Thursday, April 17, 2008
On the bubble
Today's the 11th day of my Interstim test drive; on Monday, I either get a permanent implant or I get the wires removed. I'm still not sure which way it will go. The very helpful gent from Medtronic has taken me through maybe ten different configurations, but to my mind, there hasn't been a 50% improvement in my symptoms.
I've gone over my pee-pee journal to count how many times I was going in a day before as opposed to after, thought about changes in urgency and frequency, and with this last configuration I started yesterday, I reckon I'm maybe 40% better. I couldn't explain exactly how I come up with that figure, especially since I really can't remember what it was like to have a well-trained bladder. When I was 18, how often did I pee? Except I didn't drink either coffee (my favorite brown hot beverage) or beer (my favorite cold brown beverage) then. What, exactly, is better? For one thing, when I went in to get my staples removed yesterday, my post-void residual (the amount of pee left in my bladder after peeing as much as I could pee, as measured by ultrasound) was about 175 ccs-- about the same as it was before I got the device.
I talked to the Medtronic guy tonite, and he said that we've really tried out all the settings we could achieve with the temporary external gizmo, that the permanent gizmo could be configured in more ways, but suggested that I stay with the current setting until tomorrow evening, and then just disconnect the thing, to refresh my recollection of where I started. That makes sense to me. As much as I am attracted to the sheer niftyness of having a super-special gizmo implanted in my butt, I really only want it if it's going to work.
On the other hand, my pee-pee diary shows that I last went at 4:20, and it's now almost four hours and two beers later. Hmm.
On the other