Oh Me Oh My! My Battery is Dead!!!!

I am not speaking metaphorically here.  I have a battery in, well… close to my lower right butt cheek.

I have something called a spinal stimulation device that includes a wire that runs up the inside of my spinal column and has leads coming off of it that has contact points where I experience chronic pain.  This device is powered by a battery that is buried under my skin and controlled via I Pod.

The original purpose of this device was to lower my pain threshold for my stupid, deformed pancreas.  It is always painful.  After I had the spinal stim device placed in May of ’18, it took quite a while to get it adjusted.  However, I did finally getting it working well and it has been a great help.  However, in order to get relief I have to run it at a level that I can constantly feel a “buzzzz” rushing through my system.  It is strange but whatever works is fine by me.

Because I am running the device at such a high level I made an appointment with the company representative through the pain care office.  (This was about four months ago.)  I asked her directly if I needed to have my battery replaced more quickly.  She looked at me like I had two heads and said, “No! It’s fine!  Those batteries are designed to go for two years at a minimum and usually last up to three.  Besides, you can just check it on your Ipod controller.”

So, I put it away in my mind and tried not to be too concerned.  Guess What?

It died about two weeks ago.  Dead as a door nail.  I called the pain care folks and they rushed me right in and said it was probably just a programming error.  I kind of knew at that point it was no programming error.  As soon as the representative ran his magnet near the thing in my hiney I knew from the look on his face my battery was d.o.a.

And I began to realize just how much pain relief the thing was actually giving me.  It isn’t 100% but it sure as heck helps.

I have been really, really irritated about this.  I know it wasn’t anyone’ s fault but it has just made me feel, all over again, how helpless I am over my screwed up body.

By the time I get the battery replaced this coming Thursday, it will have been off for three weeks and I have been in pain every single day.  Once the new battery is in, they cannot turn it on full speed due to swelling, so I won’t get the full effect for a while.  And, as a side note, I am upgrading to a rechargeable battery:)  This new one is smaller and  can last up to five years but I have to recharge it but putting on a magnetized belt that is then plugged into an outlet.

I can be a one stop charging station for my butt, my phone and my I watch!

So, yes, the point of all my kvetching here is the helplessness:  I live, day to day, with pain, fatigue and gastric issues that might keep someone else bed bound.  In fact, it used to cause me to run to a hospital.

I have just decided that I am not going to let it all  rule me anymore.  At least, not if I can help it.  But some days, I cannot make myself go… I am too nauseous or my legs hurt to much to  move or some such thing.  I try to just push and go but there are days I would rather not.

But, I fear that on any random day that I let myself rest, entropy might set in.

What if I never move again?

What if the pain and discomfort start to eat me alive again?

What if I reach for the pain meds again?

I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.

If I do those things: I’m dead.

And yet, if I don’t pace myself, I am making life harder for myself.  It is a perfect conundrum.

Over the winter holidays I was able to get out and walk and exercise a lot and I really enjoyed it.  I could push myself farther and farther and it felt good.  But I noticed I felt like my legs wanted to drop off of my body and my wrists and my fingers ached.  I could feel every joint as though someone was sticking needles in every possible place.

This pain usually signals a flair of lupus and means I should take some steroids.  I resisted.  Steroids bring their own issues.

After I started back to work this past week, I didn’t get to walk as much.

My bad joint pain disappeared.  I figured out that I had been doing exactly what tons of physical therapists have told me NOT to do: exercise on days back to back and push farther and faster too quickly.

In other words, I was doing it to myself.

So, I ran my battery too fast and it died.  I pushed my joints too hard and they screamed in protest.  I get all up in my head and worry about problems I cannot solve and lose sleep.

There seems to be a pattern here!!!!!!!

Hopefully, writing about it and ‘going public’ will help me remember the lesson.   I would love to hear if anyone who  reads this if they does anything similar.

Please, tell me I am not the only idiot that does this to myself:)

Ah well, who would wanna admit that!