InterStim® Neurostimulator or Sacral Nerve Stimulator

I recently wrote about being in an IC (interstitial cystitis) flare. These are very rough flare-ups. Causing severe pain and regular trips to the bathroom. As soon as I get half way comfortable, I have to get up to urinate. That, in itself, is a challenge sometimes, either it doesn’t want to come out or it hurts when it does.

interstim-lgI have two Medtronic InterStims® or Sacral Nerve Stimulators to help control my bladder and the pain associated with IC. I have researched and can not find a link to the reason an InterStim® will turn itself off, other than a dead or dying battery, which is basically what it is to begin with, a battery.

Upon checking my settings while in the flare, I found that my right InterStim® was turned off. I immediately turned it back on and within a few hours, I felt some relief.

With the first InterStim® I had implanted in 2001, I was told that getting close to magnets or the security posts in stores could turn it on or off, but I do not recall getting close to these things of late. However, the InterStim® was indeed turned off.

The two InterStims® I have now are smaller than the one I had in 2001 and won’t last as long as that one did, but are working much better than the old one, while they are turned on. I will have to keep a close check on the right InterStim® now due to the fact it was turned off because the battery could be dying. I had the left one replaced in October 2016, so I know it has plenty of power to go for another 2 to 3 years. The right one still had life in it, so they did not replace it and told me it should last another year.

If you come across a reason why the InterStim® might turn itself off, please let me know, along with the website. I have looked high and low and can not find any information on this occurrence. At least I have the remote and can turn it back on, reset the leads it uses and make myself comfortable. But once in a flare, it takes a few days for the bladder to settle down and stop hurting.


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