Sean, a well-spoken 42-year-old man from Tasmania, first began experiencing chronic pain when he experienced a bulging disc in his spine six years ago, which he describes as “basically exploding” in his back, causing severe nerve damage. After surgery to remove the damaged disc, he developed severe, chronic back pain and sciatic pain down both legs, which greatly impacted his life. Sean visited several different pain specialists in Hobart and tried a variety of treatments, but could not find anyone or anything that helped his situation. Eventually he was referred to the Metro Pain Group in Melbourne, to see leading pain specialist Dr Paul Verrill, who suggested he try Spinal Cord Stimulation to assist with his pain. The trial was successful, and Sean went on to have a permanent Spinal Cord Stimulation system implanted.
Sean’s problems were compounded when, three years later, congenital issues with his foot required him to have a below-the-knee amputation. He began experiencing severe and chronic Phantom Limb pain, which felt like electric shocks in his residual limb, and which were unbearably painful. Sean trialled a new treatment system called DRG Stimulation, which was very effective in controlling the pain, and subsequently had the DRG Stimulation system permanently implanted.
Sean now has dual systems consisting of DRG for the Phantom Limb pain and Nevro high frequency spinal cord stimulation system for his chronic back and sciatic pain.
Sean has been unable to work since the onset of his chronic pain, and relies on the Disability Support Pension.
“I’ve been so blessed to be under the care of Dr Paul Verrill at the Metro Pain Group in Melbourne – I actually don’t know where I’d be without the team there. I saw several pain specialists and tried different treatments here in Hobart, but nothing worked. The spinal cord stimulation implant that Dr Verrell recommended has actually changed my life.”
“Having chronic pain can make maintaining friendships difficult, as people who don’t live with pain just don’t understand. I think they feel a bit helpless. But fortunately for every old friend I’ve lost I’ve made a new one through my chronic pain support groups.”