The Defining Moment
I was sitting in my doctor’s office, looking for a solution to my chronic back pain. I’d been put on Tylenol 3 (30mg codeine) before, and while not a solution, it allowed me to function. Badly; but enough to work.
I was refused.
He felt that at my age, I should not be placed on any pain medication because they have side effects. His solution? He recommended I return for treatment if I was still in pain when I was 65.
The only thoughts running through my head was ‘If I kill someone, can’t I get out of jail in 25? What the hell have I done that’s bad enough to be sentenced to more than 25 years of unrelenting, unmitigated pain? I didn’t even have a trial!’
I had no alternatives.
Local drop-in clinics would not issue narcotics. Local police were in the middle of a sting campaign to ensure their compliance. The police aimed to prevent people from clinic hopping to feed drug additions, since clinics never talked to each other. A laudable goal, but had a side effect of forcing pain treatment to be exclusively under the care of a family doctor.
The doctor that had just refused to treat me.
I was desperate for relief. Anything; I didn’t care if it was narcotics. I had read research about other approaches, including nerve disrupters developed for epilepsy. Use me as a Ginny pig, I was open to it. I wasn’t expecting a miracle, just improvement.
I knew I was desperate when I looked at little old ladies and contemplated mugging them for a walker.
- I couldn’t stand for more than 15 minutes without support; not long enough to pick up prescription drugs without tears running down my face as I leaned on the shopping cart.
- I couldn’t sit for more than 4 hours at a time; not long enough to complete my desk job while at work. I alternated between the office and my couch, with the horror of traffic between.
- I couldn’t lay down for more than a few hours; not long enough to have an uninterrupted sleep even once in the last decade.
A New Path
Thankfully, my local municipal council stepped in. They offered incentives for family doctors to relocate to eastern Ontario. Prior to this, the nearest I could locate was 3 hours away.
While my new doctor also didn’t want to hand out narcotics for a chronic condition, he had a plan. He sent me for a MRI, and more importantly, he sent me to the local physiotherapy clinic.
I found my miracle.
This small town physiotherapy clinic has been bringing innovative and effective treatments into the area, long before the national capitol clinics even knew to be trained. The owner has been travelling to work and collaborate with the best at Olympic and World games over the last 15 years.
My life changed.
The first IMS treatment was painful and exhausting. I went home for a 4 hour nap, and didn’t function for the rest of the day. The next day…the next day I felt I could do kart-wheels down the hall. It was like someone tripped every breaker in my spine, interrupting the cacophony messages of pain.
It would take more than one treatment, but there was hope.
When IMS reached the limits of effective relief, there were other treatments waiting. I became a Ginny pig as they researched combinations to achieve the maximum benefits. Then one day, I got asked to write a book, from the patient’s perspective. So I did.
I decided to write books on the various types of treatments, with all the information I wished I had when I was despairing, including telling others how to get trained to help.
Fixing chronic back pain requires more than just medical professionals for treatment. By its nature, it forces a lifestyle change; doing normal, everyday activities is no longer possible. I found it incredibly isolating as my capability to even meet with friends was removed.
I learned strategies and techniques to fight for every moment of freedom, every event of everyday life. My support group is incredible.
My mission is to maximize your ability to live life, by creating a space to share solutions and resources.
Come join me on the journey and say with me “Supercharge My Health.”