Iraq vet trying to maintain

Jeremy Goodman returns from medical center in Florida
Staff Writer
The pain strikes Jeremy Goodman often, rippling down his spine to damaged nerve endings. Anguish creases his face every time it hits.
But it could be worse, and would have been had the Washington native and U.S. Army veteran not spent the past four months in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida. In VA terms, Goodman is a “wounded warrior.” And the Wounded Warriors program at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa is there for him and others who have sacrificed for their country.
It’s been almost 3 1/2 years since Goodman sacrificed a portion of his life.
On Sept. 15, 2005, the Washington native was struck by a roadside bomb while stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Army 57th Calvary Division. Shrapnel from the explosion pierced his spine. Since then, he has undergone 45 to 50 operations/procedures to his spinal cord, but the pain persists.
“Nerve pain is one of the worst pains you can have. I’m in pain all the time,” Goodman said Tuesday as he slouched in a recliner at his father Willis’ Washington house.
But the pain has subsided about 30 to 40 percent, since doctors implanted a spinal cord stimulator into him on Dec. 1, Goodman said. The procedure was performed by Dr. Kristen Fisher while Goodman was in the Wounded Warriors facility.
He checked into the center on Sept. 17, 2008, as part of the WWP. The program is designed to help wounded soldiers manage their pain through physical therapy and other remedies. Goodman said the physical therapy proved ineffective, but the pain management helped.
A WWP case manager and another therapist with the medical center checked on him everyday between surgeries, procedures, pain management sessions and physical therapy.