My Story through Pain

A long Journey Through Chronic Pain

I was Injured in 1997 and live was NEVER the same.

Hello, My name is William Rock and have been Living Through the Pain since 1997 when I was first injured as a ski instructor going to school for fire technology and working as a wildland firefighter and training to become a paramedic. 

I was injured saving a child as a ski instructor from hitting trees and in the process blew out both of my knees and have had 2 surgeries on my right knee and suffered from pain ever since. I moved out to Kansas City from California back in 2005 for work and was diagnosed at KU Medical Center with RSD / CRPS and starting in 2008 I had my first install of a Medtronic Spinal Cord Stimulator and since had 3 other installs however it never seemed to work but still I had it installed and but still keep it charged and maybe one day use it again.

I have had just about every medication they could give me all the way up to Ketamine as well fentanyl patches and more. Back in 2012, the chronic pain had overwhelmed me and I decided that I could no longer work a full-time job due to the amount of pain and medication I was taking.

I was able to pickup work through a local marketing agency for Search Engine Optimization and was able to work on my computer at home and was not able to walk more than 1,000 steps per day without being in crazy pain.

The only way I could explain my pain to others was: imagine you hit your finger with a hammer and consider that pain through your entire body 24/7  that is the amount of #PAIN I have lived through for over 20 years.

I was a chronic faller as my knees would give out at any given moment making it difficult to do stairs and or just walk through the office without fear of falling. Normally, I would fall in open areas so it was less likely, I would hit my head on objects however I had plenty of close calls. I have had some bad falls from me landing on my shoulders against a doorway or even landing on the corner of a dresser or table.

I walked with a cane everywhere I went and still had times where I fell and one day my doctor gave me a walker and said to walk to the door and back so I did then started to write up a prescription for a walker. At that point my life changed, I had always worried that I would go with the cane, to the walker and then to a wheelchair and from that point on decided I am going to fight a lot harder and see if I can somehow get healthy but did not know exactly what I was going to do in order to achieve that goal.

I ended up working with a chiropractor and was super afraid especially since it was hard for any doctor to touch me let alone my wife sometimes could not even touch my skin without putting me into a pain attack. Dr Woodle from Advanced Sports & Family Chiropractic and Acupuncture he introduced me to light adjustments with a special tool called an activator as well used a treatment called Cold Laser Therapy and started with the most painful spots a few times per week and then we started using cold laser on my entire nervous system starting from my neck and down my spine to my arms and then down to my feed.  

After a few months, I was able to start feeling a little better and challenged myself to walk every day outside on the sidewalk and would not allow anyone with me as I was in so much pain with tears falling from my eyes and just pushed through the pain.

Around 2014 I was doing a lot of volunteering for Google online in their help forums and one of my friends suggested I join a program called the Google Top Contributor program and have the opportunity to fly down to the GooglePlex their headquarters down in Mountainview California. It was like a dream but knew my pain would not allow me to attend especially when the next event was September 2015 and this is where my motivation really started to kick in full blast where I was able to push even harder just like I was training for a marathon. 

The great part of the story is that I was able to bring my pain down a lot and walk further and further, and was able to walk down to the street light and decided that I could go further and soon enough I was able to walk down to the store and pick up a sweet tea or Gatorade and then site on the bench for an hour and then walk back. Working from home gave me that opportunity to be able to get most of my work done in the morning and then take a walk around lunchtime and then take a nap and get back to work.

I was able to attend the Google Top Contributor Summit and can’t say my pain was gone because it was very much still there but had learned how to control it with mediation and breathing exercises and knowing when to take a break. I had so much fun and could not wait until next year, and learned about another Google Program that I got involved with called the Google Local Guides program working with Google Maps.

They needed help from local guides to take photos of businesses in their area so I decided to take these photos of stores on my walks and after a while, I had taken each photo in my area and added it to the maps. It was my new challenge especially since I was so focused on taking high-quality photos and not missing a thing. I found myself doing this more each week and started to drive again allowing me to take my daughter to work on the weekends at 7am and then decided I was going to take more photos of businesses in the area that I could not walk to and would park the car and walk around the shopping center taking photos of each business and then going home when everyone started showing up around 10 am and upload those images to Google Maps. The best part was I had received a smartwatch while I was down at the Google event and it was tracking my steps, I found that after a while without realizing it I would walk an extra 2k in steps and after a while it became a game to see if I could make it to 3k in steps and eventually 10k in steps. I ended up taking a total of 4 thousand photos and had mapped over 1,700 companies within a 11-mile radius within 2 years.

Going ahead to today, I have been able to go back to a full time job and work 8 to 5 Monday through Friday at the office and work for an infrared sauna manufacturer that has also allowed me to have a portable infrared sauna at my home as well get to use their large saunas at work every other day during my lunch break.

I have increased my healing with infrared going from using it at the chiropractor with cold laser all the way to getting a much more concentrated amount of infrared throughout my entire body helping me to supercharge my life and allow me to get back to a normal life. 

I still have my pain flare-ups especially in the evenings but blessed to have had such an awesome support system with my family and friends during some very challenging years.