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Diane DiGiuseppe

Randolph, NJ
  • Elbow Injury/Condition
  • Diane DiGiuseppe in the photo 1

When I first found Dr. Shubin Stein and Dr. Gungor, I was considering disability retirement at 44 years old. The pain from CRPS after two shoulder surgeries (rotator cuff, performed in NJ, not at HSS), as well as the pain from a continuing tear in my rotator cuff, was preventing me from having a healthy life. I had received treatment from pain management doctors in NJ and got no relief. I had Calmare treatments twice, acupuncture, water therapy, chiropractic, PT/OT, Stellate Ganglion nerve blocks, had tried nerve pain drugs like Neurontin and Lyrica as well as Cymbalta and other SNRIs and opiates such as hydrocodone and buprenorphine. The doctor at that time told me all he could do was increase the dose of my opioids - I wouldn't have been able to work, and that would have pushed me into retirement for sure, on which I couldn't afford to live. Dr. Shubin Stein and Dr. Gungor worked together to find a treatment plan. Within a year, I had a spinal cord stimulator, was on medications for breakthrough pain. Dr. Gungor tried paravertebral blocks, which were of no real help, but then he performed an Interscalene brachial plexus block which combined with the addition of a new medication (Keppra) seemed to be the right combination. I am now taking 1/3 of the nerve meds and have cut my fentanyl by 50% and will cut it another 50% next month with the goal of being drug-free by the summer. I have my life back, at the worst of it, I could do nothing after work but collapse after dealing with the pain all day, the fatigue of the medication and the depression associated with chronic pain. I gained 60 pounds and was a mess. Dr. Gungor suggested a few months ago that we try to back down my medications because I hadn't had a flare-up in a long time. I checked my pain record app and realized I had not posted about pain since January 2018. So far, so good, I am not having any significant pain, lost 60 pounds, am no longer depressed, sleep better, and look forward to retirement at the appropriate age. Thank you, Dr. Gungor, Dr. Shubin Stein and the staff at HSS - YOU ARE ALL MIRACLE WORKERS!