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Making Pain a Distant Memory  

Sometimes taking the first step on a weight loss journey can be the most difficult.  For Sam Troutman, the support he found at North Fulton Hospital was the motivation he needed for that first step and all the ones that followed.  Since November 2013, Sam has lost more than 100 pounds, and after searching 22 years for pain relief, he has found remarkable results.

“I had been asking my doctors for help with pain from Guillain Barre Syndrome for years,” said Sam “and had been told that I should go to a pain management clinic for help.  I didn’t understand what a pain clinic would do, and I thought they wouldn’t be able to help me.”

One day, Sam walked by the North Fulton Hospital Pain and Spine Center and noticed their signs.  Shortly after that, he called and scheduled a visit with Dr. Wada.  Sam was immediately impressed with Dr. Wada’s positive attitude, and he was encouraged by Dr. Wada’s announcement that ketamine injections were his preferred method of treatment for Sam’s symptoms.  But there was a catch.  Sam would have to lose weight.

“I have been big all my life,” said Sam. “It’s easy to take it when people call you big-boned, plus-sized, or even overweight.  But hearing Dr. Wada tell me that I was obese was a life altering moment.  I decided right then and there that it was time to do something about it, and I knew that with Dr. Wada’s support anything would be possible.”

Dr. Wada enlisted the assistance of North Fulton Hospital’s Registered Dietician, Dorothea Norris, to help Sam plan his menus and manage his calories.  On November 1, he began counting calories every day.  After he adjusted to his new diet plan, and with the support of Dorothea, he further reduced his intake and he began walking a minimum of 10 miles or more each week.  By early April, Sam’s weight dropped from 338 pounds to 238 pounds! 

“I feel absolutely fantastic,” Sam said.  “I can get up off the couch without trouble, I can do things around the house now, and just like my father-in-law said, my arms have grown so much that I can pick up five times the number of things than I used to.”

For Sam, the support and honesty of one physician tipped the scale, and with the help of a dietician and his other physicians, the change is life altering.

“I cannot say enough about how much it meant to me to have Dr. Wada’s support and Dorothea’s guidance,” said Sam.  “My word is my bond, and once I’d committed to them that I was going to lose the weight, there was no going back.  Knowing that they were all cheering me on made it so much easier!

Because every patient is different, each case must be individually evaluated and results may vary.  If you would like to learn more about services offered at the North Fulton Hospital Pain and Spine Center, call 770-751-2719 or visit www.northfultonpainandspine.com.


“There is no finer bunch of people in a hospital than the nurses and doctors at North Fulton Hospital’s Pain and Spine Center.  They have given me my life back!  I was disabled, walking with a cane, and barely able to breathe because I was in constant pain.  The spinal stimulator that they recommended is awesome!  In the few months I have had it, I’ve been able to live a normal comfortable life, even traveling with my family to the beach.  20 years ago, bowling was my favorite thing to do, and I can’t wait for the day I am cleared to bowl again.  I am so happy I chose the Pain and Spine Clinic!”

James Thompson

"I have been a patient of North Fulton Hospital’s Pain and Spine Center for 14 years.  I found them after other centers in Atlanta were unable to help me, and they have been great!  The doctors keep up with all the new medications and techniques and are willing to try new things.  I just tried using Ketamine at their suggestion, and I haven’t needed any of the other pain medications since the second day after the treatment!  Sometimes trying something new is all it takes."

Kevin Hopper


"My wife and I were referred to North Fulton Hospital’s Pain and Spine Center 10 years ago.  We especially appreciate the skills and very pleasant demeanor of Doctor Wada and his staff, especially Kathy. Dr. Wada was able to diagnose and greatly improve the very painful post-operative condition of Brenda’s knee after many had mis-diagnosed and told us to live with it. The center has also treated Brenda for back, hip, foot and thigh pain. A neuro-stimulator inserted surgically helped tremendously in these areas. We are grateful to all at the center who have given us their support. We have both been treated successfully at the center and recommend it highly."

Jim Gisclair

When Rita Swaye began to experience lower back pain in 2005, she explored a variety of treatment options to manage the pain. “I tried everything from injections to radiofrequency lesioning, but nothing helped,” says Rita. “The pain I was experiencing was tremendous and kept me from enjoying life.” Finally, she decided to undergo surgery at North Fulton Hospital in 2008. From her first consultation to discharge, Rita was very pleased with her experience.“ Everyone I met was so helpful and caring, especially the surgeons,” says Rita. “I was impressed by the private recovery rooms and how spotless everything was. The staff and environment immediately made me feel more at ease—it was like I was at home.

Rita Swaye  



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