In this health video you will learn how a simple combination of gel and morphine provides relief to patients with painful chronic wounds.
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Jennifer Matthews: With her faith behind her, Shirley Williams has learned to appreciate everyday. Shirley Williams: It had to bring me out of a coma and back into life. Jennifer Matthews: Today, she is turning her experiences into a story, experiences she struggles to talk about. Shirley Williams: I found myself in bed and people waiting on me. Jennifer Matthews: Shirley developed a kidney failure, it brought on agonizing, chronic wounds. Shirley Williams: As you sit in one position and don't move, if you don't move, the pain will eventually ease up. Jennifer Matthews: She tried oral medications and creams, but it was a gel that finally brought relief. Dr. Teresa Long: It's sort of startling in its simplicity. Jennifer Matthews: Simple and that it's just morphine mixed with a gel. Dr. Teresa Long: The idea was, having looked at other research, that when wounds are inflamed and painful, that the body produces receptors for morphine and morphine-like compounds. Jennifer Matthews: In other words, chronic wounds essentially create arms to grab onto morphine. This means the need for less medication, better relief and fewer side effects. Dr. Teresa Long: Pain was decreased from a level of seven down to zero to two or three in most of the patients that we saw. Jennifer Matthews: For Shirley, it meant being able to do even little things. Shirley Williams: It's a blessing just to get up and walk into my kitchen. Jennifer Matthews: It looks like Shirley's not the only one who is excited about the improvement. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.