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Lamar Rainey

Despite years of serious health conditions, man focuses on passion for motorcycles

Lamar Rainey has a passion for motorcycles and Volkswagens. Despite living with multiple chronic medical conditions, he has found a way to pursue his hobbies – he uses a chair as he works because he cannot stand for long periods of time. The key to dealing with chronic pain, he says, is keeping his mind busy.

A life-changing injury

In 1974, Rainey fell from the top of a utility pole at work.  

“Back then, all they did was pick splinters, give you some pain medicine and a little spray to put on it, and send you back [to work],” he says.

Twenty-one years later, in 1995, Rainey came home from work one day and couldn’t stand up after sitting down.

“My back was locked out,” he remembers. “It’s been one thing after another since then.”

At age 40, his best option was to go on disability leave.

“I felt bad. I felt like I was taking the easy way out because I’m not a quitter, but I found out it was something I had to do,” he says. “It’s been a snowball effect since then.”

Rainey has undergone six spine surgery and one neck surgery, plus two knee arthroscopies. He now needs knee replacement surgery.

Care coordination

Because he was juggling so many medical issues, Piedmont connected Rainey with a care coordinator, a registered nurse named Victoria.

“They’re pretty on top of it and if you have an emergency, they can help you and guide you which way to go,” he says. “Victoria can pull strings that I can’t pull. She makes appointments for me and if I need meds or something like that, she can call and get those. I don’t have to be put on the backburner.”

Victoria checks in with him about once a week to make he doesn’t have any questions or concerns about his care.

“She took a lot of stress off me,” he says. “If Victoria wasn’t in the picture, I don’t know if I’d be doing as good as I am. Every day’s a plus for me – can’t ask for better than that.”

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