It was a yearlong process to get the intrathecal pump. I didn’t care that it would protrude from my left belly. In fact, the doc says I didn’t want it. I don’t remember. I was in so much pain I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to put Jax, my family, and my friends out of constant fear and worry. The pain was making me someone I’m not.
I tried different treatments including Botox injections to the pancreas. It worked a bit to freeze the area but the pain was still unbearable. I wondered how long I would live all the time. I got B-12 shots, continued with alternative medicine paths such as biofeedback and some quantum machine where I felt I was being put in an electric chair. The stress of getting to the appointments and leaving work was a hole other ball of wax.
Then we tried a neuro-spinal stimulator. This was absurd. The pain was overshadowed by my newly electrified legs. I went through a horrific series of hospital surgeries to get the trial put in. One of the docs even swore he’d turned the unit off when in fact he’d put the unit to the top level of it’s electric capacities. YIKES!! I screamed, squealed, and agonized through the torture of it. I felt I was no longer human. I felt subhuman.
Maybe it was that I knew I’d lose a few days of work so I’d literally work right up until the morning surgery. That meant going into surgery without sleep. I don’t recommend it, yet I did it before at least four surgeries (procedures).
The spinal stimulator was a no-go. I hated it. Eventually it was decided I would wait for the pump. I went down to having 4 days asleep per week. I was getting worse. I was so afraid of dying. At the same time I was still effectively running my office and going to client’s jobsites. This was insane.
[Post note: What I didn’t yet understand at the time is how RA fit into all of this. I didn’t know why I couldn’t feel better. Looking back I believe a lot of this awfulness was actually due to RA].
PS: You’re currently viewing the first part of a series on my pump. For more information about the pump and my own experience you can visit ME and MY PUMP II , PAIN PUMP PLEASE which is a letter from a reader and more info about the steps I took to get my pump. Also: RESOURCE GUIDE 2009-Home Page, and TIPS FOR YOU (which has many links at the top of the page).