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Pain pump



  • Jbower, I have a Medtronic. They let me choose the size and which side to put it in. I didn't want the back because I felt it would feel funny laying on it. The surgeon said he put one in a patient's back and had to redo it because the patient didn't like it.  I have so many scars on my belly and side, I don't care what it looks like. It will take some getting used to. 

    I understand about the bolis and needing to go in sooner if I keep using it.  And I'll call the company and find out why they didn't fill out the paperwork. 

    Dilaudid is a pain med not a numbing med. I am currently on it for my pain control after the surgery. That's about the only pain med that will touch my pain.

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    I am so sorry, I was thinking of bupivicain.  That's the numbing agent.  I got it mixed up because I first had dilaudid and bupivicain and then they changed it to morphine and bupivicain.

    Medtronic is a good company.  That's what I was hoping for because they have a larger pump than flowonix does.  The pain management place I go to though only uses flowonix.

    I have a medtronic spinal cord stimulator and they have been very helpful the few years I've had it.  It is really easy to get a hold of them or meet them in person.  I've only seen a flowonix rep once and that's when it was implant.

    The staples though are kinda cool to look at.  The pump was the first time I've had staples.  It grossed out my kids but then they were fixated on them and always would ask to show it to them.. lol

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    Mine is a Medtronic too. Using my bolis does not decrease the time I have to go have it filled. The pump has been programmed for the normal dose and counted in for the bolis. I can use mine every 2 hrs. and still oly go every 3 months for a refill.
    Talk to your doctor about all of this but make you a list of questions with you so you don't forget anything.


  • Jbpower, I've had staples many times over the years. The first time was when I went septic and had to have my kidney removed. They opened up my whole side. Then three years later, after the staph  kept coming back, they  opened me around and all the way down my belly to get the sutures from the original surgery out and put in new ones. So, these are really nothing.  Are we allowed  to post pics on here? I would love to compare. 

  • Memerainbolt, thank you. I know I'm going to have lots of questions!

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    Sorry, no pics.

  • I figured. Just thought it would give us all something to laugh about. 

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    Wow that is a lot of staples you had throughout the years!!  I noticed that the staples seem to cause a very noticeable scar vs stitches.  That's just on me though :-)

  • It's not just you, jbpower. I heal with wide Keloid scars. 

  • I am looking forward to getting my meds put in. Right now, I'm a week out from  surgery.  It hasn't been too bad, I've had much worse.

    I noticed that my incision sights are swollen and sore. I can't wear my jeans because I'm swollen. I'm assuming that the swelling  will go down. Wondering if I need to get leggings for the rest of my life?  Also, I can see the roundness of the drug canister. I admit, it bothers me a little. And I'm still worried about it working or not.  

  • I meant To ask if the surgeon will do an Xray to make sure the catheter is in place 

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    That's why I had mine but in the back: I didn't want to see the pump every time I took a shower or whatever.  You will always see that it is there.  They swelling will go down after time which when it does you can see the pump even more.

    What's weird is you can grab it and more it around a little.  It is a bit freaky.. lol. There are times that I hit it or gets hung up on a chair.  One of those old school metal chairs caused that to happen a few times.  It doesn't hurt just feels funny.

    Why do you want them to check if the catheter is in place?  There isn't anything in there yet so what makes you think it moved?  I'm sure they said it will move around a little until the scar tissue builds around it to hold it in place.

    I hope you start getting some hood relief once they put the meds in.  You'll have to send a follow up on here.

  • You know, I did a lot of research on this, but the surgeon himself acted like it was no big deal. Nobody mentioned seeing the pump in my belly or that the catheter  will move around until scar tissue builds up. Which is why I ask a lot on here. I'm kind of going in blindly. Desperate times. I think I was worried that if it moved, the medicine will go into the wrong area. I don't know. 

    Maybe I should have had it put in my back. Right now, the staples in my back hurt so much that it hurts to drive. Thinking of having  that back there, too, would hurt worse. 

    How long did it take you to get the right amount in the pump?  I'm trying to be optimistic, but it was a bad day. A lot of tingling in my legs and feet and feeling like a bloated whale. I ordered some stretch pants because I seriously can't wear my jeans and that's depressing. I just started feeling good about my looks again, and now I feel like a slob.

    I'm so worried this won't work. I guess the worst that can happen is they take it out.
    I'll let you know how it goes Wednesday!
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    You need to try to keep a positive attitude about this. Give it a chance. Then if it doesn't work figure out what to do. I hope you have made notes to go over with your doctor when he fills it. Once you have recovered fully from the surgery, hopefully you can fit in your jeans. There is always hope!!


  • You're right, memerainbolt. I tend to be impatient now with recovering. Having had 1-2 surgeries per year since I was 18, I'm just plain tired. I forget that this surgery is supposed to end my suffering and it's only been a week.  It was a long road to get here, so it may take some time. I'll take a deep breath and try to stay positive.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    At first I got really frustrated with my PM doctor because he would not raise the doses very high. But I learned not enough is better than too much. You can always add. I hope you have a good relationship with your doctor and you are both on the same page as far as your care goes. Laughingly, I would remind my doctor that I had the pump, not him, and I know my body and what I need. It will be 3 yrs. on the 19th that I have had mine and I do not regret it. I think the biggest reason why I don't is he and my relationship. I trust him and he will work with me.

    Good luck, time and patience. 

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    If it does move which as I mentioned it only moves a very, very tiny movement that wouldn't cause it to not hit the right area.  Isn't it funny how one doctor can tell you everything to expect and other don't.  Mine hardly told me anything.

    I am assuming they put the catheter above the pain sight which then the medication travels downwards in that area.  My Doctor, which I can't even say that because I only get to see the actual doctor when a procedure is being done otherwise the only person I see is one of his NP's.  She tried saying that it travels up and down but I've been told by another doctor that it only travels down.  Which since they can't get the catheter above my pain sight because the paddle and leads from the stimulator are blocking the path. So my catheter is right below the pain sight and I get zero relief!! 

    When I had the trial they put it above the pain sight and I had a very positive reaction.  Now I have this thing that does nothing.

    Because of that I never got to a pain relief level.  I was going in every couple of weeks to have them increase it but after a few times they said I could only get it adjusted once a month till the NP said she wouldn't adjust it anymore.

    But that's just my experience because I have always had bad luck with everything!!!!

    You'll have a much better outcome than I will for sure and I can't wait to hear about it.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    My catheter was put at T10 for that very reason, it travels down. And the higher up the more coverage. It goes back up?? Or you kidding. a NP said that!! You would have to have more tubes, one for down and one for up.  

    Me too, I can't wait to see how you progress once you get your meds.


  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    No I'm serious.  That's exactly what the NP told me.  It travels up your spine and down.  Obviously I didn't believe them otherwise it would provide relief.

    These are the jokers I deal with on a constant basis.  That's why I've been trying to find a doctor that knows what they are doing and is willing to help me figure out my thoracic pain.

    I actually spoke to a rep with a company called Stimwave. They have a stimulator that's just a small looking needle they put in your spine and a transmitter just as small.  No battery, no leads and charges wireless.  

    So I was telling the rep everything going on and whats been done.  She said it sounds like even though my pain is in my thoracic spine it sounds like it is coming from somewhere else in my body. She thinks that's why I might not be receiving any relief.  Then she recommended a doctor in a different city to go see.  

    I never thought about that though. How it could be a different spot in my body that could be causing all my thoracic pain.  I don't know if that could be true or not.

  • Memerainbolt, I'm glad you have a good relationship with your Dr. I'll be seeing a PA at this clinic. He's the one who does all the pain pump patients. I met him before doing the surgery and I already like him. He said I'll be seeming a lot of him at first, so he hopes I won't get tired of him. He has my sense of humor.  I'm sure we'll have a good relationship.

    I don't know where they put the catheter. I think they said up high, which is why he said not to worry about me pulling it out by accident 

    I see the surgeon on Wed. I'm trying not to worry, but the surgical sight seems to be swelling quite a bit yesterday and today.  Is that normal? My husband thinks it's the all over swelling going down so I'm just seeing the pump. But, I don't think  so. I can feel the difference. Sitting is becoming more uncomfortable. Wonder if I should try to get in tomorrow or hang in there until Wed. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    I don't remember having any swelling. Sometimes when I sit down I have to adjust how I sit, not because it is painful but uncomfortable. So I just wiggle a little lol.

    W are all excited to hear how Wednesday goes. We wish you the best of luck!!


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697


    Funny how at times we sort of give up and then someone comes along out of the blue with a different view on things. And this leads to what we were looking for in the first place, hope. I am so glad to spoke to the rep about your problems. Different doctor, different city, who knows.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  • I have RA, so that might add to the swelling. With my knee replacements and knuckle replacement, I was and still am swollen at those sights.

    You made me laugh about you doing a little wiggle. Part of me thinks this is just wrong having a piece of medical equipment in our bodies. But, then I remember my knuckle and knee. 

    Does it hurt when they put the medicine in?

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    To me it does not hurt. With a template laid over your pump, they find the port hole, stick a needle in it and fill it. Is not any worse than a shot. Most of the time my doctor numbs the area, just in case he misses the hole.

    You may feel tired for a few days until your body adjust, happens to me every time I get it filled. My doctor had warned me about this so I just take it easy.


  • Thanks for your answer.  What would my body need adjusting to? I'm on a strong dose of meds right now. Is it the going off the meds? 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    My doctor had explained it as morphine will make you tired. It's more like relaxed, finally. If you think about it, when you are in pain, you are always tense. If the morphine works, your pain will be less and you will begin to relax. Listen to your body, it will tell you a lot.

  • I'll be getting Dilaudid. But, I totally get what you're saying. I don't think I've relaxed in 30 years! I don't know how I'll act. Lol!  I'll sleep forever!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,697

    I apologize!! I totally forgot you are getting dilaudid. I can't wait to hear about your pain relief. We added dupivacaine to the morphine last week for more relief. If it does not work I'm having it changed to dilaudid.

  • No need to apologize. Morphine doesn’t touch me. I'm thankful this Pain Clinic is listening to me and they DO Dilaudid from the start. I don't want to waste time going through meds that I know won't work.

    So, you're so still having pain? I hope you get it sorted out! How often do you go get it changed?

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 175

    Sandra, I was looking forward with meeting this doctor.  From what I read about him he sounds like an out of the box type.  Unfortunately my bad luck just continues to smack me down as soon as I have a little bit of hope again.

    I called insurance today and the doctor is not in network.  So yet another one to add to the list I can't see because of the insurance company.  

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