Maria’s Story: From Losing Hope to a Life-changing Treatment
At age 17, Maria believed the world was her oyster. She loved riding horses and competed up to 30 times a year. In her future, she saw more competitions, eventually training horses and taking over a boarding and riding facility. Caring for and riding horses was all she ever wanted to do in life.
But that changed after she had surgery for a bone deformity in her foot and was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome.
“The trajectory of my life completely changed,” Maria says. “I got to the point where I couldn’t stand putting on a sock or a shoe – even having air moving over my foot was extremely painful.”
Complex regional pain syndrome is an extremely painful, chronic condition that affects a limb, often after an injury. It’s believed to be caused by damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems and is characterized by excessive pain, changes in skin color, and/or swelling in the affected area.
Although only Maria’s foot was initially affected, the pain eventually spread to her arm and hand.
“I couldn’t wash dishes, type on a computer or even hold a phone in my hand,” Maria says. “I couldn’t even pet my dog or touch my horses. I gave up hope I’d be able to ride or compete again. I accepted every day would be painful and this was just how life was going to be.”
Bad experiences with doctors made Maria believe she wouldn’t find relief from her pain. She gave up on finding a treatment and was so fearful of doctors she went two years without receiving care. But eventually her pain got to the point where she had no choice but to seek help. She did an online search and Advanced Pain Management came up as an option. At the time, they were new to the Madison area.
“Other doctors told me I was faking my pain and didn’t have anything wrong with me,” Maria says. “But Dr. Keehn said ‘let’s start over’ and he truly listened to what I was saying and believed what I was experiencing. That first appointment was the start of my journey with Advanced Pain Management.”
“I limped for 10 years but after getting the neurostimulation device I walked without pain,” she says. “Suddenly I had my life back. I had given up hope I could get back on my horses but after treatment I could ride again. I was even able to enter a competition – and look forward to doing more of them in the future.”
Maria credits Advanced Pain Management for helping her regain control of her life.
“I credit Dr. Keehn and the nurses for everything,” Maria says. “They are the absolute best and I couldn’t have recovered and got my life back without them.”