I'm so excited!!! I just saw my orthopedist last week (well, one of them- I avoid the other 2 as they have all the personality of a pair of rocks and herds of annoying Yes Men follow them around) and was told that my skeletal disease is currently stable enough that we can start looking at heavy hitting treatments for the pain disorder I have in my legs. Which means... I'm finally a canidate for a Spinal Cord Stimulator!!!! I'm super pysched, as I've met about 10 people over the years who have SCS's for RSD/CRPS specifically, and even more who have them for various other things, and most of them have had great success. I know there's a chance the device won't help, but I'm considered a prime canidate as I get decent help from Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, which I currently have done monthly. The goal is to be able to stop the SNB's and possibly reduce pain meds and/or ditch the crutches/wheelchair and go back to a cane.
Now comes some seriously difficult decisions, though. I get to pick which brand of SCS I want. This is tricky- there's only 2 brands, but each has obvious advantages. Medtronic (http://professional.medtronic.com/pt/neuro/scs/), the more common brand, offers a device which is compatible with some types of MRI and the electrodes automatically adjust current strength and wavelength based off of position sensing devices in the brains of the device. This is nice because normal things like bending, stretching, and shifting can cause the electrodes to trigger pain. The other brand, Boston Scientific (http://www.controlyourpain.com/), allows me to have a second set of leads added down the road without needing a second "brain" implanted. This is big because having leads-only done is a much lighter surgery, and I'd still only need to charge 1 implant instead of 2. This option of adding a second set of leads is huge because RSD, the disease we're hoping to treat, spreads very, very easily in cases like mine. In fact, 5 years ago, it only covered half my right leg. Now I have RSD from toes to waist in both legs. So if the disease continues its upwards spread, adding leads would cover any new areas affected by disease.
So yeah, teh choices... It's a good choice to have, but it stinks to have to choose one type of awesome.