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  • My sucessful surgery

    Types of Bladder Control Problems

    You may be one of millions of people who suffer from frustrating and
    embarrassing bladder control problems. These conditions, which prevent
    you from controlling when and how much you urinate, can make simple,
    everyday activities a challenge and social lives very difficult.

    There are different types of bladder control problems and some people
    have more than one type. (InterStim Therapy does not treat every type of
    bladder control problem.)

    You should be able to identify the type of bladder control problem you
    have by comparing your symptoms to the lists below.

    Urinary Urge Incontinence
    If you suffer from urinary urge incontinence, you may:

    lose urine as soon as you feel a strong need to go to the bathroom
    leak urine when you drink even a small amount of liquid, or when you hear or touch running water
    have frequent leaking episodes

    Significant Symptoms of Urgency-Frequency
    With symptoms of urgency-frequency, you may:

    have frequent, uncontrollable urges to urinate
    go to the bathroom more often than normal (more than seven times a day)
    feel that your bladder is never completely empty

    Nonobstructive Urinary Retention
    If you have retention, you may:

    need a catheter to pass urine
    spend a long time at the toilet, but produce only a weak, dribbling stream of urine
    leak urine (sometimes called overflow incontinence)
    not have a sensation of when your bladder is full
    *********************************************

    I have taken the above from the medtronics page. I fell under all of these catagories when I had my surgery. There is alot more info if you click on their site.

    For me, I was peeing every 10-15 minutes and was basically housebound. The only stores I could shop at were the ones within 10 minutes of my house and with a bathroom at the front door. The mall was simply out of the question. A simple thing like going for a ride on a bright summers day was out of the question. I spent my days curled up in a ball of pain, only to get comfortable and have to get up to pee AGAIN. Then, there was the cathing. Which only aggrevated the IC. I would burn so bad and no matter what I would put on my vagina to stop the burning would only make it burn worse.

    I tried all the meds that were available. I had countless different dmso treatments. My life was literally going down the toilet. I was housebound and there was nothing I could do about it.

    When my dr offered the interstim to me at first I said no, I didn't want to wear a piece of metal in my butt for the rest of my life. Plus, in about 7 years be operated on again to replace the battery. Then my hubby and I started talking, long and hard about the quality of life I was having and what it was doing to his quality of life too. So we decided we had nothing to loose and went for the trial.

    We talked for hours about the 'what if's' ESPECIALLY the what if it didn't work. Emotionally I was very very fragile. I was in pain 24/7. Loaded with depression and anger. If it didn't work, would it push me over the edge? After days and days of talking, crying and talking and crying somemore I had the trial done.

    It WAS NOT FUN. I got very very lucky and my uro hit the nerve on the 3rd try. I can't imagine the hell that you go thru after being poked and prodded for 45 minutes or an hour before your dr hits the right nerve. It was VERY embarassing laying on my tummy with the crack of my butt exposed but I was willing to try anything to get a piece of my life back.

    I left the office after x-rays were taken and the trial implant started working immediately. I was told to go home for 5 days and do absoluately NOTHING (no problem there ) The oddest part for me was filling up a day. I was so used to spending it in the bathroom that I hadn't realized how long a day actually was.

    Needless to say, I was very upset when the wires were taken out and immediately I was right back to peeing every 15 minutes.

    My actual surgery took an hour and 20 minutes. The minute I came to in the recovery room I was given a shot of morphine and I only need one pain shot after that. I think I had 2 pain pills before the next day when I went home. The worse part of the surgery for me was how sick to my stomache I got from the antasthetic. Even the shot they gave me didn't help. It was a very long ride home cuz all's I wanted to do was puke and couldn't. By the next day I felt fine. Sore, no pain, some discomfort but well enough to go out to dinner with the hubby.

    It took about 6, maybe 7 months to get the interstim adjustment regulated right for me. When I went for the last adjustment I told my dr that I wanted a rep from medtronics there cuz I was tired of the long ride back and forth. No problem He was there. He worked with me for about 2 hours.....the biggest problem I was having was my big toe on my left foot curling. That's gone now and I am not even aware that I have the implant. I do not feel the sensation at all anymore.

    I still have bad days where my frequency it up. I still have days where I have to self cath. But, the freedom this device has given me can't even be put into words. My dr and his staff have been absoluately wonderful.

    It's been almost a year and a half now and when I look back at the way I was living, I can't even imagine that it was me. I've been able to do so many things that were totally impossible for me to do before the surgery. The biggest was buying a cottage an hour and a half from home. I have truly been blessed by this surgery AND by having a very knowledgable dr.

    I am now a pain patient. I don't take any more of the dozens of pills I was once on. I've even been in remission since Nov after having a hydrodilation done. He was able to fill my bladder to 900 cc's with no sign of bleeding. The most I'd even been was 650cc's and there was alway bleeding and the hunters ulcers......so the interstim is doing alot more than we thought it would do.

    My heart break for those of you who have had the surgery and have not had good results. It scares me that some drs who might not be qualified are using this surgery when it shouldn't be used at all. I got lucky all the way around. I fell into all of the catagories for this device and it's been a God sent for me. And, I fell into the hands of a wonderful dr who really WANTS to find the cure to IC, and dr who REALLY does care about the distruction this disease causes us.

    And, that is my sucess story teri
    [email protected]


    [This message has been edited by Teri (edited 02-22-2001).]
    teri
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".

  • #2
    I agree with you Teri, although this is NO CURE for IC it makes alot of people get a life back. Elmiron has been 'tooted' as the miricle drug for IC but only works in 38% of patients (I think that's the stats) yet the interstim has better stats for retention and urinary/frequency. The interstim ISN'T a split second decision. I, like Terri and Deb had to self cath. I had total retention for a year before deciding to look into this. I tried every avenue of treatments (beside BCG and silver nitrate(due to severe reactions to bladder instillations) but it was DEFINANTLY worth the try.

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