Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year...and New Decade!

When I think back to last year at this time, the difference is amazing. I was hopeless this time last year...not working, fighting my headaches, spending most days in bed and in pain, and seeing no excitement in another year of the same. I was depressed, negative, and tired. But this year is different. I'm actually excited for the new year. I'm excited to be able to go on trips, to make commitments, to make plans, to return to some of the activities I love that have been put on hold for several years, to be able to look ahead instead of taking life one day at a time. I do not usually subscribe to the idea that a new year is a fresh beginning but this year I have changed my outlook a bit, and I really do contribute that all to the success of my nerve stimulator.

This is also the end of a decade that has been pretty outstanding for me. I graduated college, got my first professional job, bought my first house (and my second), bought my first horse (and my second), got married (only once!), did some exciting travelling including my first trip overseas, and won a war on headaches that I've been fighting for more than a decade. It's funny how things look when you view a bigger picture.

So here's to the new year and the new decade. May they bring more happiness, more fun, more accomplishments, and no more headaches, not only to myself, but to everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

ONS Doctor List--I Need Your Help

Happy holidays! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to a brand new year. I know I am! 2009 was a little rough (at least the first half) but I am so hopeful for the future so I think this New Year's will call for quite a celebration on my part.

In the spirit of giving, I want to be able to give readers a list of doctors that they can go to if they are interested in a nerve stimulator. I'm interested in any doctors/surgeons that use occipital or peripheral nerve stimulators as a treatment for headaches, migraines, occipital neuralgia, etc. .. basically any diagnosis associated with head pain. I get a lot of requests for this information but haven't had much luck putting together more than a handful of names. It would be an invaluable resource for blog readers. So if you would, please send me your doctor's name and/or the name of the medical facility they are associated with, as well as the city they are located in. You can list it in the "comments" section if you are comfortable with that, or email me at

Thanks for your help! The information you give me may serve to help someone else control their pain and that is one of the greatest gifts you can give, in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm here, I promise

I haven't written a lot lately as I don't feel there is much to say since I'm now fully healed and feeling good, but I wanted to remind you to feel free to contact me with any questions, or if you need someone to commiserate with! I wrote this blog as an attempt to help people learn and make decisions about neurostimulation and I am willing to do that any way I can so please do not hesitat to contact me. I still do check this blog and its associated comments and emails. You can email me anytime at:

I'll leave you with a photo of one of my dogs in his Halloween costume (he's a turtle). Random, I know, but I couldn't seem to find an appropriate picture for such a short and subject-less post so this is what you get!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My First Error Message

I know I've been lax about writing lately but it hasn't been because I've forgotten this's more that I don't feel I have much to say! Things are good...I'm healed up from the revision surgery, things feel great, my pain is very much under control, and life is good. Repeating that over and over doesn't make for a very exciting blog!

I did have one interesting incident this week that I suppose is worth writing about--I got my first error message from my stimulator. I charged it before bed on Monday night and everything was fine. I didn't have it turned up very high, so honestly I couldn't really tell if it was on or off...which is a good thing, in my opinion. It's nice to not be constantly aware of the stimulation. Anyway, on Tuesday night I had a bit of pain and went to turn the stimulator up, but the screen on my remote popped up with a picture of a telephone and a doctor, with the letters "POR" beneath it. It was obvious that it meant to call my doctor but of course it was 10:00 at night so that wasn't a possibility. I busted out the manual (which was still sealed in the plastic...I haven't ever used it) and found that this particular error message means "Power on Reset." I know...not very descriptive. The manual said that this error message means there has been some sort of interference, the stimulator has been reset, and that stimulation was not available. I, of course, thought that meant that all my programming had been deleted, and at the least I'd have to go meet up with my Medtronic rep to get things straightened out. But I don't tend to give up quite that easily. I took the batteries out of the remote for a few minutes, put them back in, poked a bunch of buttons, and wouldn't you know that error message went away and it magically started working again! I spoke to my Medtronic rep the next day and he said that particular error message isn't usually a big deal and can be solved exactly like I solved it. He said that I probably went through some store theft system that caused the interference, although for the life of me I can't figure out where that would be because the only places I went that day besides work were the post office and the bank, neither of which have magnetic theft systems. Who knows...maybe I just stood too close to the microwave at dinnertime! (No really, I've been told that's an actual possibility.)

So that's it. That's the extent of my drama, which is really a good thing. It's so nice to not be constantly dealing with doctors, pain, drugs, side effects, surgery, etc. It's nice for things to be quiet and medically boring. I will not complain about that!