Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nannie: News

Yesterday we visited Dr. M again for the first time in a year. After Nannie's many reactions to cortisone in several forms (injections, orally, and in eye drops after cataract surgery) the spinal injections were abandoned. Dr. Will asked her to go once again and discuss the possibility of a nerve stimulator implant, which can be "sampled" for one week outside the spinal cord. The procedure requires a process. 
1. View a DVD of all the devices, procedures, and risks
2. Evaluation, required by Medicare, by a psychologist who determines if the patient is cognitively able to program the device that controls the stimulation
3. Assuming the evaluation goes well, an appointment is made with Dr. M, who surgically implants the temporary trial unit.
4. If the trial is successful, meaning that the stimulator improves the pain in the leg significantly, then the next step is to meet with a surgeon and make an appointment for permanent implantation.

The catch is that the stimulator will have NO affect on spinal pain or arthritis pain in other joints--only the nerve compression. 

After much prayer and several telephone visits with wise friends, Nannie has decided to move forward with the psychological evaluation. I made the call for the appointment and the assistant responsible for those appointments is out of town. We are clearly on a new journey and the first step is on "pause". 

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