LivingQuell Stories: Nancy Laracy, Part 2
As you might remember, we recently told you about Nancy Laracy, a Quell user who has tried it all when it comes to pain relief solutions. Her story of determination in fighting through pain is hard to ignore, so we decided to catch up with Nancy a little bit more to understand her journey thus far, and what is next for her.
How has chronic pain shifted your life? What are some of the solutions you have tried to treat your pain over the years?
So much of my life became finding ways to cope with chronic, often debilitating pain, while trying to raise two children and have a normal family life. There were very few medications available for chronic pain in the early days of my diagnosis, and though I used some of the medications prescribed to me, I did not see any significant relief in my pain. Common medications today (like Lyrica, Neurontin, and Cymbalta) were barely in clinical trials at that point, so I tried almost every alternative or holistic treatment for pain that I could. Chiropractic, massage therapy, tai chi, acupuncture and even sleeping on a magnetic mattress are what I relied on for relief.
Thankfully now, many years later, Quell has become one of my depended upon tools in my toolbox that I reach for on most days to “quell” some of the pain.
Why did you want to become a pain advocate for others?
Perhaps one of the most difficult things when I was first diagnosed, was the lack of information available about my pain, and the lack of effective treatments (we didn’t even have a computer in our home!). Chronic pain was never thought of as a disease that could be treated, but rather an inconvenient symptom of a larger issue. Now, years later, we realize that chronic pain IS a disease – impacting both the mind and body. There are so many tools and options available for treating pain inundating patients, that it can be just as hard to find solutions that will make an impact as it was when there was no information readily available. I wanted to be an advocate for the things that helped me through my website so that there could be one place that patients could go to find information on many treatments. I also wanted to share my unique story about finding my best avenue to overcome chronic pain, which came in an unlikely form.
Can you tell us more about what helped you the most?
Heartbroken that my doctors recommended that I not have more children, my kids and I ventured out into a blizzard to head to the pet store to get food for our lizard. I was so upset about the pain I was feeling, and my situation, that I impulsively bought a rabbit, completely expecting it to be a fun house pet for the kids, and maybe subconsciously thinking it would be something cute to distract me from how I was feeling.
Little did I know, despite the frigid cold of that day, that this bunny who warmed my heart and melted into my sweater at the pet store, would change my life and my family’s forever. At only nine months old, our house-trained bunny, who we named Bunny-Boy developed an incurable abscess on his jaw and was diagnosed as immunosuppressed, just like me. We were told he would only live a few months, but, also like me, Bunny Boy decided to fight against the hand he was dealt. Bunny Boy would go on to defy the odds of his frail species, and with the help of the love our family gave him, he survived those few months. He became my third baby in every way, enduring surgeries and procedures most normal rabbits would have succumbed to due to their weak hearts. Bunny Boy pioneered a medical treatment at the world famous Animal Medical Center in NY, which, oddly enough would be the very treatment I underwent years later. He and I became partners in chronic pain, becoming the strength for each other to keep fighting. I used the same “never quit” attitude for his medical care that I used for my own medical journey. Our story has become world famous.
We were both on the receiving end of animal assisted therapy, a new emerging, popular treatment for chronic pain. Bunny Boy taught me not to feel so broken when he hopped around with bandages on his legs or jaw, as if nothing was wrong, but he also helped me to feel that it was okay to not be able to do everything all at once. (And not for nothing – having to feed him and chase him around the house like the Nascar driver he thought he was, was just what the doctor ordered for my pain as it kept me moving!!)
What’s next for you?
Bunny Boy died of nothing more than old age, earning himself a role in veterinary journals. After his death, I with great forethought bought another rabbit – A Jersey Woolie named Muffin. Muffin became the first certified therapy bunny on the east coast for Bunnies in Baskets. Muffin and I worked with the traumatized children of Sandy Hook, in Newtown, CT for the last six years, the sick children of Cancer Care and Camp Dreamstreet and the Butterflies Hospice program for Valley Hospital. Our unique bunny love and warmth is some of the best medicine for chronic pain and any chronic disease. You never know what might be around the next corner for you in life!
To read more about Nancy’s story, her story can be read in full in her recently released book: Bunny Boy And Me, My Triumph Over chronic Pain With The Help of The World’s Unluckiest, Luckiest Rabbit, available at Amazon, most book stores and at this link.
Disclaimer: Unpaid testimonial based on experience with Quell classic device. In a published study, 4 out of 5 people who tried Quell reported improvement in chronic pain. Results may vary.
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