Monday, September 26, 2011

Week Seven Post-Op

The baby steps of recovery

Week 7 began with a reprogramming to decrease the pulse width of the left lead. The left lead was causing my jaw to spasm, so my doctor suggested decreasing the pulse width to stop this from happening. The hope was that at a decreased pulse width, I could turn the unit up higher increasing the chances of getting coverage to the AT nerve.

The rep was able to get my jaw to stop spasming at low to medium amplitudes on all of my programs, but it still spasmed at high amplitudes. He created a few new programs that moved the coverage a little further forward. The lead was still not stimulating my AT nerve, so my coverage continued to be poor.  The rep told me we could try again soon to see if we can fine tune it even better. 

Other new developments: I slept in my bed on my side 2 nights in a row. This ended in increased head pain so I went back to the couch. While at home resting I didn't need the cervical collar anymore. My energy increased a little and I got to go to a used book store to stock up on my entertainment.

What remained the same: daily headaches and mostly liquid and soft foods diet.

Overall I began to feel bored with constant couch and TV time, which to me was a good development. It meant I was feeling well enough that I wanted to do stuff, but my body just wasn't quite ready. That combined with the other new developments seemed like good progress. Each tiny baby step was thrilling after 7 weeks of slow recovery. I was still battling the frustration and pessimism over the poor stimulator coverage, but realizing that the stimulator can be programmed in more sophisticated ways (e.g. pulse width) gave me hope that eventually I could get the coverage I so desperately wanted.

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