Dear Dr. Kirkpatrick,
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me, evaluate my condition and to answer all my questions. My family and I cannot thank you enough for accepting me into your Ketamine Coma Study. After 12 years of struggling with RSD/CRPS my other doctors said I’d exhausted all my treatment options, you not only offered me new hope, but compassion and understanding.
In the winter of 1996 I was an active child participating in Tae Kwon Do and figure skating as well as a multitude of other sports. Unfortunately due to a fall on the ice I was injured and doctors advised me to have arthroscopic surgery to correct the damage. The moment I awoke from surgery I knew something had gone terribly wrong. My pain had changed from a sticking, popping structural type of pain to a burning, throbbing pain with a severe hypersensitivity to touch and temperature. Before my surgery I was able to walk, and even run (with some pain) but after the surgery I was unable to bear any weight on my left leg. I used both a wheelchair and loft strand crutches to help me get around.
For the next five years, I went from doctor to doctor in search of both relief and a diagnosis. Ultimately I was able to put a name to the disabling symptoms I had, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD. I went through years of treatment before finally going into remission in 2002. For a couple years I was fine, and able to go back to my active lifestyle. I hiked, grappled and fought on a regular basis in the gym, and with the exception of a few flare ups, was able to lead a normal life.
In the winter of 2005 I began to feel my RSD pain coming back, with a vengeance. I consulted with a new pain management physician and started physical therapy, lumbar and epidural blocks with no luck. My doctors advised me to try a spinal chord stimulator promising it would give me my life back. Although the stimulator worked at first, after just a few months, the pain came back again. With my husband by my side, we tried all the treatments my doctor advised, medications, blocks, RFA, and even a new spinal chord stimulator. Nothing worked. We even traveled to Colorado to try a low dose ketamine infusion, still nothing helped.
My pain has really taken over my life, it makes even something as simple as having a conversation impossible, and the pain is so severe, I can’t even think straight. At night, I am unable to sleep, because the pain is so intense. Working is difficult; I don’t have the energy or desire to go out with my friends. This has made day to day life for me, my husband and our family very difficult. But we all have the highest hopes, and faith that the ketamine coma procedure in Mexico will work. Again, thank you Dr. Kirkpatrick, Dr. Cantu and the rest of the team for making this option available to us. I’m looking forward to celebrating our common victory when the procedure is successful.
Phoenix, Arizona USA
October 16, 2008
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