Dennis’s Spinal Cord Stimulator Success Story
By: Dennis P. and Dr. Allen Dennis
Every person’s pain is unique, and every person’s success with the spinal cord stimulator is different.
When chronic pain patients share their stories and journey with spinal cord stimulation, it often reminds us that others are going through similar experiences. It’s a reminder to connect with those that need support and continue to offer solutions that can give you the pain relief you deserve.
Dennis P. shares his inspiring story about how his chronic pain debilitated his active life, and how the decision to choose spinal cord stimulation with Advanced Pain Care restored his life to normal again.
From An Active Life To Feeling Crippled
Dennis was a full-time systems engineer, taking care of over 300 large servers for The Home Depot Corporation. On top of going to the gym daily, playing golf over the weekends, and flying his plane whenever possible.
However, Dennis always struggled with minor degenerative disc problems. The issues gradually got worse until one day, Dennis started sensing a dull pain in his back and legs.
The pain didn’t go away, “It only intensified. Some days my pain was a nine out of ten. I couldn’t do anything.” The radiating-type pain became so unbearable that, “I decided to see a pain doctor,” explains Dennis.
Doctors Prescribed, “Three Vicodin A Day For Pain”
“My doctors didn’t have a solution for my pain except for pills. I was prescribed 90 Vicodin pills a month, so I could take three a day to manage my pain. On the days where I felt I could tolerate the pain, I would only take one and have excess. Eventually, I had so much of an excess, that as the pain got worse, I was taking anywhere from five to fifteen Vicodin a day,” said Dennis.
In Dennis’s words, “I hated the Vicodin. It was destroying me.”
“I was constantly constipated, drugged up, and not myself. I was an entirely different person under the influence of opioids,” he continues.
More often than not, chronic pain affects not only the patient but also the patient’s family and inner circle. According to Dennis, “The drugs were devastating my family. My wife and kids were extremely frustrated with the lack of help, and my mood changes. It was a horrible time for my family.”
Dennis sums up the experience as, “I almost went off the deep end.”
Dennis struggled with opioid medication and side effects for over a year without proper pain treatment. Even though he disclosed this information to his doctor, his physician would continue to prescribe the pain medication since there were no “apparent” alternatives.
Dennis felt as if his prescription was permanent, and though he didn’t want to be on the medication, he felt as if he couldn’t function without the medication.
At high-levels and chronic use, opioids can have a wide range of behavior changes, such as increased irritability and anger, decreased immune function, and lowered sex hormone levels. In other words, opioids have substantial negative mental, emotional, and physical impact for patients who feel like there are no alternatives. This is because, for many patients, that’s all the help their physicians give them.
Dennis’s case clearly defines the pitfalls of utilizing chronic high-dose opiates. Very succinctly, Dennis describes his prior doctor as a “drug dealer.” He adds, “I didn’t believe he thought of my best interest or well-being.”
At that point, Dennis had enough, “That’s when I started investigating other means of pain relief.”
“The Spinal Cord Stimulator Gave Me My Life Back”
“My golf buddy, who was in a similar situation as I, got an implant and raved about it. He suggested I see Dr. Dennis, so I decided to check it out,” Dennis explained.
Dennis adds that the moment he walked into APC, “All the attention was on me. I could tell they were extremely concerned about me.”
That was when Dennis met Dr. Dennis. Dr. Dennis recalls their meeting: “During his initial evaluation, I saw that Dennis had multiple spine levels that had significant issues such as spinal stenosis and bulging discs that were causing radicular nerve pain in his legs. The degeneration and pain were so severe that if injections didn’t work and he went the surgical route, he would have needed a four-level fusion that would require at least a two year recovery period.”
To Dennis, surgery was never an option, “I have a friend that had spinal surgery and fusions for his back pain. He had nine surgeries, and it’s still not fixed. He can’t do anything, and he’s 20 years younger than I am. I decided I was never going under the scalpel and risk having a failed back surgery.”
In Dennis’s case, with the amount of surgery required, a spinal cord stimulator was a more effective and less risky option. Dr. Dennis was able to offer Dennis a trial of the stimulator, and he went for it.
“During the trial, I found at least a 60% pain relief on the first day. I thought it was great, so I knew I wanted the full implant.”
“My Pain Dropped From A Nine To A Two With The Spinal Cord Stimulator”
“When I was lying on the bed waiting to get my permanent implant, there was a 93-old lady next to me. She was waiting to get her stimulator battery replacement. She told me how much she loved her implant, and before I went under, I knew the implant was the best choice for me,” Dennis recalls.
After surgery, Dennis says he was experiencing a 60-70% pain relief, “It dropped from a nine to a two in seconds.”
All implant programs need to be adjusted to get the right level of pain relief. After a couple of weeks of fine-tuning, Dennis was getting the precise relief he needed to get back to a pain-free, normal life.
“In several weeks, my implant was healed, and I completely let go of the opioids that were destroying me. I’m back to playing golf and exercising. I turn on my stimulator, hop in the plane, and go. I’m 70 and active. I feel great,” Dennis said with a big smile.
“Do It. Get The Spinal Cord Stimulator”
Dennis says if patients are the right candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, they should, “Do it. Don’t waste any time, because the more time passes the more pain you have to suffer. With this technology, suffering is inexcusable.”
“In all of their commercials, Advanced Pain Care says ‘The Pain Stops Here,’ and they’re right. Once I went to Advanced Pain Care, they stopped the pain,” he added.
Dennis recommends, “If you’re looking for a pain management specialist, go to Advanced Pain Care. My entire time, I felt cared for. On top of that, they’re still looking out for me. They contact me and ask how I’m doing. They’re on top of everything, and I’m sure I’m never going to have pain problems again.”
For the past three years, Dennis’s implant has provided excellent relief. He’s back to his functioning active lifestyle, which shows that a spinal cord stimulator can be a permanent pain relief therapy.
Like Dennis and many other patients (including our founder Dr. Malone), a spinal cord stimulator could be the treatment that frees you from being trapped by debilitating chronic pain and opiates.
Book an appointment with one of our pain management specialists to see if you’re the right candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, or reach out to us with our 24/7 live chat to answer any questions or alleviate any concerns.
For more inspiring spinal cord stimulator testimonials read: