Monday, January 21, 2013

Intrathecal Pain Drug Pump

I received a call from the pain clinic a few days ago and they said that after the doctor reviewed my chart and records sent over from my GI specialist, that the doc would like to meet with me and discuss the option of a pain pump.   I'd heard about them, but wasn't really sure what was involved. I did some googling and thought "this might be something that I could really do".

I met with the doc today and he told me about the Medtronic Intrathecal Drug Delivery Therapy. Basically, it's a drug pump that delivers pain medication directly into the spinal column at a continuous rate. The pump and the catheter are implanted underneath the skin through an outpatient procedure. The drug that they would be using is called Prialt and the best thing is that it's not a narcotic. Many of the doctors have mentioned to me over and over again that the narcotics that I'm on are also slowing the motility of my stomach and that I need to get off of them. This will help me do so.   They are going to schedule a trial run for me to test out the drug so I can be sure that 1) it will actually work on my pain and 2) that I don't have any allergies or side effects from the medication.

The pump itself is programmable, so the doctor can regulate how much drug I am receiving. They will most likely have to "play" with the amounts until it's just right for a bit after the surgery.  He told me that I can decide where I would like the pump to be implanted, and I have decided that if I get it, I'd like it on my left side, since I tend to sleep best on my right side. Because I'm skinny at this point, I'm pretty sure that the pump will be visible once it's implanted. The pump itself is about 3 1/2 inches wide and about 3/4 an inch deep. Pretty big compared to my tiny 108lb body.

I'm excited about this trial. It's been scheduled for Monday the 28th.


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