Living with Interstim 3 months post op

Back in August of this year, I had the Interstim bladder stimulator placement surgery. In September, I wrote about my journey with Bladder Incontinence in a post called, Being a Human Guinea Pig. A few days later, I wrote a sarcastic, yet honest post about what I was going through mentally after having the surgery. At the end of that post, How did your Interstim implant surgery go, I said that the device was already in my body, so I should at least give it the benefit of the doubt. I have, and I would like to share.

Did the Interstim Device “fix” me?

NO

Did it help reduce my symptoms more than 50%?

Absolutely!

Do I regret having the procedure?

No

Would I recommend the Interstim device to someone suffering from Incontinence?

Honestly, I don’t know. ( Not very helpful am I?)

Maybe this will help

On a day to day basis, I don’t even realize that I have the implant anymore. By this I mean, I don’t really notice it unless I am looking for it. I don’t feel any pain at the incision site while I am sitting, driving, walking, bending over, etc. I use a leg press machine for physical therapy and have not had any issues with that amount of pressure against my back side either. I have to admit that I do miss the “ass pats” (spankings?) that Einstein used to loving provide, but to be honest we are both a little nervous about that experiment.

I did not die in the MRI

I was very anxious about having my quarterly MRI last month, (another story for another time) but after finding a location that had the equipment and experience to perform MRI’s on patients with implanted devices, my anxiety about my body being ripped apart while in the tube has been relieved. As a bonus, the pictures from the MRI model that they have to use are 1000x better than any of my previous 100 scans!!!

Going through Airport Security with an implant

I am pleased to report that I also did not die while going through airport security at O’hare or Denver airports. (I did this two times just to be sure.) Medtronic supplies you with a card stating that you have an implanted device and can not go through the metal or magnetic detector. You can also always ask to have a pat down from TSA, but I had no trouble standing in the usual “stand still here and put your arms above your head” scanner.

Other horrible things that did not happen

The above list had me terrified, but to date I have done the following and have had no issues:

  1. Driven a car without turning it off
  2. Operated power tools including a drill and a saw while standing on an aluminum ladder
  3. I carry my cell phone in my back pocket (over the device) for 90% of my waking hours
  4. Operated all household appliances including the washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, vacuum cleaner, freezer, computer, television, security system etc
  5. I have been to the dentist with my 2 year old grandsons, not as a patient

What HAS happened after having the device implanted?

Most of the time, I am able to hold 400-500 ccs of urine before leaking. (pre interstim and without Botox surgery, the number was closer to 150 ccs) I still have to use a catheter to empty my bladder completely, but am actually able to “pee a little” on my own (if that’s a thing). *Drinking Alcohol changes those numbers. Beer seems to run right through me. The carbonated or hard selzer drinks ( Vizzy, white claw, corona) seem to move a little slower, but still increase frequency and decrease retention.

The only other change

I have to “recharge” the device once a week.

As you can see, the recharger is about the size of my hand. Also in the picture is an elastic belt that you can put the charger in to wear while you are moving around. The Medtronic website shows a woman gardening while wearing her belt. Yay her! (This doesn’t work for me.) I have found that I have the best results and shortest charging time, if I sit at the computer, put the device under my underwear and don’t move for a half hour or so. For some reason, when I am re-charging, my right foot (the one that has that all the titanium in it gets very warm)

While uncomfortable, its not incredibly painful. Maybe it’s a coincidence? Maybe that is where the nerve that is being stimulated ends? I’m not sure. I could also turn down the charging speed, but it takes twice as long to charge and sitting still IS difficult for me.

If you are reading this because you or someone you care about it considering getting the Interstim, I wish you the best of luck. Only you can decide if it’s right for you. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

FREE SOS feature on your phone

Recently, I had to start doing research on devices that would allow the user to activate a panic or sos button that would notify friends or family that they needed assistance.  While I still have not found the exact device to suit my needs, I did stumble across some very useful information about a FREE feature included on ALL cell phones  regardless of model or provider, without having to download an app or pay for a service.

If you are interested in hearing more, please keep reading!!!

Let me start by telling you what this feature does, or how it works after you do an initial setup and then I will post screenshots on how I set it up on my phone.

Once you have completed the initial setup, if you need to send an SOS message, you simply click your power button 3 times quickly.  Doing so,  enables the front and back cameras on your phone to take a picture.  It also makes a 5 second audio recording, and sends all of this information including your GPS coordinates to a pre-selected contact.

Too good to be true?  I thought so too.  So of course I had to test it out numerous times to try to find a flaw.  I’m happy to say that I couldn’t find any.

Each time I tested this, either myself or my contact received the message within 30 seconds.  The camera does not use the flash, so their is no indication to an outside party that you have clicked an alert.  The GPS coordinates were accurate to within 200 feet.

The steps I used to set this up on my phone are as follows:

  1. Go under your settings tab
  2. scroll down to privacy and emergency
  3. turn on send sos messages
  4. select a contact
  5. on the final screen you have the option to attach pictures and/or audio

From what I can tell, this feature is available on all makes of phones regardless of your service provider.  While each person I have talked to about this, has been able to set this up on their phone, FOR FREE, the steps were slightly different than the ones I used.  If you are interested, Google… ” how to set up sos messaging on your phone”.

Let me know if you tried this, and any opinions or concerns you might have that I might not have thought of.  I am very curious to know if it also works in other countries besides the US.

JUST JUMP making the switch

Most people would consider jumping out of that airplane the scariest thing they ever did,  I found it exhilarating, freeing if you will.  The jump I am talking about today though is the jump from wordpress.com to self-hosted.  I have read so much about it, and watched so many videos that my eyes are glassy.  I am confused, nervous, and well just a bundle of emotions, but I am doing it.  HOPEFULLY it will be a smooth transition, but I am not holding my breath.

Wish me luck? Hopefully I will see you all soon!

Go Big or Go Home?

Last week I posted that in one day I had received 370k comments in my spam folder in the a 24 hour period.  Things have slowed down a little bit, this morning I have 564K. SMDH!!!!!

When I contacted wp support, they suggested that I activate the comments option that makes name and email required.  Ok did that.

I also added almost 100 individual ip addresses to the block list

I have added all the repeating words that I found in the posts (ty SDC for the tip)

I have blocked anyone using an email from outlook (as that was a huge portion of addresses)

I went through the 1.8k comments that I have approved in the past and removed any from an anonymous user as was suggested by another blogger.  (thank you Ralph)

Tom and Tanya both suggested bot blockers and upping my spam control.  Whatever version on wp I am using only allows me to use askiment, and it says it have blocked another 300k in spam.

I switched back to all comments needing to go through moderation ( sorry for this guys), but after my phone going off ever 2 minutes with notifications for an hour, I have now removed WP from my phone.  Which means I will be checking it less frequently.

I want to apologize in advance if I miss something you have commented on, I am deleting spam in bulk, and although I do scan it first, there are literally thousands of comments.

The only other thing  I can think to try is switching to self hosted.  I have heard of sites like godaddy, siteground, bluehost.  Would anyone mind sharing what host you use?  I need a site that will “hold my hand” so to speak .  Thank you in advance!

370K spam comments in one day

I swear to anyone listening that no one can make this shit up!  If anyone wonders, why I swear so much….this is ONE example.

No that is not a typo!….. What it is, is just my luck!….  I spent a good hour yesterday emptying my spam folder.  (even with bulk edit, it only lets you empty 20 at a time).  I had almost 2000 comments in spam, so it did take awhile.minus 17

I don’t know if you can read that, but when I was done yesterday it said I had -17 spam comments.  Not sure how they came up with that number either, like I said just my luck?

When I signed into WP this afternoon after running all my errands this morning, I had 370K370k spam

Before I was done chatting with “WP support”  I had another 7000.

When I started writing this I thought I was “gonna go off” about this, but to tell you the truth now, I am just plain exhausted.  Below is a copy of the chat with wp:

I emptied my spam folder yesterday and today I have 370k comments in spam. Can you do a mass delete for me?

Help?

Hi there!

Hello

What type of spam are you talking about please? Is it comment spam?

yes

Ok, Comments can be managed via the WP Admin area of your site here:

https://yoursite.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

Click on that link and then on Comments tab on the left bar.

You can then select the spam comments and at the top of the comments list

that is what i did yesterday and I deleted all the spam comments 20 at a time

i got 370k overnight

I see.

In this case I advise you to blacklist this spam source

how do I do that?

You can do that by coping the email address of the spam comment and pasting it in the Blacklist textarea in this settings page here:

https://yourwebsite.wordpress.com/wp-admin/options-discussion.php

the messages are coming from no email address

Do you have an example for me to help you?

You may copy the IP address as well.

I mean instead of the email address.

you cant sign into my account?

ip is the www address?

The IP address appears below the comment author’s gravatar

The IP address is a number

I’ll send you a screenshot, hang on, please.

i think i found it

how do you add multiple ip addresses

Ok, one per line

and is there not a way to do a “mass dump”?

Actually no, the same IP needs to be added just once.

czadh@gxjyt.bo 6 minutes ago·www.herpescured.com

jbqxkqkot@yjhn.hk

they are all different ip addresses

I advise you to activate the comments option that makes name and email required.

i just want to make sure you are telling me I have to add them all manually? there isn’t on dump all spam bucket

Yes, that’s correct.

OMG!

ok

There isn’t a way to add those IPs or emails automatically.

We already have an anti-spam tool

I thought so too, but why did I get so many?

askimet right?

it is working but the comments that passes through it, they need to be marked as spam or blacklisted manually.

Yes, correct.

ok, well ty for your time, I apparently have a lot of work to do

I think this comment option is really important to activate.

but it still wont dump the ones there

No, it’s just to avoid that amount of spam.

In the future

one last question

Sure thing!

sarcastic question

has anyone else ever had that much spam in one day

or am i just lucky?

I can’t tell, but making name and email requirements, makes it more difficult to robots send spams

Ok ty for your help. Have a nice day


Did I mention you can’t make this shit up?!?!?

Needless to say, I am NOT going to go through an add all of those ip addresses, and I am kind of disappointment that they were not able to help other than to suggest that I only let people with a wp account comment.  That is what I have done for now.

I was thinking of switching to self hosted next month, maybe things will change for the better then.  In the meantime, I apologize if you can’t comment on a post.

Has anyone ever had a problem like this?  Help? Advice? Tips?