Finding Relief

Churdan Resident Finally Finds Much Needed Pain Relief at Greene County Medical Center Pain Clinic

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When Eric Winger got laid off from his job after the onset of some severe headaches and neck and eye pain that made him prone to accidents and affected his everyday mobility, he knew he needed to be seen by a medical professional.  After seeing his Primary Care Physician, the Churdan resident made an appointment with a specialist in Ames, driving nearly an hour each direction in search of some answers. Answers that, were not easily found.

After the first few appointments the answers Eric found seemed to involve high amounts of pain medication, which he reluctantly tried. After a few weeks though, the pain had not improved.

“The pain would shoot up from my neck up into my eye and it would be so painful I could not walk,” said Eric Winger. “When an episode would come there was not enough Ibuprofen or Tylenol I could take, Icy-Hot, cold pack, hot pad, more pillows, nothing would make a difference on the pain.”

After two years of no relief, more prescription medications to try, and no real answers, Eric’s wife, Uvette Winger, decided they return to their Primary Care Provider, Diana Smith, DNP at The Greene County Family Medicine Clinic and ask for a second opinion. As luck would have it their next referral from was one right at home.

The Greene County Medical Center Pain Clinic with Dr. Rich Jacobson, CRNA; and Keith Barnhill, CRNA started at the Medical Center in January of 2022 and specializes in Pain Management. Desperate for answers, Eric called to make an appointment with the Pain Clinic, with no idea of what to expect going in, and left the appointment with, finally some answers and finally on a journey to recovery.

“I wasn’t really expecting a whole lot, because I had come from other hospitals and specialists where I was not getting treatment that was helping,” said Eric. “I was hoping for something at least better than what I had gotten in the past, and it has been exceptional! The nurses, the staff, both doctors, everyone has been phenomenal.”

It was not only the hospitality that was phenomenal as Eric had put it, it was also the treatment. The doctors at the Greene County Medical Center Pain Clinic were able to take one look at Eric’s condition and diagnose him with Cervicalgia. Cervicalgia is a condition that causes severe pain in the neck and shoulders sometimes leading up to the brain and effecting nerves and causing headaches. The pain may feel achey or it may feel like a constant electric shock from the neck to the arm.

“We came to the Pain Clinic at Greene County Medical Center, and we went to one appointment and the doctor pressed around and felt the area afflicted by the pain and right point said exactly what it could be and started a series of injections,” said Uvette.

Eric started his injections and the first one went great, it lasted three almost four weeks, the second one did not last as long as he had hoped, so Eric went back in. The Doctors at the Pain Clinic decided that a different approach would be more helpful for Eric’s condition. Nerve ablation. Ablation is a process of burning a nerve-ending to reduce certain kinds of chronic pain by preventing the transmission of pain signals.

Eric’s next appointment was long awaited, he would finally get the relief that he had been waiting almost two years for. The process only lasted about 10 minutes and was well worth it for Eric and his wife Uvette, who could both finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I went in and they numbed the back of my neck, the doctor explained what was going to happen and made sure I did not have any questions, and I was only in the operating room for about 10 minutes,” said Eric. “It was immediate relief as soon as the procedure was finished.”

Following the procedure Eric has noticed a significate change in his quality of life, and Eric and his wife are so thankful to everyone at the Greene County Medical Center Pain Clinic for helping them.

“I feel like he was not just a statistic here, I feel like he was actually a patient, that they cared about him, and they wanted to get him the help he needed or at least help him move forward with some relief,” Uvette said. “It was not right what he was going through before coming to Greene County Medical Center, and we knew we would ask for a second opinion but did not know where we would end up. It just so happened that we were able to end up at home.”

The relief Eric felt after the Ablation treatment, not being in constant pain, and being able to have their questions and concerns finally addressed was everything to them. To be able to finally come off all of the pain medications that he had been on for the last 2 years and not feel pain has turned his life around.

“I was not getting treated at all for the last 2 years, I was relying on pain medication that doctors were prescribing me and I was just down in life,” said Eric. “I could not work or enjoying life, or anything, I would recommend the Pain Clinic to 10-out-of-10-people, it is a great addition to the hospital. Coming to the Pain Clinic at Greene County Medical Center has been an absolute life-changer.”