By the time you’re reading this, I have had surgery. I’m writing this well before I’ve gone under but it’s crazy to think about. I didn’t know how much went into getting this interstim surgery. I didn’t know the extent of the restrictions. At this point, I’ve only had the first surgery. Now I’m going to be in the trial period of deciding whether the second surgery is done. From what I understand, there will be a lot of communication between myself and my medical team. The deciding factor on the second surgery is my improvement rate.
To qualify to have the device permanently implanted, your symptoms must improve by 50%. Since the PTNS has already shown some improvement, there is a real shot this will work. If it doesn’t, the device will be removed and we’ll go back to symptom management. Either way, while the wire is in my back, I’ll have some restrictions. Working out, lifting, even walking extensively is out of the question.
The wire is very sensitive and dislodging it can cause a host of problems. For six weeks, if the battery gets implanted I’ll be relatively out of commission. This is terrifying to me. Both for my mental and physical health. I love to exercise and the idea of not being able to stress me out. Even more so, it won’t be because of pain. With my hip surgery, the functionality of my hip is what made me struggle. It was a physical barrier. Focusing on recovery and hitting new milestones was a huge incentive. It was difficult to not run or exercise but physical therapy filled that hole.
This situation is completely different. There won’t be pain or a physical barrier. There is only what the doctor has told me not to do. Breaking the rules and risking needing more surgery is not an option. This is now more of a mental barrier that I can’t wrap my head around. I’m striving to come up with ways to keep myself sane. I’m thinking of different activities and games I can play while I’m out of commission. It’s going to be a learning curve but the most important part is knowing that this too shall pass.
Let me know how you guys deal with surgery boredom on Instagram. Have you ever had a nerve stimulator? What has your surgery experience been like?