I suffered from chronic pain for eleven years. One day, I felt like someone had come up from behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat. I never had migraines or any other health problems. This was the beginning of my night mare.
I went to every specialist on the East Coast from the Mayo Clinic to Duke University, to determine the problem. Doctors ordered a MRI of the brain and it showed to be normal. We wanted to find an answer to why I was in so much pain. Doctors finally suggested a scan of my spine, eventually diagnosing Syringomyelia.
Syringomyelia (sear-IN-go-my-EEL-ya) is a disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord. This cyst, called a syrinx, expands and elongates over time, destroying a portion of the spinal cord from its center and expanding outward. As a syrinx widens it compresses and injures nerve fibers that carry information from the brain to the extremities. Damage to the spinal cord often leads to progressive weakness in the arms and legs, stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms, or legs, and chronic, severe pain. Other symptoms may include headaches, a loss of the ability to feel extremes of hot or cold (especially in the hands), and loss of bladder and other functions. Each individual experiences a different combination of symptoms depending on where in the spinal cord the syrinx forms and how far it extends. Signs of the disorder tend to develop slowly, although sudden onset may occur with coughing or straining. I had an unusual case, I had two syrinxs. One is the cervical and the other in the thorax.
With each doctor’s visit, doctors would add another medication to help my pain. At the height of my ordeal, I was on seven different medications ranging from morphine to antidepressants. I didn’t know if the medication was helping or making it worse, I was just trying to make it through each day. I was ready to end my life, I couldn’t imagine going on with this pain.
A dear friend of mine was determined to find a doctor who would find a solution and not mask it. She found Dr. Laguerre. I had finally found a physician who would listen to my issues and just not throw another medication at the problem. He made me more comfortable, enabled me to get along. He looked at all of my history and gave me a name of a neurologist that he thought would be able to help. With the two doctors working together, (yes! They communicated what a novel idea, to which no other doctors even attempted). The neurologist came up with a plan to START OVER. That meant to get off all the medications, and start from scratch. My first response was NO, but all the sudden, it felt like an elephant sat on my chest and the Holy Spirit said to me, “Say Yes”. So I told the doctor, “Ok, let’s do this.” He explained that he would put me in the hospital to detox for a few weeks. I stopped him and said that our insurance was not going to cover this, so I will do the detoxing at home. He told me that it would be impossible. I told him that if God wants me to do this, then He will provide a way.
I started dropping a dose of medication each week. First couple of days were fine, I thought this wasn’t going to be that hard. Then I became deathly sick. I was not able to eat or drink anything. Dr. Laguerre made himself available to help with medication to help some of the side effects from the detox. He understood what I was going through, he was so caring to help me in any way he could. It took four months to get off all seven medications. Best part about those months is knowing that God was carrying me thought it all.
November 22nd was the first day of not taking any medications. I woke up for the first time in eleven years of not hurting. It’s been a year now and I have not had ONE headache! I got my life back. People tell me it was from all the medications that I was taken that gave me the headaches, but I know it was God’s power and his timing. I would tell anyone who is going through something difficult in their life to P-U-S-H. Meaning: Pray Until Something Happens!
I can’t thank Dr. Laguerre enough for not giving up on me, like so many other doctors have done in the past. He worked on a solution and not masking the problem. He has a caring heart and unlimited knowledge. The staff is compassionate and sympathetic to their patients. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done.
Special thanks for my husband Gary and my two sons for all their support and love.