“In 2006 I was blown up whilst serving with the Army in Iraq. My legs and hips were severely injured. Despite years stuck in a wheelchair I can walk with crutches now but take an absolutely ridiculous amount of pain medication, with the main one being 80 times more potent than morphine going continually into my body, and a mass of pills at stupid strengths. Even still, I live every day in excruciating pain and everything I do makes it worse. I have tried everything for just a few seconds of relief but have had no luck. I also weight lift but between that and my crutches, my back and hands can really suffer as they can’t rest. I would do anything for just a little relief.
I am part of a dragon boat racing team which is made up of all injured serving or ex servicemen and women. We race against the able bodied teams in the national league and are aiming for the Invictus Games next year as well as international competition. It is a very very physically demanding sport that uses your whole body when paddling, unlike how you would row in a much more static position. The problem for us as a team is recovery. It takes a lot longer for us to recover and we can really really suffer after training and racing (although that would never stop us). Most of us suffer from PTSD and the mental effects of living with chronic pain, a large number of us also have physical injuries of varying extents and types.
I started using the EMPpad iMRS in September 2016, first thing in the morning and again before bed at night. Within the first few weeks I noticed my pain levels starting to reduce and become easier to manage. As a result of this I was even able to go horse riding for the first time since my injury! In addition to this I also noticed improvement in my sleep, which is something that has been disrupted for a long time.
Last month the EMPpad helped me to achieve something I have wanted to do for 9 years and that is march with my regiment in the Cenotaph parade on Remembrance Sunday. This year I did it, which included 3 hours standing on parade before even starting the 2-3km marching where I had to keep in time, step and stride with everyone else. I have attached a photo of me after the parade – wobbly but incredibly happy.
I love it, and once again will take the opportunity to thank you for the EMPpad trial”.
Natasza Telfer, UK