Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm officially a robot! Part II

... and, continuing onward...

Of course, becoming a robot means I need a way to program myself. So I now have a handy dandy remote. The remote about the size of one of those old rectangular brick cell phones, the ones that were all the rage before flip phones hit the market big time. I have 3 programs on mine, Smooth, Thumpy, and Massage. My trial unit had a 4th option, but I never used it, so it's not on my permanent unit. The remote does show the battery life on both the remote batteries and the stimulator batteries, which is completely awesome.

I've had 1 check up, about 3 days post-op. Basically, they wanted to make sure the stimulation still felt good (it does!), that my incisions looked good (they did), to remove the bandages, and check my programming. I've been feeling the paresthesia in my stomach a good bit, and it can, and occasionally does, make me nauseous, so the Boston Scientific rep came in and tweaked my programming some. He backed down the intensity in some ares and upped it in others. I still get the occasional upset stomach, but I can now get meds in me and turn off my stim for a few minutes to combat it. Before I was heading straight to vomiting. At the check up, I also got to see the fluoroscope images from my surgery after the wires were put in. I love that on the right hand side of the image, you can make out the circular sections of the discs. On the left is the boney protrusions off the back of the spine. And right between the two sections, you can see my nifty new, permanent, wires.

The incisions don't look half bad, either, under all the Steri-Strips. (Steri-Strips are a product used here in the US to cover large wounds, especially surgical wounds, after things like stitches or staples are no longer needed. They give your skin a bit of a boost, but less than things like staples/stitches, and fall off on their own in 3-10 days.

Weirdest part of it all, though? Not only can you see/feel the outline of the brains of the unit, you can see the wires under my skin as faint grey lines. If you look carefully, they form a large U shape under my incision. VERY odd to look at. It was more obvious the first few days due to swelling.

All in all, so far, I'm happy with the choice I made. My pain in my legs is between a 4 and 5 most of the day, instead of  the 6 to 8 range. I didn't get down to 4 hardly ever before Robot Day, so I'm hopeful. Now, to heal enough that I can try physical therapy and walking! My post-op pain is diminishing rapidly, my abilities are already on the upswing (I can bend my knees further when standing and bear more weight when walking), and I'm excited to see where things go from here.

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