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My Aspirus Story

Sullivan finds relief at Aspirus Pain Clinic

Patient Name: Betsy Sullivan

Betsy Sullivan is no stranger to pain. In 1997, she was involved in three separate car accidents and in the years that followed, she endured severe neck pain.

Sullivan, like so many others, chose to simply deal with the pain, rather than seek help.

“My pain radiated from my neck into my arm, and it caused my hand and fingers to go numb,” said the 47-year-old Wausau resident. “It was quite a while before I went in for help.”

Battling the pain, Sullivan tried to do some of the things she enjoys like gardening, but the discomfort became too much to bear. Even simple tasks like driving and paying bills became excruciating for her.

It became a daily routine for Sullivan to wake up in the morning with a severe headache and become depressed from dealing with the constant pain. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore and sought help.

“I had to turn my whole body just to see to the side when I was driving because I couldn’t even turn my head,” she said. “In the past I just dealt with it, but the pain became too much to handle.”

Sullivan’s first appointment was with a neurologist. She underwent a MRI, which revealed she had bulging discs in her neck that were pressing on her nerves. Then, she was referred to the Aspirus Pain Clinic.

Following an evaluation at the Pain Clinic, Sullivan received a set of injections containing a painkiller, anti-inflammatory medicine and a steroid, which provided much needed relief.

As the Pain Clinic controlled her pain with checkups and injections every two to three months, life became enjoyable again.

“Before the Pain Clinic I was still functioning, but I was in a lot of pain,” she said. “Everything became so much easier because I was pain free.”

In Feb. 2008, Sullivan fell in her driveway, rupturing a disc in her back. She tried physical therapy and went to a chiropractor, but neither seemed to help. Back at the Aspirus Pain Clinic, she received the relief she needed.

Sullivan’s routine checkups and injections allow her to manage her pain and keep her out of the operating room – for now.

“The injections ward off surgery, which I won’t need as long as the medications keep working,” she said. “I tried to go six months without an injection, but I had to go in because the pain in my back got bad again.”

Now, Sullivan’s headaches are gone and she is back helping her husband John with yard work and gardening. She also has resumed working and doing crafts with adults with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.

“Waking up and feeling good really changes the day,” she said. “My family is amazed at what I can do compared to before I went to the Pain Clinic.”

Created: Jan 27, 2009

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