Wednesday, October 24, 2012


As I posted yesterday, I need to have my older InterStim replaced and am having surgery on November 12th. I am glad we were able to get it scheduled so soon. I’m the type of person that, if I have to have this done, I just want it done as soon as possible. I hate waiting around for things like this so I am glad we were able to get all the moving pieces into place for surgery so quickly! Now I just have to hope that nothing falls apart before then!

Yesterday felt like I was scheduling some highly important summit with all the calls I had to make to schedule pre-surgical physical, get records FAX’d, and so much more. But all is set and I will be so busy with all these pre-surgical appointments, I know the time will fly and surgery day will be here before I know it. The sooner we get it done, the sooner I can begin to heal.

For anyone considering InterStim, I want to point out that both my devices lasted 8 full years, which is excellent.  Average battery life should be 7-10 years, depending on settings.  The one I had replaced last summer lasted 8 years on pretty high settings; the one I'm now having replaced still lasted 8 years and it was set lower and using lower juice, so I still got 8 years both ways. If your doctor doesn't have it "cycle" (like 18 seconds on; 8 seconds off; repeat) and leaves it set on constant it will use more battery power than when they're set on cycle. My doctor told me just last week at a seminar the latest research has proven the benefits are not any better when you leave it set on constant than when you set it to cycle on/off, so there is no therapeutic benefit to setting it that way and the plus to setting it to cycle is longer battery life. Still, Medtronic will tell you average is 7-10 years and both of mine lasted 8 years, so right in the middle of the average. Can't complain one bit about that.

I knew what I signed up for with InterStim and that one day I would be having surgery again to replace them. I am just so surprised 9 years has passed since I got the first one. When I got it, 7-10 years was so far in the future I didn’t give it a second thought. Now I’ve already had the first one replaced last year and now number two has to go. I don’t know where the time has gone.

So the time has arrived and surgery is scheduled. It’s never fun, and I do NOT tolerate anesthesia one little bit so it’s always a challenging process for me to go through. But I am an old hand at it now and know what I need to tell all the hospital staff to insure the best possible outcome. My Mom always comes and is a retired Registered Nurse and also has no problem speaking up on my behalf. I am also blessed with a wonderful doctor who, after 11 years treating me, knows what I need and stands up for me as well.

So, I will approach this surgery with a positive outlook. I know I do better with 2 InterStim than one, so as far as I’m concerned, the sooner I get back up and running on two “cylinders”, the better I will be. Let’s get this party started!

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