LOS ANGELES -- Many people complain of aches and pains from time to time but imagine being in pain constantly.
75 million people suffer from chronic pain. In fact according to a new study it is the leading cause of disability and loss of work. For people who suffer from chronic pain, it is debilitating something that Mike Roman knows all too well.
15 years ago Mike developed a staph infection and had to have his right leg amputated. He then suffered from phantom limb pain. Even with the leg gone the pain was unbearable. He felt like his toenails were being pulled out with pliers.
He said it was hard to explain to his kids that the part that hurt daddy was the part that wasn't there. He had 40 surgeries in 12 years and was on 360 milligrams of morphine a day to cope with the pain.
But the drugs made him feel angry and depressed. He said he just wanted the hallucinations and suicidal thoughts to stop. His wife Suzie tried to help him anyway she could. She assured him that he was a good father to their kids but he said it was difficult to always believe her because he couldn't remember most of what he did every day. Mike felt like there was no hope and that he was facing a life of chronic pain.
But then he met Dr. Joseph Hewett with the Los Angeles Vascular Center in Inglewood. Dr. Hewett told them about a new device made by Boston Scientific called a spinal column stimulator.
It's a battery operated device implanted next to the spinal cord. It comes with a remote control and it emits energy next to the spinal cord to block pain signals from going to the brain. It can be used for all kinds of chronic pain.
Dr. Hewett says it can help people who are bedridden because of their pain. It can help people dealing with complications from diabetes, people suffering from leg pain, back pain, or clogged arteries. It certainly has helped Mike. He is pain free and drug free for the first time in years. He says the electric shock feeling he used to feel in his missing leg has been replaced by a warm fuzzy feeling. And he says he can program the device to move around based on where he is feeling the pain.
He says it is a miraculous device and now he wants to share his miracle with others suffering from chronic pain. He says for so much of his life he was told that his pain was in his head and that he'd have to deal with it. He says the spinal column stimulator has made the pain disappear. He says it's also very important for anyone in pain to immediately seek a pain specialist.
To find out more about the spinal column stimulator go to www.bostonscientific.com
To learn more about pain management go to www.ControlYourPain.com
And to learn more about Mike Roman go to his website at www.RaceAgainstPain.comCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times