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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. _____________________________________

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trial is out - Tomorrow is the BIG SURGERY DAY

So I have made it this far. The trial implant was removed last Friday. The appointment was pretty short and sweet (by short and sweet I mean under 2 hours). I went straight into the X-Ray room where the tech took several pictures of my upper back with the leads still in. I am guessing they will need to look at this during the permanent implant surgery. I got to take a look at the X-Ray and the left lead appeared to be tilted slightly out to the left. The Physicians Assistant didn't think the slight off placement would make that big of an effect, but it was clearly placed differently than the right lead. I then sat down with the P.A. and she talked to me about the differences between the permanent implant and the trial, namely how much more painful it is (which I am not excited about). She then cut two stitches holding each of the leads in and pulled them out entirely. It honestly did not hurt a bit. Although I was sad to no longer be "Bringing Bionic Back." :) No worries. Tomorrow at 7 am I will be bionic once again. I am also getting 1 additional lead put in on the left side a bit lower. They took another x-ray with a bb sticker on my back where I am having pain. They will use this as well in surgery. I am definitely in pain again without the stimulator. Today I am approximately a 6 whereas with the implant the highest I got to was a 2 (aside from surgical pain.) So wish me luck. I am probably about as prepared as I can be. I am supposed to think about exactly where I want the implant inserted on my butt, relative to where my pant waistband lies. But I am not sure how that is even relevant since they will mark me when I am in a hospital gown and not with my jeans on. Guess I will wing it. Mainly I am so nervous that I am going to tell the Doctor something wrong and I will screw up my chance for success. I probably won't be able to write tomorrow. If I did I am sure it would not be pretty. Thanks for reading. Wishing everyone a pain free day.

Below is an X-Ray I found of a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant from the Mayfield Clinic. Mine is different in that the electrodes will be placed on my shoulder muscles and the extension wire would be much longer since it has to travel all the way from my shoulders to my hip.

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