Patients from all walks of life share their experience
In their own words, Nura patients talk about what caused their chronic pain, how it affected their lives — and how they found pain relief.
“It’s night and day.”
John Petersen was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018. Making matters worse, John also suffered severe neuropathy in his hands as a result of his chemotherapy treatment.
His neuropathy became so bad that John had a hard time even gripping a pencil. “My hands became really weak, I had sharp pains, and I just felt like I couldn’t do anything.”
When he first heard about Nura from his oncologist, John wasn’t sure what to think. “I was hesitant. I didn’t want to go.” But ultimately, he did go — and that’s made all the difference.
After an initial evaluation, Nura tried a number of different therapies to help John with his pain. Targeted drug delivery showed the most promise, and after a trial period, John had a pain pump implanted.
“Now they’ve got my pump dialed in almost perfect. I don’t really have pain anymore. It’s been two years, and I feel great. It’s night and day.”
“Every minute matters.”
Rebecca Martin suffers from a variety of ailments, any one of which would be an immense burden to bear.
In addition to an auto-immune disorder — a hereditary condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body itself — Rebecca suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that has caused her hip joint to fuse together.
And when her migraine headaches became continuous, Rebecca was diagnosed with Fahr syndrome — the build-up of abnormal calcium deposits in her brain.
About 10 years ago, she turned to Nura founder Dr. David Schultz for help managing her pain. Ultimately, Rebecca received an implantable pain pump, and that has made all the difference for her.
“I’d been on the train of oral meds, with all of the ups and downs. I’d tried another pain clinic, but Dr. Schultz was different. He’s made an awesome, incredible difference in the quality of my life.
“I have a son and two grandkids, and I can keep up with them. And given my condition, every minute matters. I am also so grateful for the love and support I’ve received from my daughter and my husband of 20 years.”
Rebecca also shared some advice for anyone considering Nura:
“Go for it. You’ll be surprised by your experience. They always treat you with respect, they listen to you, and you help create your own care plan. I would be nothing without them.”
“I’m still standing.”
With bad luck that seems to defy the odds, Diane Christensen had not one, but two major accidents on the job. In 1998, the bus she was driving was rear-ended by another bus, which eventually caused bone rubbing on bone in her lower back. The other accident happened when a work partner closed large automatic folding gym doors on her as she was working.
Prescription opioids and bed rest were the only thing that helped. Over the years, Diane went to “two handfuls of pain clinics” looking for help, but other than telling her to stop taking opioids, Diane got the distinct impression she was on her own.
In 2020, she found Nura, and knew things were different there.
“Some places make you feel like you’re lying to them about your pain. They tried to take me off opioids all at once, and you just can’t handle the pain. But at Nura, they really listen. And they’ve helped me so much I have been just amazed. They even noticed that my shoulders were rolled forward from spending so much time in bed.”
After an initial trial proved beneficial, Diane had a spinal cord stimulator implanted, and “was finally able to stand up for longer than 60 seconds.
“If you have chronic pain, Nura is the place to go. They helped me get out of bed. It’s like that Elton John song says, I’m Still Standing.”
“They listen. They address every concern. They walk the walk.”
When Bob Hermann had spinal fusion after rupturing his back in 1996, his doctor told him he would have “some issues 20 to 25 years down the road” as the vertebrae on either side of the fusion deteriorated.
But Bob wasn’t that lucky.
A few years after his back surgery, he slipped and fell at work, cracking several ribs and causing more back problems. Another surgery — this one to alleviate spinal compression — followed, but over time, the pain grew worse.
Eventually, despite a regimen of prescription medications, the pain was so bad that Bob had trouble getting out of bed, dressing himself, and going down stairs to start his day.
More than once, he wound up in the emergency room needing morphine. “I lost two or three years of my life to that pain,” Bob said.
Then Bob’s ex-wife told him about Nura. And at his first visit, Bob could sense something was different.
“Everyone there, from the receptionist to the doctors, cared about me as a person. I wasn’t just a number. They stood beside me as I went through hell and high water,” fighting for workers comp coverage for his injury.
Nura approached Bob’s pain conservatively, trying different medications, steroid injections, nerve ablations, and a spinal cord stimulator. Relief was intermittent.
Eventually, in the latter part of 2020, Bob trialed a new spinal cord stimulator (Abbott Labs BurstDRTM stimulation therapy). The results were dramatic.
Two weeks after the implant, he brought dinner to his daughter’s family, telling her she “might have her old dad back,” while enjoying renewed attention from his beloved grandchildren.
“I realized one day that this is how normal people feel,” he said. “At work, they noticed I was smiling again.”
“I can never thank everyone at Nura enough for what they did, how grateful I am. They’re fighters, and they never gave up. It meant so much to know I wasn’t alone.
“I owe my life to them.”
In his early twenties, Darrius Hubbard was stricken with a severe, debilitating illness, leaving him in chronic pain — and wondering if he’d ever walk again.
“I felt like I had been alone — until now.”
By any standard, Gwen Pleschourt has had a difficult time of it.
On top of a degenerative disease that was destroying her spinal disks, she suffered a terrible car accident in 2005 that left her with a dislocated hip, concussion, and a traumatic brain injury which contributed to ongoing migraines.
“I’ve had three surgeries where they fused disks in my back. Everyone left me in more pain. I’ve had a neck fusion, too. That caused nerve damage.”
Despite heavy doses of pain medication, Gwen’s life closed in on her.
“I stopped going on vacations in 2009, because I couldn’t sit for more than 45 minutes. Family functions were cut short. I had chronic pain 24 hours a day.” She also had to give up her job inspecting houses because the pain was too great.
Gwen’s life began to change in the fall of 2019 when someone suggested she might benefit from an implantable drug pump.
“I talked to my doctor and he recommended Nura. And as soon as I got there, I knew it was different.
“Sometimes, when a doctor comes into the room, I can almost tell they’ve taken a quick look at my extensive medical chart and have already made their mind up that they can’t help me, before they’ve even met me.
“That was, until I walked through the doors at Nura. At Nura, I met with the whole team and they listened to me. They asked questions and came up with a plan. And Dr. Schultz really went to bat for me. It was the first place that didn’t feel like a dead end. I felt like I had been alone — until now.”
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Gwen had a trial implant (leads from the device are placed, but the device itself is not implanted). Three weeks later, she had her pump implanted.
“I still have some pain, and I still get migraines, but I’ve cut my medication in half, and I don’t have all the side effects. My relationship with my husband — who’s been there for me all along — is so much better. And Christmas with my family didn’t have to end early for the first time in many years.”
As a result of her experience, Gwen Pleschourt is motivated to sharing her experience with others who may be in pain.
“I’m no longer scared; I’m hopeful and excited. And I want to tell anyone who might be in a similar situation: don’t give up hope!”
“You’re part of the family.”
Linda Narine was hit by a semi truck when she was 23, sending her off on a lifetime of painful, debilitating back problems and surgeries.
By 2010, after years of pain, Linda couldn’t even get out of the hospital bed she had moved into her TV room.
At that time, Linda started working with Nura founder Dr. David Schultz. “They helped with my pain regimen, just to try and calm it down. It was way out of control.”
“They told me I would never walk again. But I did.”
In 2018, Linda’s spine, which had never fully healed, was fused from her neck to her sacrum. After trying a variety of treatments, including trigger point injections and a spinal cord stimulator, an implantable pain pump proved the best option, and Linda was soon back on her feet, raising her family.
“I think Dr. Shultz is such a wonderful man, and the Nura staff really cares about you, like you’re part of the family,’ she said.
“At one point, they would come and refill my drug pump even when my insurance didn’t cover home infusion. He is truly an angel here on earth.”
“I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be.”
In 2014, a truck pulling a boat drove onto the highway directly in front of Charity Stillman, putting her in the hospital with a fractured spine.
Two spinal-fusion surgeries left Charity in chronic pain due to nerve damage at the fracture site. “I tried a number of different pain clinics, but all I got was oral opioids. I didn’t like them. I was in a wheelchair, a single mom with two kids, and I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be.”
According to Charity, Nura’s approach is different from other clinics. “They work on the person as a whole. The staff knows your name, and that’s a really nice feeling. They do physical therapy, pool therapy, counseling, and they even do the surgeries there. They take a very personal approach.”
Two years ago, after trialing a spinal cord stimulator, an implantable pain pump changed Charity’s life.
“I was disabled for so long, but life is totally different now. I am active with my kids, and I’m the Personal Care Assistant for my Dad. I’m not in pain anymore. No more pills, with their highs and lows. Nura gave me my life back.”
“The pain pump changed my life. Dr. Schultz worked miracles.”
On New Year’s Eve of 2006, Kim Rau sneezed. Which is not unusual, except in this case: as she sneezed, Kim blew out her L5-S1 vertebrae.
“I was at the sink and I froze. I couldn’t move because of the pain,” she recalled. Spinal surgery to fuse the vertebrae followed, but the fusion didn’t help.
It turned out the hardware the surgeon used was too short. So Kim underwent more surgery to remove the hardware, but her back never healed properly. A bad fall in 2008 led to more surgery, and seemingly endless pain for Kim.
“I lived in pain for years and years. Finally, I asked a nurse who she would recommend, and she told me about Dr. Schultz.”
Ultimately, Kim had a pain pump implanted by Dr. Schultz.
“And that changed my life. Dr. Schultz worked miracles. At first I didn’t believe it, but now I can do so much more than I used to.
“At Nura, they really listen to you,” she continued. “They understand you, and I really like that they come out and refill my pain pump. The in-home service is great for people who can’t get out.”
“I would recommend Nura to anyone. I still have days where my arthritis acts up, but after being in so much pain, the feeling of being able to do what you want to do is just great.”
“It’s comforting to know I have someone who is there for me when I need help.”
Diane Wieland has battled severe migraine headaches for half a century. There were many trips to the Emergency Room where she was given Fentanyl for the horrible pain when she experienced a flare up that lasted 5 days. She suffers from cervical and lumbar stenosis, the cause of the migraines.
During the winter months, in desperation, Diane turned to a pain clinic in another state, and their solution was to load her up with opioids, which she did not take. Instead she went to the Emergency Room.
Back in Minnesota, Diane’s neurologist recommended she see Nura’s, Dr. David Schultz, practicing at what was then known as MAPS.
“Dr. Schultz understood what I was going through, and scheduled me immediately for a cervical epidural as well as physical therapy.
The results were dramatic….I was pain free.”
“Dr. Schultz took away the debilitating pain, and knowing I am his patient, he will always be there for me when I need him. What a blessing!”