We all endure pain in different ways. While some may have a strong threshold, what if you had to live with pain every day with no relief?
Paula Jo Oster-Gallagher of Fargo has lived through that every day for the past 18 years. Some days she couldn't even get up to work. She suffers from arthritis and fibromyalgia. It's a disorder characterized by pain in the muscles that flared up after Paula Jo got in a car crash.
"Pain level, on a scale from 1-10, I was, everyday, at a six," she says. "It was horrible. I would just be bawling. My husband couldn't even give me a hug it hurt so bad."
For nearly two decades, Paula Jo's only solution was narcotics and sedating drugs -- until she was introduced to Sanford Health's Pain Management Clinic. Staff approach patients of chronic pain with a program that includes physical exercise, medication, and trigger-point injections. These shots are local anesthetics that target pain pressure points in the body.
"You'd think they wear off right away, but when it's in the muscles, it disperses through the muscle groups and can last anywhere from 3-6 weeks -- sometimes even longer," says Terry Breidenbach, a nurse practitioner at the clinic.
"When she told me, that's possible. I was like, "Are you kidding me? Are you absolutely kidding?" says Oster-Gallagher. Pain control was her biggest goal, all while gaining strength back in her shoulders.
Paula Jo says can't wait to play with her grandchildren this summer with lots of days in the sun and plenty of hugs.
"You can get your life back. You can feel good about yourself," she says.
Paula Jo says she's been off the trigger-point injections for a while now. She and her husband plan to move to Las Vegas this summer to be closer to her grandchildren.