Veterans helping veterans at Gritman Interventional Pain Clinic
It did not take long for Kendrick resident Dareld Hazeltine to form a connection with Deb Mauro-Bender, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in Gritman Medical Center’s Interventional Pain Clinic.
It is something that tends to happen when you put a pair of military veterans in the same location, even when it is a medical examination room.
Dareld is a veteran of the Army, having been awarded a Purple Heart for his valor in Vietnam; Mauro-Bender was in the Air Force for 10 years before joining the Army for 12 years and retiring in 2014 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In any other setting, the two could have chatted for hours, but Dareld came to Gritman’s Interventional Pain Clinic hoping for even the faintest amount of relief from the excruciating pain he was experiencing in his back and leg. The clinic focuses on non-opioid and non-surgical treatments for pain relief.
Dareld, 72, is no stranger to pain. He’s gone through three knee surgeries and dealt with various levels of back ailments throughout most of his life – but this was getting to be too much.
“I worked in a grain elevator for 30-something years,” Dareld said, “and my lower back just gave me a lot of fits. I’ve gone to chiropractors and did this and that …”
But “this and that” was no longer cutting it.
“I had to do something.”
That something was visiting the Interventional Pain Clinic. Following a thorough examination and listening to his concerns, Mauro-Bender recommended Dareld receive a series of three injections to help relieve his pain.
Patients typically receive the injections one month apart. The injection takes 10 minutes or less, and since the area is numbed, patients experience only a slight discomfort. Pain relief is often immediate, and it may improve even more during the week after injections.
While he is still using a cane for support, the injections have changed Dareld’s life.
“It is getting better – at least I am able to walk around again,” Dareld said. “I am able to do things and stand on my feet again. Before, I was almost ready to use a wheelchair.”
Dareld recommends the Interventional Pain Clinic to anyone dealing with pain.
“Going through the pain clinic,” he said, “they are going to help you get through this.”