Chronic pain can be isolating.
Chronic pain is a complex and poorly understood medical condition that is "invisible". It is both medical and psychological. The stigma associated with chronic pain makes it an even more challenging condition to manage. Complainer, malingerer, and drug-seeker have become labels which invalidate individuals with chronic pain. These judgements can come from not only the medical community but also the non-medical community (employers, colleagues, neighbours, friends, family).
Social support is very important in the successful management of chronic pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain often has a negative impact on the relationships that an individual has with their family and friends. And while the medical system provides support for the pain patient, there is nothing available for the family or friends within the medical system or outside of it.
As with other chronic medical conditions, chronic pain affects not only the lives of individuals with chronic pain but also the lives of their family and friends. Chronic Pain Support & Connections was started to support the people with and relationships that are impacted by chronic pain.
You can't truly understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
A health professional
I am a health professional with training in the management of chronic pain. I am also an individual with chronic pain and I have a family member and friends with chronic pain. I know the importance of having a good social support network and the importance of maintaining those relationships. I also know the strain that chronic pain can have on those relationships. I believe that every individual and every relationship impacted by chronic pain deserves to be supported. Only then can we foster resilience to this chronic condition. I hope to help improve communication and understanding amongst patients and their families and friends.
A legal professional
I am a lawyer by training with two law degrees (one in Canada and one in the USA). As a person with chronic pain, I have an intimate understanding of the unique challenges chronic pain brings. The effects of chronic pain pervade every aspect of one's life; social, employment, tax, legal, insurance and healthcare.
As with many things, my involvement in the chronic pain community was borne out of circumstance and a desire to reduce the frustration and exhaustion many face when dealing with navigating the legal, and medical systems.
My goal is to provide an initial resource of the available programs and pathways that may be applicable to your situation. The information provided is not intended as legal advice. The information provided is for general purposes only and consultation with relevant advisers must be sought to determine the best course for your circumstances.
Chronic Pain Support and Connections provides support to the relationships that have been impacted by chronic pain. We work with the individual with chronic pain, their family members, and their friends. The support given can be individual or as a group. Especially with the added strain of chronic pain, strong relationships take time, patience, and people who want to make it work. Better communication and better understanding can foster the resilience required to tackle the seemingly never-ending challenges that chronic pain imposes.
Support is provided through scheduled and secured video conferences. To provide a safe environment for everyone involved, all participants must sign privacy and confidentiality agreements. These will be provided and must be signed before the first video conference.
Persons with pre-existing and/or chronic conditions are often excluded from mainstream insurance policies. We are currently working with a company to bring individualized and affordable premiums for insurance coverage for health, dental and/or life insurance to persons with chronic conditions or pre-existing conditions in Alberta (to start). If you are interested in finding out more about the insurance coverage and/or participating, please contact us.
**Update on insurance coverage:
We are still working on getting extended health and/or dental coverage for our group. So far, we are able to offer the following coverage for prescriptions for persons in Alberta:
The Non-Group Coverage through Alberta Blue Cross provides coverage for the prescriptions listed on the Alberta Drug Benefit List.
If the drug is not listed on the Alberta Drug Benefit List then there may be a higher co-pay but you will not necessarily be declined coverage for the drug.
These are the current premiums:
Monthly Rates Single Family
Full Rate $63.50 $118
Subsidized Rate $44.45 $82.60
*A family has two categories-with and without children.
** There is an income requirement that needs to be met for the subsidy to apply.
Income must be below the listed amount to qualify for the subsidy
Single $20, 970
Family- no children $33, 240
Family- with children $39, 250
Please check this link for further coverage details.
Applications for coverage to this program can be found in the links provided.
Types of Support
For individuals with chronic pain, their family member, or their friend.
To discuss individual concerns or questions.
Group meeting (up to 4 people)
For individuals with chronic pain and their family members and/or friends.
For family members and/or friends.
To discuss concerns or questions as a group.
Committed to Quality
Opportunity to connect with others who have been impacted by chronic pain.
Schedule video conference meetings and/or social gatherings.
To strengthen social connections and share knowledge.
What you might be wondering about
Is there a cost for any of this?
There are no costs involved. However, to participate you will need a good connection to the internet and either a computer, lap top, or mobile device that has a camera and microphone.
Can anyone participate?
Anyone whose life has been impacted by chronic pain can participate. Since this is all through a virtual platform, you can be located anywhere in the world.
What if my question is not listed above?
Please contact us with any other questions that you have.
"At the end of the day you can either focus on what's tearing you apart or what is keeping you together."
OTHER PAIN SUPPORT GROUPS
If your pain support group would like to be added to this page please contact us.
L.E.A.P.S. (Lending Emotional And Pain Support)
LEAPS meets about twice a month at the Richmond Road Diagnostic Centre to discuss techniques learned in the Chronic Pain Centre. They are open to anyone who has chronic pain.
Calgary Chronic Pain Peer Support Group
A Meetup aiming to provide a safe and supportive place for people to interact with others and share anything related to living life with chronic pain.
Calgary Neuropathy Association
The Calgary Neuropathy Association (CNA) is an Educational Support group; not-for-profit organization operated by volunteers. They strive to inform people on self-management strategies, promote understanding of neuropathy among their support systems (i.e. family, friends, co-workers); and to work with the medical community for better understanding, research and towards viable treatments for neuropathy sufferers.
CHRONIC PAIN SUPPORT
Calgary, Alberta, Canada