Healing – Day Twelve

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My recovery has gone from the beginning sharp pains of post-surgery to the pain of the long term healing process of bones. I have implants comparable to the “My Toe” implants advertised on television, in three of my toes. I have screws holding bones in two of the metatarsals and a repair of the plantar plate. (I’ve certainly learned a lot about structures in the foot since this whole ordeal started.) One of the treatments offered me is the “TENS” unit, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. In fact, coming out of surgery, the electrode pads had already been applied to my foot beneath my bandages and my TENS unit was delivered to my house the next day. According to the instructional book that came with my unit: “TENS devices deliver electrical pulses through the skin to the cutaneous and afferent (deep) nerves to control pain.” It further describes the use as “when the body is injured, both pain and non-pain impulses are sent to the brain from the nervous system. These pulses travel through the cutaneous nerves to the deeper, afferent nerves, and then to the spinal cord and brain. along the path are many areas referred to as “gates”which determine which impulses are allowed to continue on to the brain.The gates prevent the brain from receiving too much information to quickly. since the same nerve cannot carry a pain and a non-pain impulse at the same time,t he stronger, non-pain impulse from the device controls the gate”. The unit delivers what feels like little ant bites. They don’t hurt and when the impulses are being applied, there is definitely little or no pain. Yesterday was a relatively pain free day but today has not been a good day. I’ve been in a lot of pain most of the day, but the TENS unit has definitely alleviated some of it.

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