For the 2018 Atlantic Pain Conference (being held in Halifax, NS), the planning committee will seek accreditation from the Patients Included Conference Charter.
Details on this initiative can be found here: https://patientsincluded.org/
The Atlantic Pain Conference has evolved over the years, broadening the prospective audience to not only primary caregivers, but allied health members, nurses, specialists, political figures, patients and anyone with an interest in pain. We have also had several patients participate as panelists in past conferences. Going forward, we would like to ensure we meet all of the 5 charter clauses required by ‘Patients Included’ in order to become successfully accredited for our 2018 conference.
Virginia was a healthy, vibrant Mom, wife and diagnostic imaging technologist who was unstoppable when it came to balancing a career and raising two children. All that came to a screeching halt in 2009 after a shoulder injury that led to extensive surgery. Instead of relief after the operation, she experienced debilitating unrelenting pain. As it never seemed to subside and not knowing why, Virginia found herself spiralling into depression and she became increasingly isolated. Working was not possible and led to an almost three years absence. Virginia found that people who are pain free, have a hard time understanding the challenges of those who are living with chronic pain.
Virginia was physically, mentally and emotionally spent and her outlook was bleak until she was referred to the Queen Elizabeth II Pain Management Unit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was fortunate to have met a compassionate dedicated pain physician who diagnosed her with myofascial pain syndrome. She finally felt that someone understood her pain. There she began her journey to recovery by learning how to manage her pain. She set goals and received guidance, support and pain treatments that greatly improved her quality of life.
Living with persistent pain is challenging but Virginia now feels that she is equipped with the tools to better manage her pain and she has regained her positive outlook. She has returned to the career she loves in healthcare and even participates in a close-knit running group! Those natural endorphins help keep her pain at bay. Managing her pain instead of letting it manage her, allows Virginia to carry out activities she is passionate about such as being an active volunteer in her community. Virginia has found the strength to help others by coordinating and facilitating a Pain Self-Help Support Group.Virginia's vision is to to help others with persistent pain realize their potential and understand that it is possible to live well and thrive with pain.
The Atlantic Pain Conference Planning Committee has also invited Luke Doyle to be a part of the planning committee and planning process as an additional patient representative. His bio to be added at a later date.