Living with pain every day can really turn your life upside down. For one local Navy man injured in the line of duty it was almost too much to bear. 7’s Mike Marza shows us how a ‘Pain Blocker’ is finally helped him.
WSVN — Joining the navy was a dream come true for christopher bush.
Christopher Bush, Retired US Navy Sailor: “Being on boats and ships, I did fast-attack boats after that, something I always wanted to do.”
But in 2007 he suffered a traumatic injury as his unit made their way into Iraq.
Christopher Bush: “In bad weather conditions, just hit a bad wave, I was on a forward gun mount and was thrown off the gun mount.”
Christopher fractured his neck, had surgery and was medically retired.
Christopher Bush: “I was having severe headaches and the neck pain was excruciating really.”
Dr. Cuneyt Ozaktay, Anesthesia Pain Care Consultants: “So your pain is coming from your back, neck, going down to your shoulders.”
He sought out a specialist who recommended a little device called a spinal cord stimulator for people with chronic pain.
Dr. Cuneyt Ozaktay: “This device gives us the flexibility to target those people and help them and improve their life.”
Medtronic gave us this video to show you how it works. The device is implanted just under the skin at the base of the spinal cord. Leads are placed in specific areas, which send electricity to block pain signals.
Dr. Cuneyt Ozaktay: “So that the pain is not being perceived as much.”
Patients have full control of the device and can direct it to the exact area of their pain.
Dr. Cuneyt Ozaktay: “They can increase the intensity, decrease the intensity. They can move the sensation from one arm to the other arm, from one leg to the other leg.”
Christopher describes it as a tingling feeling.
Christopher Bush: “It’s like a massage, internal massage that’s going on, instead of feeling the constant pain.”
He charges it himself once every two weeks. And now Christopher enjoys the simple things again, like spending time with his family.
Christopher Bush: “I’m still dealing with a lot, but this is one less thing I’m dealing with.”
Doctors say it’s safe to leave the device in the patient for up to ten years before it needs to be replaced.