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A Year in Review...

Posted Feb 03 2010 12:00am
Yes, it's true. I know..I can't even believe it myself. It's been one WHOLE year since I exposed my naked bottom to a room full of strangers to have this crazy contraption implanted.

And while I'm all for exposing one's bottom to a room full of strangers, I'm happy to avoid doing so if it also means I can continue to avoid any circumstance requiring a revision surgery (just a note to those of you going in for surgery at any point in the near future: your naked bottom will not be exposed. A motherly nurse will take the time to drape and cover your bits-n-pieces and no untoward remarks will be made. I hope.).

I digress. In honor of my 1-year stimulator anniversary, my husband bought me a wee present (which can be aptly described as stimulating). I suppose I could insert a sexual innuendo about stimulation here, but I won't debase myself (I leave that for Friday nights). Anyway, DH bought me (drum-roll...) a Keurig coffee maker. I don't know what it is about this wacky little pod machine that makes me so happy. I feel like my very own Barrista...except with a less chipper attitude and a frumpier hair-style.

So after having lived with my stimulator for a year, I've noticed the two questions I'm most frequently asked are: 1) is it working/does it help? and 2) are you happy you had the surgery?

The answer to both questions is yes. However, I think it's important for me to point out that my version of the answer to "is it working?" is likely to be different than another patient's. This is simply because every patient has different expectations. I didn't go into this thing thinking that it would cure my pain (I didn't even hope). It hasn't "cured" my pain and that's ok because I didn't expect it to. But it does help and it helps enough. Of course, it's extremely difficult to quantify just how much it's helping but, if I were forced to give an answer, I'd say on very good days, it alleviates about 40% of my pain. But those days are rare. On most days, I'd say it helps with about 30%. On bad "flare" days, it seems to be a lot less.

Even though it hasn't eliminated my pain, I'm nonetheless very glad I decided to go forward with the implant. A 30-40% reduction in pain was worth it to me. For another patient, that number may not be enough given the attendant risks. It's a very personal, patient-specific decision.

Before I sign off, I wanted to send a virtual hug (I know, I'm cheesy) to reader Lizi, who just had her revision surgery on Feb. 3rd. I hope you are healing well, my dear (not only am I cheesy but I guess I am now morphing into someone's nana). Also, Mr. B thought this picture of himself as a bitty puppy would cheer you up and help you in your recovery...

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