By the time she was 70, Patricia had lived with pain nearly all her life.
It started with what seemed to be a genetic condition, in childhood. Several relatives had chronic back problems. Patricia’s mother suffered from spinal deterioration and underwent back surgery in her early 30s. In this family, it wasn’t unusual to live with pain.
Patricia was able to get by with medication and therapies like acupuncture and massage for a long time. She was a busy active mother, and then grandmother, who enjoyed gardening and swimming. But eventually she ruptured a disc in 2010 and doctors said it was time to repair her back.
“My back was like an old building, falling apart. ”
Patricia had two surgeries, one to fuse her vertebrae and another to correct a degenerative neck condition. They were necessary, but left her rigid and in more pain than before.
“My back was like an old building, falling apart,” she said. “But afterward, there was lots of pain, from my shoulder blades down through my hips and up into my neck.”
She tried acupuncture and an electrical massage therapy. Medications helped her make it through the days. But she wasn’t herself.
After the surgeries, Patricia had to move in with her son and his family because she could no longer work. One outing or task — such as doing a load of laundry — would use up her energy and pain tolerance for the day. Often she was bedridden. She couldn’t help out with her grandchildren, which broke her heart, because she would have loved to babysit.
It looked like she might spend the rest of her life living this way. Then she was introduced to Abbott’s Proclaim™ XR SCS system and everything changed.
“I’m very lucky to have found a good doctor.”
In 2017, Patricia “stumbled across” Dr. Pankaj Mehta, a pain management specialist who suggested she might be a candidate for Abbott’s spinal cord stimulation therapy.
Patricia trialed the Proclaim™ XR SCS system and the relief was immediate. “It dropped my pain level down to something manageable, for the first time in years,” she said.
Her son also noticed the difference. He told her she was standing straighter and her face looked “cheerier” than it ever had. Patricia could move more easily with the Proclaim™ XR SCS system. She slept better at night. Both she and her family reported a “subtle calmness” in her that had been missing before.
“I’m very lucky to have found a good doctor,” Patricia said after the trial. “Praise the Lord that there is something out there that’s worth a try.”
From bedridden in pain to kayaking with the kids
Today, at 71, she is making up for lost time. Not only can she dress herself, walk to the mailbox and make her own meals — things she’d given up on at the height of her pain — Patricia is learning to kayak! She’s back to gardening, woodworking and swimming. Even better, she can babysit for her grandchildren and play with them in a way that was impossible before.
The moment she tried the Proclaim™ XR SCS system, Patricia says it was clear to her and her family that getting an implant was the way to move forward. “Pain relief is such a gift. I knew in my heart that this was what I needed to do.”
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