The Mountain Times

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Suffering is unnecessary, there are solutions that need support

Dear Editor,

I have a spinal cord injury from whiplash car accidents that is not treatable by current medical practices. I am in chronic pain in my shoulders and upper back and my left arm is significantly atrophied. Along with muscle relaxers and prescription non-narcotic pain patches, I have monthly trigger point injections on my shoulders and upper back. My naturopathic doctor uses lidocaine, an anesthetic and serapin, a derivative of the pitcher plant which is used as a nerve block.

Before I found out about them, I was in agony and had zero quality of life. With the injections I am able to enjoy life with manageable levels of pain. Now my naturopathic doctor's medical malpractice has informed him that he can no longer do trigger point injections so he is finding another person to do it while he supervises. All of this I pay out of pocket. Medicare used to cover the injections but now has deemed them 'experimental.'

There are millions in this country who have the same problem I do but are not being treated the way I have chosen. They suffer on narcotics, which don't work, can no longer care for themselves and live in misery. It's so unnecessary.

We need full coverage for this as well as vision, hearing and dental care. I have worked for almost four years in the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign and strongly believe that everyone has the right to full coverage.

Joan Eckley, West Haven, Vt.

Tagged: Letter to the Editor, healthcare