The prep for the pain pump trial was very basic…just required a typical fasting…no food or drink after midnight the day prior. My pain specialist had approved a few sips with one of my meds prior to 6 am to help with the travel to the medical facility where the trial was to take place (a little over an hour drive time away from us).
I was required to have someone drive me and to have someone with me for 24 hours after the procedure. My husband was able to arrange his work schedule around those requirements.
I was very anxious of course! I did not sleep well the night before…as is always the case for me prior to a procedure.
Upon our arrival, I did not have to wait very long. My husband wheeled me back to what would be the area I would return to after the procedure. The nurse reviewed my history, asked the typical allergy to medication questions we are so used to and took my blood pressure. The nurse also placed an IV in my right hand in case I would have a reaction to the medication to be used in the injection.
The Medtronic rep then came to visit with us. We had a good discussion…he asked me questions regarding my knowledge of the upcoming procedure…we spoke about what would happen and rough time frames if the trial is successful…he was very courteous, professional and personable! There was no sense of being rushed…he wanted to make sure that all of our questions were answered.
It was then that I learned that he was my dedicated Sales Rep who would be present for the surgery if the trial was successful. He is also partnered with a clinical specialist. I was very impressed with the company structure and how Medtronic is set up to not only provide a product for those of us who have run out of options for our pain treatments, but to have a dedicated team who is assigned to us to support us…who genuinely cares.
By this time, the single pain med I had been allowed to take was quickly wearing off! I am thankful for the wonderful caring staff of my pain specialist…I could not help but be a bit grumpy!
I was taken back to the procedure/surgical room. I did not have to disrobe…just had to lie face down on the table. My back was then prepped with the typical skin cleanser…then told to expect a pricking sensation from the needle as the selected medication was injected into the epidural space. To be honest, I barely felt the needle or the injection!
I was then taken back to what would be my recovery area. I was very tired of course so I was awoken in about 45 minutes by my pain specialist to ask how I was doing. It was at that moment that I realized that I did not have pain in my feet, my right leg or hips!
Needless to say, it was completely surreal! The pain in my upper body was very present but no pain sensations were present in my lower body!!! As my pain specialist explained, he had placed the injection in the lower spine (picture an epidural) so my lower extremities were targeted. I also did not exhibit any type of adverse reactions from the medication.
We were ecstatic! The trial was going beyond our expectations! I actually walked a short distance using my wheelchair as a walker and felt ONLY the weakness of the lack of muscles in my lower body! It was exhilarating, exciting, unreal…like all birthdays and every Christmas of a lifetime being celebrated at once!
I was kept for four hours after the injection for monitoring. During that time, the nursing staff provided crackers and water to help calm my hungry tummy. They had quite a selection of snacks to choose from, so I was easily able to find something I could snack on that was within my dietary parameters.
At this point, it was just a matter of how long the relief would last. Would it last a handful of hours? Would it last a day?
On the way home, I felt the tell-tell signs that the pain was on its way back. Once home, I felt like had been hit by a Mack truck…then beaten with a baseball bat. Yet no amount of pain, could take away my elation! The pain pump trial had been a huge success!
Now I am awaiting the scheduling of the surgery!