Sunday, November 4, 2012

Q&A about My stimulator for my Migraines

What do the stimulator feel like?
It a very light tingling feeling. It very soothing and relaxing to me. If you have ever had a TENS unit placed on any part of your body that what it feels like. This feel of the stimulator is unlike any most sensation and is hard to explain, is just something you would have to feel in person. 

Where is it located at in the body?
The battery or the generator to the whole system sits either in the hip area of the back or in the chest. I, myself have it in my right upper hip. I know a few who have it in their chest. They are place just under the skin; on top of the muscle. The wires or the leads are tunneled under skin just like a IV is placed. The wires are tunneled  through small incision from the hip, mid-back, neck, side-of-head and hair line.

How does it work?
The four leads are place on the suborbital nerves and the optical nerve in the neck. The leads are place on top of the nerves and sent electrical impulse to these nerves. Because these nerve are sometime responsible for the migraines the Neurostimulator interrupter to nerve from sending the message to the brain that it in pain.  You also have a remote that allows you to adjust the sensation that the wire and the battery products. This is what you us to help make the migraine pain decrease. Each person like a different program or vibration of the wires. This is something  that is costume to you. Everyone is different and so is every migraine! 

What limitation do you have right after surgery?
The limitation right after surgery is not to lift heavy things  and that about it. The doctors encourage you to move and rotation your neck to prevent a large amount of scar tissue to appear. You can drive with it and do all your normal activities. You can also do a wide range of sport from swimming to rock climbing.  I was implanted on a Thursday and the following Tuesday I was showing chickens of a school project on little pain medication.

What should I watch for after surgery?
There is nothing different from any other surgery. So the most important is infection! Once you get a infection in a incision then it will be on the hardware (battery and wires) and once that happens then the infection is very hard to cure and to heal properly. It important to stay out of water while you are healing, only take shower or short baths. No pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, rivers, or oceans. Anywhere there could be bacteria. Keep in mind that everyone heals differently, so it could be 6 weeks or 4 months. 

What limitation do you have after recovery?
It depends on the type of work. I was about to return to work as a nanny with in a week. I just depends on how your recovering but a week is a good amount of time. Unless you have to do heavy lifting as apart of your work.

What the recovery like?
It all depend on the person and the age. I was 18 when I had mine implant and like I said I return to school (High School) in a week. For me my hip incision was the most painful to heal and it could of been how active I was. I couldn't wear blue jeans for about a month and a half because of the pain. But all and all it is easy process.

Is the Stimulator visible to other people?
Not usually. The battery might be visible if it not implanted very deep and if you are wearing something very tight. The wire in the forehead are not normal visible but it all depends on the person and their body. 

Can you feel the wires or battery that are under the skin?
You  can not feel them just by themselves. By this I mean that you can't close your eyes and just simply feel the wires come from your battery to your nerves.  Now if you were to touch it with your finger then yes you can feel it but that is with your finger. Now the battery you can't feel it that often. Now if you are jump or running then you may feel the batter shift in the pocket that it is in .

How much has it decreased your pain?
I went from a non-stop migraine at 8 or a 9 most of the time to a low headache. A headache being a one to a five. I still get few
migraines but not like I did. I am able to stop a bad headache from turning to a full blow migraine with the adjustment of my stimulator.

Can you go swimming with your Stimulator?
Yes, you can go swimming with a stimulator. It is all inside your body so there no way you can be electrocuted. Also long as your incision is fully healed you should be OK. Also you can do all most any activity that  you set your mind to.

Is the stimulation annoying or bothersome? 
Not usually, it a very relaxing feeling I believe for people you have headaches. I have found that sometime if my stimulator is up to high then it can hurt or feel very uncomfortable but you can fix this by turning the stimulator off for a little while or turning it down. I have met one person who found the stimulator to be too annoying and not helpful at all and request to have it removed but out of the many of people I have meet this was only one.
What it like flying with your Stimulator? What should I expected?
There not much differences then when you normal fly. If the airport does not have the x-ray machine then you will most likely get a patted down. Which is not to bad but  not fun either. You can as to be patted down in private but either way there you wont have to remove your clothes or show them the battery. If the airport does have a x-ray machine the you will walk through it and you would have no problem. You are also given a card when you are implanted to show the official. You also want to remember to pack your charger and remote in you carry on. In case you bags get lost then you won't have to worry about replacing them. You might also have to take your charger case out of your bag because of the thick padding that in it. I had my bags search once because they couldn't see through it. So now I just take it out to prevent it.   

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