.......  with video below

As a young girl, I grew up in a family of educators, so it was no surprise that I chose to follow their same path.  After graduating college I became an English teacher and dedicated my life to educating children.  In addition, throughout those twenty-four years I also devoted much time and energy maintaining a healthy body through nutrition, aerobic exercise, and weight training.  I enjoyed  working with other gym members and enlightening them on the importance of proper nutrition and body image.  However, after a horrible fall at the beginning of the new 2006 year, my whole life changed. 

I had been recovering from extensive foot surgery, and after many months on crutches I had begun to walk in shoes.  On an early January morning, I fell on the slippery, snowy sidewalk which had led me to my job for the prior twenty-three years.  That evening the burn began and since has spread throughout my entire body including my face, mouth, and eyes.


After three more surgeries, I could take the pain no longer, and in October of 2006 I was forced to leave school.  I say school because teaching was not a job it was a career for which I trained diligently.  The daily nausea and vomiting from pain had become overwhelming; I was no longer as effective as I needed to be, so I packed up my files and attempted to work from home where I continued creating lesson plans, grading papers, and communicating with my substitutes.  It was not the same as being in the classroom.


I had devoted many hours to my students and their families both during and after school.  Teaching Honors English required much preparation and effort but brought such rewards!  Many people use the term “rocket scientist” both negatively and positively, but to see my students mature and really become rocket scientists, who work for NASA; professors, who teach at prestigious universities; and doctors, who continue entrusting me to edit various speeches and lectures instilled in me a pride which only a teacher can understand.  Today, RSD stands in the way of me and my students.


I have seen many pain management specialists and physical therapists, tried numerous medical modalities such as narcotics for pain, Ketamine cream, various blocks, and a three day Ketamine and Lidocaine in-hospital infusion regimen.  Sadly, nothing has offered me any relief from the RSD which continues to worsen.



Married and the mother of two I can no longer hug my husband or children, even their breath cuts through my skin like a knife.  I have not worn a shoe on my left foot (which has atrophied one and one-half sizes) for almost two and one-half years; my left leg has lost all muscle tone; and my calf has atrophied leaving my shin bone exposed.  Because the RSD has moved to my right leg and foot, I fall often.  Moreover, my left arm shakes uncontrollably even with special medication used to calm tremors.  Once vigorous athlete, now I am relegated to a wheelchair.   


I have traveled to doctors from Connecticut to Massachusetts to New Jersey and now Florida, where I have met Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick; Now I have hope.  Before arriving in Florida, the thought of living this way for the rest of my life was unbearable.


When even clothes feel like thorns and water droplets like lead weights, it had become difficult to look forward to the next day.  Now, I have reason to look forward to many more days because of the experimental Ketamine Coma and physicians like Doctor Kirkpatrick whose tireless efforts offer me and others with advanced RSD hope. C. K. Chesterfield wrote, “We are all in the same boat, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”  My family and I believe this quote epitomizes Doctor Kirkpatrick’s dedication to cracking the code of this debilitating illness.  We owe him “…a terrible loyalty.”


 Many thanks and good health,


Debbie Caloutas

Wallingford, Connecticut, USA

April 17, 2008





Pre-coma Evaluation ~ 22 Minutes ~ 340K

Five Weeks Post-coma ~ 12 Minutes ~ 340K

Three Day Outpatient Ketamine Infusion ~ 6 Minutes ~ 340K


Measurement of Pain Thresholds ....  Learn more



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