How is Dr. Zeltzerís clinic different from your other experiences going to doctors for your pain?
Ann (22, Female)
I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS when I was 12 after fracturing my ankle. I saw 18 different specialists, all of which tried different techniques that only provided temporary solutions, if any at all. I had nerve blocks, high dosages of drugs and several tests that made me feel more like a lab rat than a teenage girl. I had to use an electric scooter or wheelchair to get around, because it was too painful to walk. Doctors said I was imagining the pain, and even those who believed me didn’t know how to help.
When my parents and I first met Dr. Zeltzer, we were so encouraged that she wanted to help and more importantly, that she knew how to. Over my time with the UCLA team, I saw several members of the team for different therapies and learned different techniques from all of them on how to realistically deal with RSD. Their combined treatment programme helped me manage the pain and get my leg strong enough to walk again, but the best thing that Dr. Zeltzer and her team gave me were the tools to be able to deal with my RSD without constantly seeing doctors to help with the pain.
I still do my physical therapy and hypnotherapy regularly, but my pain is very manageable now. I now live in London, where I teach and study Shakespeare. I have a very full life and RSD only plays a minor role in it, mostly thanks to the UCLA team and the techniques they taught me.
Stacy (25, female)
Before I came here I was at the end of my rope and at a loss for what to do and how to get better. I had tried everything you can think of… mud, herbs, acupuncture, magnets. They gave me side effects and parasites and bacterial infections. Every doctor said, “I can’t help you.” It was devastating.
I went to my friend’s gastroendocrinologist who could help me, but recommended I come here. I hooked up with Dr. Z and went from having no life to an amazing life that I love. I was sleeping all day and night and couldn’t function. I was too exhausted to have a conversation. I didn’t go to college and lost six years of my life.
With the tools, medicines, and exercises, and trial and error, I have come full circle. I am now holding down three different jobs. They worked with me and were very understanding. When I had feelings that I didn’t like something we were doing, Dr. Zeltzer listened. She was open to working with me to find the whole package to make me whole. My bad days are nothing compared to my bad days before, which used to keep me in bed in the dark lying there in agony. The combination of medicines and learning to relax the muscles is what’s made the difference. The other doctors have a plan you have to fit into. They say you need a psychiatrist because you don’t fit into their plan. Dr. Zeltzer’s plan is an evolving plan which you change to fit your needs.
Sam (20, male)
At other clinics they are more toward using medications. Here there are also alternate treatments like physical therapy. I was at another clinic and they wanted to do Botox. Here there was a long list of treatments that are not drugs and are more natural. The alternative treatments have helped more than the drugs with working with the pain and working through the pain instead of sitting and waiting for the medication to make it go away.
Taylor (17, female)
I didn’t know if the clinic was going to help me because I knew pain therapy was with the mind and body, but I didn’t know how they went together. When we got in there and Dr. Zeltzer asked me the questions, I kind of had heard some of the information before, but I understood more about it so it helped me understand what was going on with me and that I wasn’t going crazy.
Hearing that other people had the same thing made me feel not so alone. I don’t have to deal with it by myself anymore. I know that other people know how I feel.
Matthew (13, male)
The pain clinic was good because I went to a whole bunch of other doctors, but the pain clinic got it right on the first try. The team approach introduced me to other doctors and therapists... some were great and some didn’t work out, which was okay. They’re awesome here... they’re really nice. Here they knew exactly what it was and it’s already better. It is comforting to know they’ve seen it before and they are confident they can treat it. They always respond right away if I have a problem, even if it’s on a Saturday.
Andrea (15, female)
It’s a lot different than other doctors because they put it on a personal level and see what’s wrong and figure out ways to fix it. They have a goal to make it happen. Other doctors would test for something, and if the test came back negative, they would just send me to another doctor. I started with an orthopedic doctor who couldn’t figure out what was causing the pain and then I went to a neurologist who couldn’t figure out where my pain came from. The other doctors’ goal was to stay in their plan. Here the goal is to get to my personal plan and health – not theirs.
Morgan (17, female)
Everyone was very nice and friendly. For one and a half years, I went to one doctor after another who didn’t know what to do and just kept sending me to another doctor. Here I learned a lot that I had no idea was wrong with me. I can’t wait to come back and try my new medicines and everything. Instead of a million tests, the exam was different and there were different options to do, other than just medicine or taking another test.
Marissa (16, female)
They actually did something. They told me my pain was real and not just psychological. The other doctors told me what I didn’t have and how they couldn’t help me. Here it was about me and what they thought was going on with me.