Any way you look at it -30C doesn’t feel good and it sure doesn’t make the pain any easier to handle. This morning we woke up to -40C with the wind chill! This time of year is always hard for anyone dealing with chronic pain. With decreased blood flow to my affected limbs it takes no time at all for the pain to increase with the cold. When temperatures get this way in my part of the country staying inside is the best thing for me! Last week I promised myself that I’d do a better job at getting my blogging back on track. I have to admit that it hasn’t been very easy as of late because of me feeling so run down and having to deal with the increase in symptoms.In my last post I had mentioned that I didn’t have any figures for the number of people affected here in Canada. I did a little more digging and here are a few things I found out. Here in Canada 1 in 5 Canadians deals with some form of chronic pain. As I did a little more reading this week I also discovered a few more interesting facts that I just had to mention. Pain research is grossly underfunded here in Canada with less than 1% of total funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and only .25% of that total funding going towards pain related research. Another interesting fact is that veterinarians get 5 times more training in pain management than regular human doctors.
Something is very wrong with this picture. With so many people suffering from chronic pain don’t you think that the training would take priority in humans over animals, or that funding in our health care system would increase. Reading all of this made me angry and I just had to vent. It’s no wonder that patients dealing with chronic pain have to see about five doctors on average before they find one that has some training on pain. I wasn’t planning on writing about this today but thought I’d better while my last post was fresh in people’s minds. When I did a little more digging I turned up the facts that more than 50% of people waiting for care at Canadian Pain Clinics are suffering from severe levels of depression, 34.6% have thought about suicide, and 72.9% have said pain stands in the way of regular work. Government and the Ministry of Health need to take notice of this!
The statistics I mention above might be for Canada but you can guarantee that what is happening in one country is happening in another. Yes awareness seems to be on the rise but what good is the awareness if the research, training, and funding don’t come along with? Do we get any closer to a cure? How many people have to commit suicide? Facts and figures like these are what full the fire within and keep me pushing to make a difference. It amazes me that with stats like these nothing is being done to make changes to our health system to help all those living with chronic pain.
Pain is the most common reason people visit (78%) their doctors or the emergency rooms. You would think with facts like these that again pain would be looked at a little more seriously but again it doesn’t. Sorry about the rant in today’s post but when I see facts like this I get passionate about trying to make any type of difference that I can. It isn’t just the responsibility of our governments or medical system however. Those of us suffering from pain need to stand up and be a voice that gets heard! If the numbers are correct then there are a lot of us out there that can bring about change to the things that need changing!