Zahira Hodge, RN, MSN, a 33-year-old registered nurse from Virginia, was unable to work due to debilitating pain from CRPS. The condition left her unable to be on her feet all day and her chronic pain eventually forced her to make a tough decision to leave a career she loved.
In 2014, after undergoing corrective surgery as the result of an ankle fracture and torn ligaments, the pain in her foot did not subside and eventually began to spread up her leg to her knee.
Unable to determine the root cause of the neuropathy, she had a subsequent surgery to have all of the ‘hardware’ removed from the ankle surgery, to see if this was the cause of her pain.
Trying pain medication, needles, blocks and a spinal cord stimulator
After her eventual CRPS diagnosis, she used her healthcare expertise to undergo a variety of pain management treatments, including prescription and over-the-counter pain medications which only made her feel mentally foggy and exhausted.
She eventually pursued invasive treatments such as nerve blocks, injections and, eventually, the surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator (SCS).
Although she initially experienced a few complications following the SCS placement, she was able to get some relief from the CRPS symptoms affecting her ankle. However, the SCS failed to resolve her chronic pain level of 7-9/10 in her knee.
Her husband began researching alternative pain management options on the internet and discovered Calmare Therapy.
“When I read the information and watched the Calmare patient videos, I started to feel very optimistic,” Zahira recalls.
“I had considered DRG therapy, but just couldn’t see putting myself through another invasive procedure.”
Turning to Alternative Pain Management
“I am especially honored when healthcare professionals turn to Calmare as their personal pain treatment choice,” says Calmare NJ USA clinical director Dr. Michael Cooney.
“They are open to alternative neuropathic pain therapies, especially those that don’t involve using prescription drugs or painful procedures.”
Zahira takes a leap of faith and heads to Calmare NJ USA
When she arrived in New Jersey in January 2018, her pain level was a consistent 8/10 and her pain region extended from her foot to her knee, requiring Zahira to use a cane for mobility.
“I’ll be honest, after all the pain treatment therapies I had already tried, I was skeptical scrambler therapy was going to work for me,” she recalls. “But as Dr. Cooney told me, the worst thing that could happen is it wouldn’t work.”
Thankfully, this was not the case.
After her eighth Calmare treatment, with a little support from our therapy dog Murphy, Zahira’s knee pain was gone and her leg pain was a manageable 1-3/10.
Looking back and driving forward
“Let me be clear–Calmare has changed my life,” she says with a smile. “I am looking forward to doing everyday things again, like driving a car and walking up the stairs unassisted.”
She is also committed to resuming her career and earning her Ph.D. in nursing.
“Taking a chance on Calmare was the best decision of my life. I have my mobility back, which I feared would never return. It was worth the risk. I only wish we had found it sooner.”