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EMG results......
Jan 16, 2008
Well, I had my EMG this afternoon..OUCH.. Good news is that the pain in my left leg is still residual irritation and not permanent nerve damge. We discussed again that there is significant nerve damage on the right as well as significant weakness. Hubby went with me. This doc is in the same group as my surgeon and PM and he is very kind, compassionate and spent about 45 minutes talking to us! Too bad the PM can't be like this!!
Anyway, he feels that I am a perfect candidate for the spinal cord stimulator for the nerve pain. We talked at length about that. I shared my thoughts that I would like to try other meds first and he was very supportive of that. He wants to send me to a neurologist to try different combinations of meds, probably get me off Cymbalta because it limits some of the other meds that I can try. He said that off the record, the PM I am seeing (his collegue) doesn't do much with meds..He usually just does injections and SCS. The doc today recommended a person that he says is up to date and good with working with nerve pain patients and meds. I am very excited...now I just have to convince W/C to approve me seeing this guy. He also said that PT is not really doing me much good except to strengthen my core maybe but he is concerned that I usually feel worse after my session. He wants me to get a TENS unit to try while I am trying different meds. He also said that whatever pain I have at about 12 months will be what I will deal with for the rest of my life.
So...hopefully I can see the neurologist. Then once I have tried all other avenues I can feel content with the decision for a SCS if that is what I end up having to do. Like I said to someone on this board last week.....It is a thread to hang onto!
We are supposed to get some ice in my area tonight and I've already decided that if there is ice outside in the AM I'm not going to work until it clears. All I need to do is fall !!!!! At this point in my life my back is more important than my job.
Thanks to eveyone for your support.

Deb
Hi Deb ~

This all sounds encouraging. Hopefully the new doc will have a better perspective on working with a variety of meds.

I hope this works for you, Deb.

xx MM
Deb, I hope today does not find you in to much pain. I was told by a neurologist that they can be painful. ((((((((HUGS)))))))

I think it is wonderful that you do not have permament nerve damage - that is great news!!

I wish you good luck with the tens unit and medications and pray that your back will calm down and that you will not require an scs.

How are your spirits after this visit?
Thanks Pepper. I am feeling some hope today, you know how we all tend to hang on every little thread someone gives us. The doc feels I will deal with the permanent nerve damage on the right for the rest of my life. The left has no permanent damage so at least I'll have one good leg! :)

My nurse case manager called me this morning (she has been a sweetheart) and I updated her. She said most people don't have much success with a TENS unit so she recommended a better unit made for those with back issues...called a RS4I Stimulator. I have a call in to my surgeon to update him on my visit yesterday so he, my PM and this doc can hopefully all get their heads together and decide on the next step. My nurse case manager felt that W/C may approve me seeing the neurologist who was recommended yesterday. He would be the one to work with me on managing the pain with meds. I just feel like if I exhaust all my options with meds I can be more at peace with getting a SCS if it comes to that.

So I will wait for my surgeon to call...he has to make all the decisions and give all the orders since he is the main doc on my W/C case.

Thanks Pepper for caring...I know you are going through so much yourself. Any thoughts on the above info????

Deb
glad to hear you are making at least some progress thru all this deb.really,enough is enough ya know?trying that TENS really is an an excellent idea.anyone who even contemplates trying the SCS really needs to see just how responsive their pain process is to the stimulation factor first.it does sound like your nurse case manger knows these units quite well,so i definitely would go that step up with the other unit,at least to try it.honestly,my TENS is the only thing that my RSD pain in my knee resonds to at all.i only use it when the burning hell gets too out of control to suck up anymore.the different meds i have tried have all had such insane side effects that i just stopped going that route all together now and just treat the flares with my TENS.it does work much better than i ever thought it would.always worth a try ya know?the TENS and other units are just one of those things that you have to try to see if it works for your particular pain process.just make certain you go thru an actual PT person to obtain it.they then ascess your pain and other mobility factors and then work with you and the unit for best electrode placement.that really IS key with any stim unit,the trode placement.i hope this helps you with your pain hon.please keep us posted.it really worked much better for me than i ever thought possible.marcia
Just got a callback from the surgeons office. He is OOT until Tuesday. His PA called and she is NO help at all. So, I'll just have to wait until Tuesday to follow up with all the recommendations from the doc yesterday. She was going to write for a TENS unit but wouldn't write for the one that my nurse case manager recommended. Another of those wait and wait some more times. :(

Deb
Ughhhhhhhhhh.....why can't anything be easy?? I am so sorry sweetie!!
Well gee Deb...who would have thought to look under the EMG results...duh.!!!! Glad to know for your sake that there are some good things coming out of this test for you...and that the Dr. has pointed you in another direction...for meds etc. Good for you, not wanting to jump into the SCS right away...giving everthing a chance to work.. Sometimes we do have to have a little more patience than we want to .... not that that is easy...nope...my present neurosurgeon said for me not to go the SCS route at this time...he wants to see what else they can do to stop things from hurting..right now, he thinks another area may be causing pain...so we have to go and check that out... It's all like a giant puzzle... hopefully the meds. will help control/calm down your pain. Good luck to you.

Sage
Deb, I pray that you can eventually get the recommended unit and the pain management doctor that the other doctor recommended. I also pray that you will find out everything that you need to know on Tuesday...Until then, I pray that you will have adequate "pain relief." :angel:
always the wait.man that sucks.if for some reason you cannot get the bigger and better unit okayed,just using the regular TENS can really help too deb,so if this doesn't work out,you can still go with the base type of unit.that works well for me.but i do want to eventually try one that has more than the standard four electrodes,it just gives a better wider coverage.but just starting out with the standard wouldn't be a bad thing tho.this may even be just easier for you to start with anyways.either way,you should be able to get one type covered.believe me deb,just the standard unit can help you tons when the trodes are placed so that signal just goes thru the pain area,that placement is the key for the best benefit.good luck and please keep us posted,marcia
Just waiting for Tuesday....thanks for everyone's support. I think I will actually make an appt with him. There is so much info to cover and I want to make sure he remembers my ENTIRE story and not just bits and pieces! We need to have a plan.....imagine that! I feel like no one doc has the entire picture and so consequently all of them have their own little agenda.
Thanks Marcia for the TENS info ! You are a wealth of info on this board!
Deb
Hey Deb!

Just checking in briefly and wanted to say that I'm so pleased to hear you being hopeful. I have a TENS by the way and while it never really does the trick completely, it does help from time to time, especially when it comes to calming down muscle spasms. I typically use it for no more than 20-30 minutes at a time because when I used it for longer periods it stopped helping. I hope you can get yourself the super-duper one you're investigating.

Schragie-girl





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