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On Neurostimulation

2021-05-07T11:47:16+10:00March 23rd, 2021|About, My treatment|

Neurostimulation has been key in my management of pain. It's also satisfied my wish to find a way to be as self-sufficient with my management as I possibly can be. My first stim was a peripheral stimulation unit (leads under the skin) and that was implanted in 2011. I still have this unit as a backup. In 2015 I had a sacral stim implanted but that fizzed (in my opinion) within three years. So in 2019 I had the sacral stim removed and replaced with a spinal cord neurostim. WARNING: In the video, I talk about my experience and have a few Xrays pop up to demonstrate a little detail. If you're the squeamish type you may not want to see the images – they are small, however. Read key blogs about my stim implants experiences and adventures:

Pain management is unique to all of us and the key to navigating the complex journey (I believe) is gathering as much information as possible. I hope this vimeo is of great help.

My Peripheral Stimulation implant

2017-12-11T15:31:15+11:00March 30th, 2014|About, My treatment|

I begged Professor Teddy to do anything, even to chop my coccyx off but he (and his backed up opinions) suggested not to go the invasive path just yet (removal of the coccyx had also not been very successful in treating chronic pain), we had an option for an implant, a treatment that was reversible, it made more sense. To 'qualify' for a stim you have to go through a trial first. The trial period was two weeks and in that time I had half of two leads placed inside my body (yes this is a full anesthetic/operation), with the remaining half of the leads hanging outside my body connecting to a temporary unit. It's a risky period, one very highly susceptible to infection but it allowed me to test the device and its impact before we implanted the $60k (or so) unit. Am I grateful I had private insurance? You bet! My WorkCover insurer certainly wasn't going to pay, eventually dismissing the surgeons reports as not having providing enough information.

I Found My Pain Definition in Lockdown

2021-07-22T13:45:53+10:00July 21st, 2021|The pain|

Lockdown time appears to be crucial for pacing back to whole life. Every lockdown has given me a leap of some kind. I genuinely think lockdown together with my spinal cord stimulation has armed me like never before in this 14-year journey. There are moments I'm so comfortable. Of course, it's seconds and minutes, but it's soooooo freeeeeeeing. I 'just' walk over to get something – nothing is restricting me. No fog, no warning signal; it's just me moving in the space. So I can totally focus on what's in front of me, I can hear the quiet, notice the dust and envisage all the things I plan to do.. to the end! It's an uninterrupted dreamy sequence! If memory serves me correctly, this is a typical experience and a sequence that should be totally taken for granted instead of awed. I haven't experienced this before lockdown. EVER. CHECKPOINT: 14 years, 4 months and 21 days (or 5257 or 172 months, 21 days), I have experienced a short uninterrupted sequence of normality.

My Lyrica Closure

2020-09-12T15:50:18+10:00September 12th, 2020|Blog, Learn, Professional Resources|

Life's pace is vastly slower if you are living with chronic pain. Anticipated outcomes from things like new treatments, explanations about causes of pain, pain research, realisations about personal ideas relating to my own experience all take months, years and even over a decade to arrive. Yesterday was the day I finally received some closure about the wicked Lyrica. There's been a build-up of medication reporting this past year but none of it hit the spot like The Project's report. I love the reporting on this show – it's one of the few programs that brings me to the TV. While watching last night, I got that bullseye feeling: I'm not crazy! How often does a person living with pain come to this blissful realisation? Not often enough I can tell you.

It’s Been a While… So How am I?

2020-08-18T20:20:07+10:00October 6th, 2019|Blog, Living|

Being resourceful is what makes the difference — it is so hard working life out. But Theo and do it. We burrow down and we make it happen. There's no choice... or rather there was but I didn't want a fulltime WorkSafe paycheck. Of course, I think about that. And of course, I often call myself stupid for declining it – I was safe! I had that full-time paycheck for the rest of my life. But creativity and sharing the day with Theo is so precious to both of us. Even with the complexities and risks, it appears to be the only way Theo and I can live. For this, I am grateful! So I'll stop complaining now and go on with what I've been doing and what I am achieving. It's all good! I'm moving. Life is in forward motion after being so still for so long – a decade at least!

Hello. I’m back!

2019-09-27T14:01:31+10:00September 27th, 2019|Blog|

It's an act of forwards and backwards, sideways and a lot of down ways. It's really hard work. The less it yells, the better I feel and only then can I do more and pace up. The more I poke it, the worse it gets. The worse it gets, the deeper into the hole I go and further away from coming back out! I don't just pay with pain, I pay with time – lifetime!

Out With the Sacral, In With the Spinal (part 3)

2021-03-22T21:10:29+11:00February 17th, 2019|My treatment|

It will take one whole year until stim and I get to know each other. I've done this twice before, I know! There are programs to explore, capacity to pace, and sitting to try without the aids. I want to hop in a train and a tram, and hop off in the city without an agenda and limits. I want to catch up with my dearest friends, some whom I've not seen since I left Melbourne. We've been living off parcels, emails and the phone, and that really hurts.

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