To go from someone who’s job it was to care for people in a professional capacity, to being incapacitated herself Karoline discovered that the impact of chronic pain can also detach you from relationships, family and friends. With support and focus she has been able to rebuild her life, slowly and is now back in her own skin, her life intact. How did she cope?
Patient Ambassador – Germany
For several years, Karoline worked as a geriatric nurse. She enjoyed providing care for suffering patients and felt she’d found her calling in life. Through the years, though, she experienced nagging fatigue and muscle aches that she attributed to her demanding job. Then, after an accident at work, Karoline experienced intolerable pain that, ironically, forced her to become a patient herself. Even after surgery, various medications, and physical therapy, the shooting pain that radiated down her back and into her legs became chronic.
Unable to work by age 43, Karoline had to resign. Feeling alone and despondent, she sometimes felt like giving up – a situation made even worse by the intolerable side effects from her medications. But Karoline reached a turning point when her granddaughter said she wanted her grandmother back. After consulting with several doctors, she found a compassionate and well-informed specialist. They partnered to manage her chronic pain, and he prescribed a medication that keeps her pain at an acceptable level with almost no side effects. Now Karoline is enjoying her life again, especially spending time with her beloved grandchildren and husband.
As a Patient Ambassador, Karoline encourages others living with chronic pain to work actively with their healthcare teams to find a treatment plan that works for them.