Spinal Cord Stimulator

By: Amber Wetrosky

The neuropathic pain drowned out any happiness I had. The shooting pains, the burning…

My neuropathy had been steadily increasing in severity. I had reached the therapeutic maximum on the medication gabapentin. I rejected other pain medication. As a nurse, I have seen the throes of opiate addiction in patient care and I swore that I’d never venture down that path myself. The intense burning and shooting pains in my feet were stealing my sanity and I had contemplated suicide many times. If it weren’t suicidal plots, I’d often drum up ways to amputate my feet myself. I knew that the pain had pushed me too far into the dark zone of insanity.

I began seeing a pain specialist. Given my stance on opiates (their mainstay for service), I was at a loss. The pain specialist did however mention a spinal cord stimulator as an alternative to my request to ablate (destroy) the nerves. My first stimulator leads (wires) are placed near the spine in my upper back at the area of Thoracic vertebrae #8 and are connected to an implanted battery. I had the unit re-programmed many times as the coverage area only changed the sensation from my upper-waist down to my knees.

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