After experiencing a motor vehicle accident in June 1994, my life has been changed dramatically. At the present time, I have experienced roughly 400 medical appointments which did not help in the least. Yes, all were required for a head, neck and lower back injury which included, physiotherapy, massage therapy, exercise therapy, chiropractic for over 2 years, sleep disorder clinic, Canadian Back Institute, many family physician visits, Endocrinologist, Anesthetists, Rheumatologists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Neurologist, pain specialists, blood work, EEG, Bone Density Scan, numerous X-Rays, bone scans, nerve blocks, bilateral facet & S1 injections, CT Scan, carpal tunnel surgery, MRI's the list never ends.  Many of the above were a waste of time and money. After 26 years of working full time, I had the opportunity to apply for Canada Pension disability, which I did receive shortly after the accident.

I am now at the point in my life where I can barely stand or walk even with a cane and have had to use a wheelchair and an electric scooter in order to mobilize myself through a mall. What is more devastating to accept is the pain continues without proper relief supplied by any Health Practitioner. Many Physicians should take lessons from Veterinarians who seem to possess more compassion and humanity for their patients. We must stop our Physicians from practicing their antiquated medicine and live in the present.  These same Physicians are only afraid for themselves and not their patients. There are three stages from injuries or chronic pain to overcome which is basically very similar to a grieving process as anger, denial and eventually acceptance. Many of us remain in the anger stage because of our doctors inappropriate understanding and treatment of our conditions. I now suffer from FMS/MPS/CFS, Osteoporosis, spina bifada occulta, scoliosis, CTS, TMJ, etc. and daily chronic pain from these conditions/illnesses and with very little help in alleviating the pain. Chronic pain robs us of our self-esteem, self-worth and dignity. Must we resort to pleading for help? My quality of  life has been taken away; the old life has been taken away and our so-called medical professionals refuse to allow us to live at least in a pain-free environment. What happened to compassion being taught in medical schools?  Only physicians who live in chronic pain know the difference and are willing to cooperate and believe in our situation as any other patient who suffers from other illnesses.  Many of our doctor/specialists find it difficult to believe we are as ill as we state because of our outward appearance. Why should I have to look outside the way I feel inside, even though it is a mask to cover up the pain.  I have tried to approach others in order to help them in a positive way to accept their present conditions. This is rather difficult when i cannot obtain the proper help for myself.

Incompetence is something I cannot deal with.  Lack of knowledge, lack of  research, listening, patience, lack of inhumanity is intolerable. When are they going to listen?  Only those who understand chronic pain take the time to learn the ways it affects one's daily living. We have educated ourselves in these matters.  It is time our doctors take more of an interest and educate themselves in these same matters. Early evaluation is also extremely important as many of  these conditions do not appear all at once.  I am at no time pain free and it is common knowledge that addiction to certain pain medications is less than 1% . Many articles can be obtained on that subject.  My cards have been dealt this way, but at least grant me some dignity to live life in less pain.

(c)  Maureen B. Hall

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(c) Maureen B. Black