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Is this common?

I am (at last) at the beginning of the process of possibly getting a SCS. Apparently the first step is required by my insurance company.  I have to be evaluated by a psychologist. I guess it's to rule out undiagnosed or untreated mental illness that might be affected by SCS.  This is something I never would have guessed  would be involved at all.  I have no issue going through it, but Im just wondering if other people have had to do that,  and maybe what to expect.

Due to  several factors,  it'll take quite a while to even get the trial scs - likelly not until October. That gives me lots of time to read up on it & talk to people who have scs. But honestly, I wish I could do it tomorrow! 


  • @ameliapond yes a psych exam for the trial is normal. I will be getting one, after I get all the issues in my neck sorted out. I believe it's a requirement for everyone. I'm sure others will post their experiences, I just wanted to give you a piece of mind. 

    Retrolisthesis C4 of C5 and C5 of C6
    Spondylolthesis C5/C6
    Disc protrusions with Annular Tears C3/C4, C4/C5, and C5/C6
    Disc Material Compressing Spinal Cord C3/C4
    Severe Forminal Stenosis C5/C6
    Ankylosing Spondylitis 
    Annular Tears L3/L4 and L5/S1
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Facet Anthrosis L3/L4/L5
    PLIF with Rods, Cage, and Pedicle Screws-L4/L5
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 735


    I researched this on the web before my scs install. Also, the shrink told me the reason when he did my interview on the phone. He said they get better results with the scs from positive people. It can be depressing after I got my scs and it did not cure me. I came across as a glass half full kind of guy and I passed. The sad part is he was not on my insurance. Had to pay 100 on the call too. Well worth the money as it turns out. The scs has been life changing for me. GLTU

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  • I did have the evaluation, but my insurance did not require it, it appears to be standard protocal for the doctors to require it..  It was a joke,  I received a phone call from the psychologist.  He ask me a few questions that were on the information I gave to my doctor about my history. I would suggest you investigate the six manufactures. I have the Algovita and am happy with it.  I like the flexible leads that are not likely to move when you twist or bend over.  It also has a wide selection of program & feature options.  But you really need to examine all of the SCS devices and select the one that is best for you.  Good luck!

  • Thanks everyone for the info!  I couldn't get in for the shrink appointment till mid September, but at least it's progress.  AndI I  will make sure to go in with a really positive attitude. I am very hopeful about the device and look forward to relief!
     As far as the type,  it's likely to be a Boston Scientific one., one that still allows me to get mri. I need  neck surgery eventually, so that's important. 
    Again, thank all of you for your input!
  • I did the psych evaluation before my trial. It was not only required by my insurance co. but the pain doc as well. I have PTSD from combat, anxiety, and bouts of depression. But, I stay positive and upbeat so it was not an issue. I believe it took about an hour which is nothing but a couple of questions which you write a sentence or two. The rest was about 320 questions and it is fill in the little circles like an SAT exam. Nothing out of the ordinary. I finish my trial tomorrow which has been nine days of fantastic results. Less pain I have had in over twenty years. My pain level cut by 70-80%. I had to go in once to have it reprogrammed a little. Other than that everything is great. Best sleep I have had in years. Putting the leads in were nothing. Just a local and was done in 30 minutes. I don't see any reason anyone would need sedation. I can't wait to have it in permanently in a month. I know you have a couple of incisions, but I don't think it can be worse than kidney failure, cancer, back surgery, or the absolute worst pain was a pancreatitis attack. All this in two years. I wish everyone the great results I had in my trial. Going from a horrible sciatic nerve pain that I could get ZERO relief for over a year that was a constant 8 on the 1-10 scale. Even with Morphine, Oxycodone, and Lyrica. I have a high tolerance for pain. But, to go from that eight down to a three was such a great feeling. The doc said this was my last hope for pain relief and it worked. My failed surgery and epidurals did nothing. I was supposed to have been paralyzed after my broken back in 1991 in the Gulf War. I am a happy camper.

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  • Wow, thanks for the input, eltee! Couldn't get in for shrink thing til mid Sept, but Im on a cancellation list, so maybe I'll get in sooner.  I hope everything with scs goes as well for me as it seems to have for you. The prospect of such reduction in pain is just awesome to think of! 

    If or when I get the trial one put in, I'll post updates. (Wish I could get it today)!

  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 735

    Amelia, let me give you an example of how well my scs can work. There is one hf program I use a lot. I can literally control my pain by just turning up the intensity. The pain just disappears the higher right away. Try that with a pill. The pill effects your whole body and takes hrs to work and that may or may not happen. I tell my scs rep to tune the programs to left lumbar and it works in seconds. I will leave those sessions blown away. He tells me to text them anytime because "things change" as he puts it. The Algovita is so amazing. This program can use a lot of batter so I charge more often but you can't put a price on pain relief. gltu

  • Jimandjr, It is so great how much relief you get and how fast. I hope things go well and I get one. I would so love that kind of relief!  If I get one, it'll be a Boston Scientific.  Not sure the model,  but it's one that allows MRIs. Im supposed to have neck surgery, so at some point I will probably need that. I look forward to getting scs and the pain relief it can give! 

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