Questions and Answers about the pump

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I’ve been getting quite a few inquiries about my intrathecal pain pump so I thought I would start posting “Questions and Answers” here!

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QUESTION

I have had PN Disease for 10 YEARS now. 
When reading how great you feel now, I am tempted to try the pump.

I wanted to ask — how do they get the medication in your pump?

How often do you have to get your pump refilled ?

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ANSWER

My refills are done through my abdomen, right over the pump. My nurse finds the little rubber port under my skin and gently guides the needle in through my skin. It doesn’t hurt, especially after all the surgeries and other painful “treatments” I’ve been through!!

The pump is actually a metal circular shape, the size of a hockey puck! Depending on how much medication you use. This is all programmed by a computer that monitors amount and flow rate of medications.
For information and pictures that show the pump, go to:
http://www.medtronic.com/patients/chronic-pain/device/drug-pumps/what-is-it/index.htm

More Questions and Answers:

Where in your abdomen is the pump located?

It is implanted under the skin and subcutaneous tissue on the left side of my abdomen. I can feel the metal rim start about 3 inches from my belly button and the far edge is right over my left hip bone.
 

Does it stick out?  Does it show under your clothing?

It sticks out a little, but not much. It doesn’t show under my clothing at all, but then I don’t wear tight clothes! 
I am about normal weight… I understand for some people who are very thin, it is more noticeable.
 

How long did it take to get used to having a pump?

It took about two months before I was really comfortable. It also took that long to get the medication just right. My doctor had to titrate up the medication in the pump while weaning me off of my oral medications. 

What medication is in your pump? Or is there more than one medication?

It is different for each patient, but in my case I have a mixture of three medications:
– Bupivacaine (also known as marcaine) – an anesthetic which “numbs” my pain and gives blessed relief!
– Clonidine – a blood pressure medication which also has pain-reducing properties
– Morphine – an opiate for pain relief
 
 

 

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4 responses to “Questions and Answers about the pump

  1. Bruno,
    I am not aware of any protocol like this, but I am not a medical professional. Best wishes to you.

  2. Hi Sharon, I had a major email crash (I use Foxmail) and have lost all your info. I REALLY need to speak to you. I am in agony and just found out that despite the doctor whom i saw Interstate saying I would be called back Within the month for a trial of pump, witnessed by my brother and friend, I am not on the list until next Feb. I am going crazy and would just like to email you again if possible. Thanks so much.
    Jeanette Carr

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