Pain is a b***h. We all know how awful chronic pain can be in and out of the hospital. Patients want you to make it go away by any means necessary. That was true for Gentry Cruze, BSN, RN of Dallas, TX. His 61-year-old patient suffered from chronic back pain for most of their life until Cruze found a solution that didn’t involve opioids. Thanks to his resourcefulness, Cruze has just received the DAISY Award for his unending service to his patients.
The Problem with Chronic Pain
One of Cruze’s patients at Pentec Health can’t stop singing his praises. They were blown away by his commitment to their safety and comfort. The patient says they had been taking powerful prescription medications for around 17 years until Cruze came along, including everything from hydrocodone to Dilaudid, Oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine sulfate. These drugs often come with dangerous side effects that can lead to addiction. They can also lower the patient’s overall quality of life in various ways.
After trying and failing to get rid of their pain for years, the patient says they tried using an intrathecal pain pump as a last resort. They already had a numeral stimulator implanted on their right side, but the pump promised to release pain medication in targeted areas over long periods of time to reduce the risk of addiction and overdose.
“After all that I’ve dealt with, I’m very pleased to tell you that your employee Gentry Cruze in the North Dallas area has fanned the flames of my hope that had been quite low for a long time,” the patient wrote online.
The Ultimate Act of Bravery
A brutal winter storm set in over the Fort Worth-Dallas area back in February, catching the southern state off guard. Freezing temperatures, sleet, and ice brought the city to a standstill. The devastation killed 57 people, and included a 133-vehicle pile-up that left nine people dead.
Even with the new pump, the patient’s chronic pain started to flare up again.
“With everything that was working against me, I must admit that I was feeling depressed that this pain was never going to go away,” the patient added.
The pump wasn’t doing them much good, despite being re-adjusted twice since it was first installed. Luckily, however, Gentry Cruze was around to save the day.
He called the patient’s doctor on their behalf to get instructions on how to adjust the pump. During 5:30 PM rush hour traffic, Cruze risked his life to drive over 30 miles to the hospital in the horrific weather just so he could adjust the patient’s pain pump in person. He managed to relieve their pain during one of the worst storms on record. Now, that’s going the extra “two miles” for a patient.
As a member of the worldwide DAISY community, Cruze is now eligible for the Chamberlain’s DAISY Honoree Scholarship and the Cherokee Nursing Conference Scholarship Program for continuing education. We’re so proud of Gentry. Congratulations on being the best nurse you can be!