Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Am I the only one?

I suppose I've never talked about this before, but I'm wondering if it's normal to have shoulder pain after the stimulator surgery? I asked my neuro surgeon back in July and he said I should get into physical therapy to relearn how to hold my neck. Well, I did go to P.T. but I'm still having the pain. I'm positive it's because I always favor the left side of my neck where the wires run, which in turn puts a strain on my right shoulder. Some weeks are much worse than others, and right now it's driving me crazy. Tomorrow I'm going to buy a cervical collar to hold my neck straight. Fingers crossed I can find one that doesn't make me feel like I'm choking!

Other than that things are well. My stimulator is still chugging away. I was looking at my scar the other night and I think my battery is moving/rotating. It's hard to tell, but I imagine a revision will be in my future (hopefully not for a year or two). I know the battery moving wouldn't be such a big problem if I was skinnier, but I'm trying to tackle one issue at a time. It's funny because the idea of a revision used to really scare me. Now that I've been through it I realize it's just part of being on the cutting edge of medical technology and I am thankful for the pain free times.

A pain counselor I went to in December asked me how much pain I was in every day. I was sad to realize that I am still having headaches. The stimulator is working well, but a lot of the time it will take my pain from a 5-6 to a 1-2. That is a huge improvement. Shortly after my surgery I actually thought I was completely pain free, but I'm not. However, I can deal with a 1-2. I'm honestly not complaining, and the fact that I'm now in school (part time), doing dog agility with my dog (once a week for an hour), and volunteering at a law office (8 hours a week) is a testament to how far I have come with the help of my stimulator.

Pain killers are still a part of my life, but I have cut them in half and I'm stepping down slowly. Since I have been so busy lately my pain has been worse and it makes me worry that I will never really be able to live a life without some type of pain killer. My hope is that Tylenol will soon suffice. 

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