My cyborganization is complete...I had my permanent nerve stimulator implanted on June 4, 2009. Surgery was schedule for 3pm, which was a terrible time because then I had all day to worry and be anxious...plus I couldn't eat or drink at all after midnight so it made for a long day. All went well though, as far as I can tell. I had wires put in on both sides of my head this time (there were only on the left for the trial). I had to have some hair shaved off near my ears on both sides but my surgeon was as conservative as he could be about that. Both of those wounds have 7 staples holding them closed. I'll get some photos up here soon. There is also a small wound on each side of my neck, kind of in the front so more on my throat than neck. I think that is where the wire extenders were put in. Then of course there is the huge incision where my battery is. I'm just supposed to leave it all alone until I go in on Friday to get the stitches and staples out, but some of the adhesives were irritating my skin so I changed the bandages. Shh, don't tell! My sister is a nurse, and she did it for me and said it would be okay so I'm not worried about it.
The procedure was supposed to be outpatient, but I was in too much pain that night to go home. The worst pain was on the left side of my head...the side I'd had wires in and out of just a few weeks ago for the trial. The doctor only prescribed Vicodin for me, and it just wasn't strong enough. So while I was in the hospital he gave me something strong via IV...one of the good ones where you get to press the button whenever you need it. And he prescribed stronger drugs for when I went home too. Once I left the hospital, the pain has been manageable...that first 24 hours was just a bit rough.
A Medtronics rep was also present during my surgery (apparently I talked to him during the surgery, although I don't recall that at all. I thought I was fully knocked out, but he said I was under conscious sedation for the first part of the surgery, just like I was for the trial, so they could talk to me when they turned the stimulator on to make sure I felt it. I have zero recollection of any of this. I don't even recall seeing him in that surgical room! I hope he didn't ask me to reveal my deepest darkest secrets because he could have some really good blackmail info right now and I'd be none the wiser!), and visited me in the recovery room to make sure I was doing okay and to see if I had any questions. He sent me home with a bag full of info and gear related to my neurostimulator.
I will take some photos of the incisions later this week when I get a chance so you can have an idea of where everything is and what the surgical process entails. Typing is still a bit hard though, the angle bothers my shoulder, so that's all for now.