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Kara’s Story (Chronic Pain)

Kara's Story (Chronic Pain)While on a trip to Pennsylvania when I was 13 years old (2002), I fell right on my bum while playing on a rock that was covered with algae on it. I never went to the hospital or to the doctor and had to travel a nine hour drive home.  I did have my neighbor come over though (who is a very well respected doctor). He poked at my tailbone and said, “Yeah, you broke your tailbone.” I was told to not bother going in because they cannot put a cast on it or do anything for your tailbone! I lived in pain for a couple of years thinking, “it will heal, it will heal!”

My mom had to dress me, shower me, everything. I could not sit, I could not stand, I could not do anything. After those couple of years, the pain decided to mostly subside. When I was 16 (2007), I went to an ice skating party. I was five feet from getting off the ice when I fell, right on my bum, all over again! The pain was back and it was worse then before. This time I went straight to the emergency room. I had x-rays taken and they said I did not re-break it (THANK GOD) but I had bruised the bone pretty badly. They saw why I was in so much pain, my sacrum is at a 90 degree angle and so is my tailbone, all from the fall. It was 2002 all over again. My mom had to dress me, shower me, etc. The pain was hell. That is when I started searching for help.

I went to many doctors, tried everything under the sun, massage, physical therapy, injections, and MANY medications. I was becoming depressed. By 18/19 years old I could not walk to my classes on the college campus, I failed many of them because I could not get to class. I was in so much pain. I had given up. I decided to quit school and work to figure out a solution. I again, went to many more doctors and many different hospitals. I looked at having my coccyx (tailbone), I looked at major back surgery, I looked at the pain pump, and then I came upon the spinal cord stimulator! I found a pain management doctor that I fell in love with the first time I met him. The first words he said to me were “Even if I cannot help you, I will find someone that can, I will NOT abandon you.” That was the first time someone had said that to me. I asked him about the spinal cord stimulator and he said I was a potential candidate but I would have to take a lengthy psych evaluation (667 questions), see a therapist/psychiatrist, and have a trial implant done. I agreed to all of it! I now have had my permanent spinal cord stimulator since September 7, 2012. I am now 23 and in way less pain. The spinal cord stimulator reduces my pain anywhere from 40-80%. 🙂

The picture below is a picture of the wire under my skin. It is about one cm deep and the battery to the unit is on the left side of the picture, just out of view.

 

Kara
Michigan
Submitted 12/16/2013

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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