking some pictures to post. (Kinda gross, but I know when I was considering the surgery I wanted to see what I should be prepared for.)

The Trial Costs How Much?!?!?
So last night I checked the mail and found what appeared to be a bill from the hospital. Of course I was immediately panic stricken. I have been around the block before and know from experience that even though they tell you it will be X amount of dollars, they often come back and surprise you with an ungodly amount for some unforeseen reason. So needless to say I ripped the envelope open immediately to see the damage. I have met my out of pocket max for the year so this whole ordeal should cost me nothing. The bill was a summary of charges for the Trial Implant only. Drum roll ...... $20,000.00. Thank god it wasn't really a bill, just a summary of the charges submitted to the insurance company. I was actually pleasantly surprised. The bulk of the charges were attributed to the actual implant, i.e. the leads, the use of the trial stimulator, etc. which is really good. Considering most bills I receive charge insane amounts for the minute details of the whole procedure. So anyways.. I am trying to guesstimate the total charges for the permanent implant. I would imagine it is a great deal more considering I am not "renting" the equipment now, it is mine for good. Also I bet the implanted battery is really, really expensive. So my total guess for the surgery is around $100,000.00. What do you think .... too low or too high? Let's take a poll in the COMMENT'S section. What is your guess? It is just interesting to hear because charges can very a great deal from doctor to doctor for the same surgery.

No comments:

Post a Comment