Hello, My Name is Erin Rollins and I am a Paraplegic

As moderator of Medmassager’s social media pages, I thought I would introduce myself and share my story.

My name is Erin Rollins. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Health and Science Journalism. I love learning about health and nutrition, and healing my body from the inside out. I do believe “we are what we eat” and that Hippocrates was right on when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”  

While in grad school, I started working as a sales associate for MedMassager. I fell in LOVE with their machines, and at around the same time I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout. I struggled with extreme fatigue, and late in 2012, felt like I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Not to mention, I started waking up in the middle of the night and would toss and turn for hours, unable to get comfortable. I felt so restless. Early one morning, I woke up and was unable to fall back asleep. I decided to follow the advice I had given so many people to whom I had sold massagers to, and put my feel on the foot massager. Within 15 minutes of using the massager, my body had calmed down so much, I was able to sleep through the night without further tossing and turning. At that time, when I was at my sickest, MedMassager was a life-saver. Then one Saturday evening in November 2014, I was driving home from a late movie when my life changed forever. I was struck head-on by a wrong-way drunk driver. I was immediatedly paralyzed from the waist down with other life-threatening injuries. The doctors told my family and friends they were not sure if I would ever walk again, though they were hopeful, because  “I was young. active, and healthy.”

It has now been four years since that fateful night and my surgeons refer to me as the “miracle patient.” I have made a miraculous recovery, though I still struggle with the effects of paralysis. Although my original diagnosis of paraplegia hasn’t changed- I am now considered a high-functioning paraplegic- I can walk without any assistive devices, except for foot orthotics. As a result of the crash, I live with daily nerve pain including numbness, stabbing, shooting and tingling sensations. I also have neuropathy as a result of the severe damage to my spinal nerves. On a nightly basis, however, the tingling is the most troublesome. It feels like a million needles stabbing me or tiny ants crawling all over my feet at different intensities. I keep the MedMassager on my bed and use it EVERY night, without fail, otherwise I am unable to sleep well because the tingling takes over. Before I discovered that I could use either massager while I slept, I would pace for hours, praying the tingling would stop so that I could sleep. I felt like a zombie the first week the tingling started. Not even medication could take the tingling fully away.

People constantly ask me how I have had such a miraculous recovery despite the devastation to my spine. My spinal surgeon told me that my injury is in the top .01 percentile of unique injuries, and he refers to my injury as horrific. MedMassager has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with my recovery. One of the main issues with spinal cord injury patients is the loss of circulation below the point of injury, and various types of nerve pain: tingling, burning, shooting and stabbing pain, to name a few. I have literally experienced all of the aforementioned types of pain.

As a previous sales rep for MedMassager turned die-hard believer in their products, I constantly remind people that using the massager for 20 minutes is equivalent to walking four miles circulation-wise- no you do not burn calories. I leave the massager on all night, sometimes up to 8-9 hours. That means that I am waking up the next day as if I had walked 96-108 miles circulation-wise. WHOA! I used to tell people all of the time that physical therapists use ultra-sounds on patients because circulation helps ligaments and tendons heal since these parts of the body don’t get proper circulation. That’s exactly how a MedMassager works. This is also the reason we sell our massagers to physical therapists, chiropractors and doctors around the world. Damaged nerves also don’t get proper circulation and were most likely deprived of oxygenated blood at the onset of injury for hours to days- depending on severity of injury and subsequent intervention. I was told I had one of the worst spinal injuries there is. I suffered two burst fractures at L5 and S4, and as a result my spinal canal was filled with shards of bone, causing severe compression of the cauda equina nerves (the pony-tail of nerves that extends out of the tip of the spinal cord). Due to other life-saving surgeries taking precedence over operating on my spine and me not being stable enough for yet another surgery, my nerves were compressed for over 72 hours!

While there is no cure for paraplegia, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to empower myself. I have chosen the latter and I believe this is what has helped me achieve the level of recovery I have experienced to date, and I trust I will continue to wow myself and the doctors.
For more of my story, please follow me on ChicagoNow at God Sends Me Hearts: http://goo.gl/t3Yqac
YouTube: @Erin Rollins
Facebook and Instagram: @Peeingisoverrated (for Documentary) and @GodSendsMeHearts (Personal page and blog connected to Chicago Now)