EMS World

SEP 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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EMSWORLD.com | SEPTEMBER 2018 33 standing of my body." When modern medicine could not help, she turned her search inward and elsewhere, researching alternative avenues to mitigate her symptoms. "Unit 1, respond, female with back pain." It took an additional three surgeries to repair and then adjust the stimulator so it functioned correctly. In between she would have temporar y relief. The stimulator works by essentially redirecting the ner ve messages for pain, creating a dead end for them. To adjust it to function properly, surgeons would have to remap the connections each time—that is, to make it work, they would have to recreate the pain to confirm the right connections. She submitted to this each time, following instructions to the letter, even when it left her in agony. The price tag on each round of stimulator surger y was around $150,000, with no guarantee of a pain-free future. No Quarter The cost wasn't just monetary: The last tenuous strings holding Anne's marriage together finally dissolved, and any pretense of support she'd been operating under went with it. Some acquaintances, already pain- fully estranged by their own judgment of her circumstances, did not support the divorce and pulled further away. She was turned away from her church and ostracized by her community. "Once patients are constrained to pull back from ordinary activities," notes pain researcher Rebecca Arden Harris, "a large part of their social universe, and the affective life that depends on it, quickly deteriorates." 2 Relationships are reciprocal, and patients suffering from chronic pain must invest an inordinate amount of energy into just maintain- ing their daily functionality, leaving little to give to anyone else. This inability to produce the effort to maintain an extended network of relationships pushes the chronic pain patient into a silo, isolated from sources of physical and emotional support. The unique path Anne's life had taken as a result of her condi- tion brought her into contact with local EMS leader Chris Montera, and along with his friendship came exposure to the world of EMS. Together they helped develop the first rural community paramedic program in the nation. Anne conducted protocol reviews and ride- alongs and learned about this ver y dif ferent aspect of medicine and the people who came with it. Anne and Chris developed a deep mutual respect. Chris became the first person in her life to be able to recognize when she was experiencing pain, even before it hit a level she'd notice. In each other they found compassionate support and unconditional love. In 2013 Chris asked Anne's children for permission to marr y their mother, and their new life together began. Unfortunately, within just a couple of years, the cystitis was raging once more. The cysts would rupture, crippling Anne for days at time. She could barely stand, much less walk. She aggressively pursued alternative management whenever possible. All the years living in the fier y grip of pelvic pain had made her acutely self-aware of her body. She tried heat packs, essential oils, hot tubs, and massage— ever y recommendation that seemed plausible and safe—but her body would give her no quarter. EMSWORLD.com | SEPTEMBER 2018 33 www.indeelift.com IndeeLift; Bridging the gap between ground and gurney! Designed and built in the USA These products are covered by one or more patents, including U.S. Patent No. 9,808,388 B2 The flagship EMS model (HFL-500-E) weighs-in at only 50 lbs. yet comfortably lifts and transports patients weighing in excess of 500 lbs. Indeelift protects patients and providers by eliminating manual lifting while providing greater comfort and patient dignity for both lift and transfer needs. Being dragged on a tarp is not only humiliating but dangerous for the patient and provider. Give your patients the respect they deserve and do your back a favor at the same time. "IndeeLift is the safest way to pick up a patient for the patient and the provider!" — Fire Captain/Paramedic Kurtis Dickey SAFE PATIENT HANDLING BEGINS WITH INDEELIFT IndeeLift: The safe way to lift and transport patients For More Information Circle 21 on Reader Service Card Anne's story is continued on page 50.

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