New Board Members
January 2003 brought in the New Year to Pain Connection with changes in our board of directors. Three new members were elected to our board, Ellen Weiss, Malcolm Herman and Dr. Justin Wasserman. Ms.Weiss brings expertise in the areas of proposal writing, program development and being a spouse of one of our members. Mr. Herman, an attorney in private practice, brings his expertise in legal matters on the organizational level and has served endless hours behind the scene on this agency's development. He is also the spouse of the founder of Pain Connection. Dr. Justin Wasserman, a doctor board certified in pain management, is the Associate Medical Director at Pain & Rehabilitation Medicine in Bethesda, MD and brings his medical expertise to the agency.
Joan Weiss, one of the original founding member since August, 1999, resigned. Her involvement helped form the foundation of our agency and develop into a needed program which serves our community. We appreciate her past work and wish her well in her new endeavours.
The goals this year are to increase the direct services of monthly support groups, seminars, counseling, training and staff development by obtaining funding to create our center. Pain Connection will be adding two new support groups in the metropolitan area, one in Washington, DC and the second in Prince George's County. There have been numerous requests for groups in these areas. There will also be a meditation group and a Striving to Thrive group forming. Proposals are being sent out for the counseling and training programs.
Pain Connection received the Certification of Registration by the United States Patent and Trademark Office which made us official owners of our name. A few other organizations have been using our name which created complications in the community. We are honored that our name is so sought after but we hope that our trademark will be honored.
In this Issue . . .
There are fifty million Americans suffering from chronic pain who are not receiving the treatment they need. Many fall between the cracks in their own private health insurance, workman's compensation, and disability benefits. Others are helpless because of a lack of insurance.
Pain Connection® is a 501(c)(3) not for profit human health service agency that provides a monthly support group, information and referrals, community outreach and education, website and newsletter. Pain Connection plans to establish an outreach center which will provide counseling, support groups and seminars, 24 hour hotline, library with Internet access, training program, case management, advocacy, and transportation for people suffering from chronic pain. These services will improve the quality of life, offer a chance for rehabilitation, decrease the sense of isolation this population experiences and enable the chronic pain sufferer to take control of his/her condition and treatment and maintain independence..
Chronic Pain Support Group Statistics
A survey of 32 chronic pain characteristics was devised by Gwenn Herman and given to 103 new members of the support group to fill out regarding the effects of chronic pain on their personality, family, sexual relations, career, and medical treatment. Members who participated in this survey all suffer from chronic pain although the source/onset of each person's trauma encompassed a wide range of different illnesses, diseases, and accidents.
In the category of how personality changed: 82% said depressed when they thought how they used to be; 80%-hard to focus; 75%-plan day according to pain; 68%-easily stressed out; 63%-hard to start and finish tasks on time; 62%-spend more time on own and felt isolated; 57%-felt like no one really understands what it is like to be in chronic pain; 55%-feelings of despair because they see no way out from the pain; 55%-feel guilty when unable to do a task; 55%-felt extremely vulnerable when have to ask for help for tasks that they could once easily done; 53%- rather be by themself since it is too hard to be with others and to pretend they are alright and not in pain; 49%-doubt themselves; 49%-hardly invite family/friends to their homes; 38%-hypersensitive to sounds or movements; 38%-angry when seeing others do normal activities; 34%-are no longer sociable; 32%-feel like they rather be dead than to go on living with pain.
In the category of how chronic pain has affected their family or social relationships: 47%-impatient; 46%-sexual relationship has changed with their partner; 41%-short tempered; 36%-limited or unable to participate in social functions; 29%- many friends no longer contact them; Career-61%-has been effected and/or lost their job; Medically-53%- began searching on their own for a diagnosis-for an answer; 50%-found self looking in the newspapers or searching the internet for any cure for pain; 44%- felt no one believes or understands their pain; 36%-started referring to events as before and after their disease/accident; 28%- were told by a medical professional that maybe they were suffering from psychological problems; 27%-felt lost and asked to make decisions they knew little about; Support-100%-they finally went to a support group and found out that their feelings were 'normal' for being in so much pain and no longer had to suffer alone.
The survey suggests at the end: If you are not receiving any emotional support go seek it now-don't stay alone in your pain!
PAIN CONNECTION®-CHRONIC PAIN OUTREACH CENTER INC.
© 2003 Pain Connection®-Chronic Pain Outreach Center, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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