Living with pain is not easy, but Carolyn Kolling is determined not to let it get in the way of doing the things she loves to do.
With her energetic, upbeat attitude, the Charleston woman is on-the-go nearly everyday, playing golf, taking walks, and visiting or going on trips with friends and family. Suffering from chronic back pain for more than a decade, Kolling is grateful to the Center for Interventional Pain at Sarah Bush Lincoln for helping her manage her pain so she can enjoy life.
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition for millions of people, like Kolling, who live with it every day. That’s why Sarah Bush Lincoln is hosting a Pain Symposium from 1 to 3 pm Wednesday, December 10, at the Lifespan Center, 1102 E. County Road 800 N., Charleston. Featured speakers, including Pain Specialists Mohamed El-Ansary, MD, FIPP, Ragai Mitry, MD, and Neurosurgeon Emilio Nardone, MD, will provide information and answer questions about managing chronic pain at this free event.
Interventional pain medicine uses injections and minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat the pain associated with specific, acute and chronic conditions. It strives to help people return to their everyday activities quickly, and without heavy reliance on medications, which was very important to Kolling when she first sought treatment from chronic back pain nearly 12 years ago.
As one of the Center for Interventional Pain’s first patients, Kolling is grateful for Dr. El-Ansary and the entire medical team for keeping her active through the years. “I feel like had I not gone to the pain clinic, God forbid, I’d be addicted to medication or I wouldn’t be moving. I do feel like they’ve kept me moving,” she said. Kolling’s first treatment consisted a series of pain relieving injections, which were very effective for many years keeping her pain free for six to eight month at a time.
However, as her pain progressively worsened, the steroid injection treatments became less effective. Kolling has received several alternative treatments in recent years including radiofrequency denervation, which offered her some relief for a short time. Working to find the most effective treatment, Kolling is now preparing to receive spinal cord stimulation in December. Spinal cord stimulation is a procedure that uses an electrical current to treat chronic pain.
“Dr. El-Ansary has just never given up on me,” Kolling said. “I think the main thing is I just have so much confidence in him. I think that is where a lot of the healing lies. I have the confidence that he will do everything he can to make me feel better and if that doesn’t work, then we’ll move on to something else.”
Living such an active lifestyle, it’s easy for others to forget that Kolling suffers from chronic pain.“I can’t imagine just sitting when we have a resource available that might help,” she said. “There are so many types of back problems and they do so many different types of procedures that I think it would be worth a try for anyone who is experiencing pain.”
Interventional pain management can:
• Reduce the amount of time pain is experienced and its severity
• Allow for an increase in activities at home and work
• Help a person overcome isolation
• Improve the quality of life
• Decrease the person’s need for long-term pain medication, emergency room visits and ultimately hospitalization.
Drs. El-Ansary and Mitry are both board certified in pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. They are supported by a full-time nursing staff and state-of-the-art equipment. To register for the Pain Symposium, call 217-258-2420. For more information, or to make an appointment with Drs. El-Ansary or Mitry at the Center for Interventional Pain, call 217-238-4495