For 34-year-old Stephanie Marsh, the pain she was enduring on a daily basis had become unbearable.
"It started in my lower back when I had some nerve issues," she says. "I could hardly bend over or bend back."
A year ago when her pain problems first arose, Stephanie considered the possibility of finding a pain management physician to see if she could find any relief. After asking friends and people she trusted about the subject, she decided to ask for an appointment with Andrew White, MD, a pain management specialist at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.
"Dr. White told me about the possible treatment options, and one of those is a shot that goes into my back in the affected nerve area," Stephanie says. "He told me during the first treatment that it may last a week, it may last a month. Instead it has lasted an entire year."
This summer, Stephanie felt a discomfort in her leg when she walked. Her nerve issues were at a point where it was taking a toll on her job, and her overall quality of life.
"I can't sit for very long at all," she says. "I have to stand up and walk away from my desk which is the hub of what I do, just to relieve the pain. I affects my job and it also affects any time I go on a trip. I need to get out of the car and make more stops because of the pain."
With her initial visit with Dr. White being such a success, Stephanie did not hesitate to turn to his expertise again.
"I knew Dr. White was the doctor I needed to contact to look and see what would be the best procedure for me, and the shot is the best procedure for me," she says.
Dr. White performs treatments like these in the Via Christi Heart Center because of the advanced X-ray capabilities in the heart cath lab. A nurse leads Stephanie from the waiting area into the cath lab, and she lays down on the bed on her stomach.
The procedure will only take a matter of minutes, as Dr. White and a Heart Center nurse prepare the medication that will ease Stephanie's pain. The 5-minute procedure means Stephanie can get back to her normal life without pain interfering.
Dr. White is constantly talking with Stephanie, explaining everything that he is doing. Stephanie says the continuing communication makes it much more comfortable for her, and at times she even smiles and laughs as the two speak.
As Dr. White completes the procedure, he tells Stephanie that he will be out to visit with her and make sure he answers any questions or concerns. Stephanie is able to walk out of the cath lab by herself, and rests comfortably in a recliner while talking about her experience.
"I can feel the medicine going into my legs, that's about it," she says. "As far as where I am with paint, I don't feel any pain at this point."
Stephanie's face shows not only relief from the pain, but also joy. She's already thinking about what this means for her going forward.
"It makes me feel great," she says. "I'll be able to go do my job correctly and travel without rest stops. I definitely happy with the results."