Saturday, July 29, 2006

24 Hours

It's been 24 hours since coming home from the hospital. I did finally get some sleep, after I took an extra pain pill and took another Tylenol PM (one usually does the trick but this time I needed two).

Today has been basically a lazy day of experimenting with the different settings on my remote and deciding what works best for me. We did also walk down the culdesac and back so I could get out and get some exercise. I used my cane and was a bit slow, but it felt good.

One thing that is different than we expected is that the vibrating sensation doesn't just happen where the electrodes are sitting. Depending on what sequence of electrodes are programmed to be "on" that controls all the nerve signals from there down is how far the tingling goes. And I mean DOWN to the ground! I asked Russ to feel my leg to see if he could feel any of the vibration, and at first he said "no" because he thought it was supposed to just be in my back, but then I explained how it worked, and he agreed he could feel it some, on the outside. So you can imagine what it feels like on the inside! And if I want the sensation of a massage, I just have to increase the intensity (amplitude).

I guess, from the diagram, we thought it would be more like the nerves would sense pain below the waist, and that pain signal would travel towards the brain. We thought that when the pain signal got to the electrodes in my back, it would be blocked from going any further, so the brain would not sense the pain. But rather the brain senses a tingling in place of the pain. This is what I have to get used to. I like some settings better than others.

So far, I have had zero muscle cramps in my legs or feet, so this is one goal met. Yeah! And I really don't feel any pain in my legs either-just the tingling. It's harder to tell with the back because of the surgery pain.

The nurse from Medtronic (Ann) called today to see how the unit was doing. She was pleased with what I reported and felt like we were getting a favorable response.

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