I slept for 6 hours straight last night! My pain buddies will appreciate just what a huge deal this is.
When we were on the 2 week inpatient programme earlier this year, we very quickly discovered that everyone in the group suffered from sleep deprivation. The effects of lack of sleep combined with constant pain are draining and far reaching. Have you noticed how everything seems so much worse in the early hours of the morning? Every one of us struggled to be in our clinic room at the start of each day, but we all understood the tremendous effort required. I have seen the looks when I try to explain that I’m unable to make commitments first thing in the morning: never able to predict when I will be up all night and then waiting for medication to start to kick in. When one of our number at Tommy’s managed to crawl down one morning, but had not slept and was in too much pain to even change out of her pyjamas, we all got it. Most people don’t and that is just the way it is.
I managed a visit to my parents house this morning to see my godmother for her birthday. The timing tied in nicely with my son’s driving lesson, so I suggested that he drop me off. After all it is only up the road. The response was that it would take the whole lesson just to get me in and out of the car. Fair point, I guess, as the car is a mini! Whilst the surgical pain was quite severe this morning, as I believe I didn’t move during that 6 hours, a dose of paracetamol helped to ease the feelings and thus I let the stimulator take on the cold and wet weather
Cold, damp conditions are always bad for me, increasing both the back and leg pain. So I have had my Medtronic Stim on for longer periods,at about number 4,doing battle for most of the day – and winning! The relief to be able to squash the pain to something that I can cope with is a very emotional experience. Another friend has already had the full implant and says the same thing, that after years of pain the touch of a button could be the beginning of something new.
Apparently I return to St Thomas’ tomorrow for a follow up! A letter arrived this afternoon – good job the post wasn’t as late as it often is. It all feels quite speedy, but equally I’m eager to have a plan for the next stage of the procedure as it feels like life is on hold for the foreseeable future.
Thanks, Tina, from Pain Support for agreeing to share your experience here. I will add a page with some information about neuromodulation, the St Thomas’ programme, the different trials, devices etc over the next few days. Meanwhile fingers crossed for another 6 hours, or maybe even 7!