Out With the Sacral, In With the Spinal (part 1)

How this all began (part 1/3)

The alarm bells went off last May when I had to charge my stim within a week.

Not an abnormal characteristic for a Boston Scientific (BS) stim but it was abnormal to me. I normally charged once per month (sometimes once in five weeks).

When I saw the bar drop on my hand held controller, I assumed I misjudged when I last charged the IPG that sits in my left bum cheek. I also thought I may not have charged fully – all the way to the beep!

Not so, unfortunately.

Then things got even more strange. There was heat, radiating heat where the IPG is, in my face and also other strange feelings that not only added to my pain issues but it made me turn my stim off, more than on!


An appointment with BS showed the battery was charging within BS stim parameters and all was ‘working fine’ except one point had blown.

Not unusual for the point to blow. This is also considered to be within normal parameters for a BS stim.

It still didn’t feel right. It still didn’t sound right to me.

But moving on is always the aim. I had another 31 points to help me out.

Re-programing to avoid using the dead point didn’t resolve the issues.

Re-programing to avoid using the second dead point didn’t resolve the issues either.

The battery kept draining and the symptoms got worse.

My head felt more radiating heat – mostly left side, I felt pressure in my neck and it was uncomfortable. Together with the awkward vibration that would build inside me it all became intolerable. I’d feel sick, it was just all wrong.

BS made great efforts to set other programs to find me some way to use my sacral stim. All reports about the stim only told me what I already new. It was working and charged once per 4-5 weeks and then it was working and charging less with added strange symptoms. No explanation.

The five possibilities for problematic stims are noted as:

  • infection epidural
  • low grade infection
  • allergic reaction
  • pocket pain, and
  • my pain response was changing

The brain lies. If you’ve been following and reading the research you’ll know that’s the truth. So persevering through five months in the hope of nailing a program that might work was what I owed myself.

You leave no stone unturned.

But brain won. I believe brain was right in this instance. There was something wrong with sacral stim.

In My Gut

I believe there are two more reasons a stim fails:

  • technical, and
  • mechanical problems

After-all it’s just a mechanism right?

When we have to charge our phones more, the alarm bells go off.

When our vacuum cleaner needs to be charged more, same bells go off.

I even recalled when I’d turn my key to start my car – if I heard a slow kick over of the engine it would symbolise a warning that the battery was going to die.

Regardless, all the above is the nature of the chronic pain beast. The beast is all things I describe and live with that, sometimes make sense, but mostly don’t. I choose to move on and make the best of the situation.

Treatments, mechanical devices and balls will fail and pop.

It’s how life goes.

More, soon.

Where to next? (Part 2/3)