Health & Wellness

Boomer Edition | 11th Annual - 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 83

rebuilding Lives renewing Hope specialists Help Patients ease debilitating Pain Without dangerous drugs For Barry Dermer, it's not hard to understand why a record number of baby boomers are dying from accidental narcotic overdoses today. After chronic pain from a spinal fusion, which plagued the Aurora resident for more than a decade, grew fierce, he saw no other option than to accept the narcotics his doctor gave him. It helped at first. But then things spiraled out of control. "The more you take, the more you need," says Dermer, 73, whose pain grew until he was barely able to walk and unable to do the things he loved, such as going to his six grandkids' soccer games and other events. "You become so insane with this constant pain that you'll consider anything to get rid of it." His wife and own children became concerned, saying things like: "You look glassy- eyed" or "You shouldn't be driving." But Dermer assumed he had no other choice. And then he fell. After an infection, which invaded through a cut from the fall, nearly killed him, Dermer was sent to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital to recover. There, he was put on a comprehensive pain- management plan. Today, he's exercising regularly, has lost 40 pounds, and hasn't had a narcotic since he was admitted to the hospital in a nearly-immobile state two years ago. It's a path pain specialists are urging more patients to take — preferably before the fall. by debra Melani Meriam and Barry Dermer, at their home in Aurora, shared their story of overcoming his narcotic drug reliance to help the many other baby boomers in similar positions today. 46 • Medical Profile

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Health & Wellness - Boomer Edition | 11th Annual - 2015