(For privacy purposes, Joan prefers to publish her first name only).
Joan’s education and livelihood has been centered in the field of healthcare. She earned degrees in health science as well as a nursing degree (RN). Her career spans more than 30 years working as an executive in a pharmaceutical company and in private consulting.
In 2005, she was diagnosed with shingles and has suffered from post hepatic neuropathy (PHN) ever since. Joan was not content to simply take pain medications for the rest of her life (the dosages were high and she experienced unpleasant side effects). Below, Joan shares firsthand how her discovery of Calmare Therapy finally lessened her chronic neuropathy and improved her quality of life exponentially.
“I left no stone unturned in my search for relief from PHN’s severe nerve shocks that strike at any given time. The symptoms that I suffer from are intensive nerve pain shocks that happen almost nonstop and painful skin sensitivity (allodynia) that renders me unable to wear certain fabrics or allow anyone to touch the affected side of my back. It becomes very hard to relax and the pain causes me to hold a lot of stress in my body. I was an out-patient at a renowned New York City pain center for a number of years where I was prescribed many different pain medications; underwent several painful and invasive nerve block procedures and even tried deep brain stimulation treatments. Sad to say, none of these efforts resulted in any significant improvement in my pain.
At the onset of my illness, I was prescribed Lyrica and the dosage gradually crept up until I was taking 600mg, much higher than the recommended daily dosage of 300mg. I was on this regime for a couple of years. Then I changed physicians and was prescribed a compounded topical cream in addition to the Lyrica. This medication regimen offered me some relief, but if I missed a dose or did not apply the cream, the pain became very intense. Many nights, the shocks and firings from the nerve damage kept me awake.
Monthly pain management research
Each month since this happened to me, I sit down at my computer and research the latest findings and new therapies for pain neuropathy. When I discovered the clinical trial results for Calmare Therapy, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, I knew I had another option to explore. I researched everything online about Calmare and the medical centers that were conducting trials. I even contacted the research division at Mayo Clinic where a leading trial was ongoing. After interviewing a number of experienced Calmare Certified providers, I chose Dr. Michael Cooney at Calmare Therapy NJ in Rutherford.
July 2012 – Calmare Therapy Begins
I felt at ease with Dr. Cooney and his terrific staff from the start. I have seen many doctors in my day, but I really felt like he and his staff truly cared about my condition and hoped Calmare would help me. Undergoing medical treatment in this kind of positive atmosphere truly makes a difference from a patient perspective. I ended up having 12 treatments, about 45 minutes to an hour long. Because my case is severe, it took some time to determine the ideal placement of the leads. By about treatment number three, I knew something was working. I was elated.
Today, I am not pain free but my pain is definitely manageable. Anyone living with severe chronic pain knows what a victory this is. Just lifting the bulk of the pain off your shoulders truly gives you a new lease on life. My pain level today is “live-able”.
Equally commendable, this treatment has no side effects. I can’t really describe the side effects I experienced taking all those medications. But now it feels so wonderful to be able to say I feel “100% mentally alert” and my mind experiences a sort of freedom that has been missing for a long, long time. I occasionally work as a consultant, am active and have many outside interests. It means the world to me once again to think more quickly and clearly.”
November 2012 – Calmare Booster Treatment
Joan had several bouts of bronchitis, asthma and a recent surgery on her finger. With all this going on in her body, her pain level started to rise to a 4. To offset any further increase, she called Dr. Cooney to come in for two Calmare booster treatments. By the time of her treatment, her pain had escalated to a 6/7. After two one- hour Calmare treatments, it was back down to a 2/3.
December 2012 ─ A fresh outlook on life after seven painful years
Today, Joan is focusing on the things she loves ─ her work, her painting, civic endeavors, travel and simply enjoying the fruits of each day ─ while keeping her pain at a manageable level.
“I feel so fortunate to have found both Dr. Cooney and the Calmare treatment. Knowing that I can experience relief from the nerve shocks and a reduction in the allodynia is life-changing. I’m relearning to enjoy relaxation and stop my preoccupation with pain. This evolving freedom has been life changing.”