Source:  News    Tag:  shingles pain relief

    •   July 2, 2015, Daily Gleaner, Fredericton Chronic Pain Support Group update.
    View article here
    • Angela MacDonald, Pain N.B., receives a donation from the Newcastle Lions Club in Miramichi, N.B.  This will be used for her local pain support group.
    Many thanks to the Lions Club for their community support!

    • June 8, 2015, live interview with Angela MacDonald on talk show, "Have a chat," Miramichi, New Brunswick

    • December, 2014, Webinar Series: The Medical use of Cannabis: Part 1-The Science

    • December 17, 2014, Dalhousie Article. Read an opinion article, posted by Katherine Harman, Pain Science Division, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.
    View Article Here
    • Miramichi Leader:August 27, 2014, "We wear a mask as pain sufferers"
    View article here

    • August, 2014  CBC Moncton, "Pain Of It All" interview with pain advocates Terry Bremner, N.S. and Angela MacDonald, N.B.
    Listen to interview here

    • August 20, 2014, Viral Global News: Fibromyalgia; Main Source of Pain Finally Found!
    • August 26, 2014, Listen to Max 104.9 interview with Jeff Long and N.B. pain advocate Angela MacDonald: Patients Get Help Through Peer To Peer Support
    Listen here

    Angela MacDonald, Pain N.B. & Darlene Irvine, Chronic pain support group facilitator, Moncton, N.B.
              Angela MacDonald, Pain N.B. & Nina Guitard, Chronic Pain Support Group Facilitator, Bathurst N.B
          • August 5, 2014, The Guardian Charlottetown features an article on chronic pain support groups needed in P.E.I.
          Please view article below on what is happening in Charlottetown.
          Seeking facilitator for chronic pain support group

          • April 16, 2014, 6 time Olympian Clara Hughes speaks to a Halifax audience about mental Health issues through her "Let's Keep Talking" event
          View Article Here

          • November 18,2013 Northern Pen Article: National Pain Awareness Week
          Please view article below on what is happening in the St Anthony area

          National Pain Awareness Week: St Anthony
          • November 8, 2013 Miramichi Online Pain Article: National Pain Awareness Week
          Please view article below for details on Support Groups in N.B.

          National Pain Awareness Week Support Group Initiative in N.B.

          • November 6, 2013 CBDHA News Release For National Pain Awareness Week
          Please view article below about initiatives being taken for chronic pain patients in Cape Breton 

          Chronic Pain Week in Sydney, Cape Breton

          • June 21, 2013 Healthline News
          Please view article below on physical causes of Fibromyalgia pain

          Scientists Pinpoint Physical Cause of Fibromyalgia Pain

          • October 17, 2013 The Washington Times
          Please view article below for information on Fibromyalgia from the National Biotechnology Information Center of The National Institutes of Health, Washington.

            Fibromyalgia; A pathology, not In The Mind

          • September 20,2013 The Guardian, Charlottetown
          Please view article below for details on Healthcare in P.E.I. and Shingles vaccine

          P.E.I. Leader in Healthcare Reform

          Chronic Pain Patient Radio interviews in St. John's, NL (click download and open to listen)



          The current wait time to be seen at the Center For Pain Management in Dartmouth, N.S. is approximately 14 weeks. Referral forms are available on their website and may be accessed by going to

           DID YOU KNOW? 
          •  If you continue to  work after the age of retirement you reduce the chances of developing dementia by 3.2% for each year you continue to work.   
          • As of March 2013 the pain medication Lyrica has gone generic. One of the new names for it will be GD Pregabilin. The formulation of this generic will remain exactly the same as the Lyrica brand and the cost is roughly 1/3 of what it used to be. For more information on Lyrica please click here. 
          • Do you know that your local Costco has a pharmacy and you do not have to be a member to use it? If you are without insurance or need to shop around for better prices on your prescriptions, you may want to visit a Costco near you.
          • Active Motion Health and Sport Bracing is an establishment which specializes in orthopaedic bracing. Chuck Bates is an orthopaedic bracing specialist who works out of the Miramachi location. Chuck has been kind enough to offer his support to our new chronic pain support group in the Miramachi region, which is run by Angela MacDonald. For information on  bracing needs and non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain management Chuck may be reached at 866-878-0292 or [email protected]  The website may be viewed at   Thank you Chuck for your generous support!


            IN THE NEWS:

          Chronic pain groups want to establish network across N.B.

          The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton) 
          Mon Jul 22 2013 

          Page: A4 

          Section: A 


          A group of chronic pain sufferers have banded together to create a provincial network of support groups for pain patients and to lobby the New Brunswick government for better resources.
          Angela MacDonald, who is steering the newly formed Chronic Pain New Brunswick, and Terry Bremner, president of the Chronic Pain Association of Canada, recently concluded a tour of New Brunswick. They spoke to various chronic pain sufferers, physicians and government officials about the possibility of establishing groups across the province.
          The organization is seeking facilitators for each support group, including someone to restart the Fredericton group after it disbanded six years ago. Bremner said they had a dedicated group leader in the capital, but after she became ill and couldn't run the meetings, no one took over, letting the group fold.
          Bremner said the support group is great chance for sufferers to learn about the illness, its effects and treatments, but, more importantly, it's a chance to be heard.
          "We find out that we're not alone," said Bremner, a pain patient and support group member, from his home in Halifax.
          "When we started our lives in pain, no one gave us the book the week before on how our lives are going to change. So, now we're going to learn from peer to peer.
          "We understand we are not going to rid ourselves of our pain, but we're going to build coping strategies to enable us to better function through the day."
          He said they are informal, educational sessions to discuss the disease openly. Workshops to address issues stemming from chronic pain, such as employment troubles and depression, will also be held.
          MacDonald, a registered nurse and chronic pain sufferer in Miramichi, said chronic pain can affect a person's employability. Many patients wait years before being diagnosed or given an appropriate treatment program, forcing them to periodically take time off from work - sometimes even an extended leave of absence, she said.
          A recent survey by the Canadian Pain Society found 33 per cent of Canadian sufferers lost a job because of their pain, while 47 per cent had reduced job responsibilities.
          According to Action Atlantic, an Atlantic Canadian chronic pain group, a pain patient has less than a two per cent chance of finding gainful employment after being off work for two years.
          "It's difficult to understand how it drastically changes someone's capability of doing basic daily routines like vacuuming or driving or being able to focus at work," MacDonald said.
          "It's a vicious cycle that doesn't slow down. Sleepless nights turn into days full of pain and then depression comes because you're unable to do the things you're normally able to do when you're feeling better."
          MacDonald, 28, said she was financially unstable and overwhelmed emotionally when starting her nursing career on long-term disability at 23. She said she was skeptical about the benefit of a support group when a social worker first suggested it. But after attending a meeting she soon realized she wasn't alone in her pit despair.
          "No matter who we were, we could all relate to the pain," she said. "It helped me be able to get off the couch and back into my athletic self."
          Today, MacDonald trains as a bodybuilder. The pain is managed but present; it's her attitude that took an upswing.
          She said the support group Chronic Pain New Brunswick is aiming at won't be a complaining session.
          "It's not there so you can feel sorry for yourself. It's there to say, 'Hey listen, I have trouble sleeping. What do you do for sleep?'?" she said.
          The advocacy component of the new organization has opened a dialogue with the provincial government, doctors and pharmacists, discussing four main points: Improved wait times, better trained physicians to address pain treatment, the development of a multi-disciplinary facility - a one-stop shop for patients to see physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nutritionists - and more accessible centres.
          There's only one pain centre in New Brunswick, located in the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton.
          MacDonald said the feedback for starting a support network was positive, with volunteer facilitators signing on in Saint John and Woodstock.
          Bremner said the facilitators will be brought to Halifax in September, expenses paid, for an educational conference on how to best serve the groups.
          For more information about the support network, contact MacDonald at javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', '[email protected]'); or 506-210-3568.
          © 2013 The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)

          • June 24, 2013
            In studio interview with Terry Bremner, Angela MacDonald and Tyler MacLean in Moncton: Living with pain.

          • May 29, 2013
          Susan Pynn, Cornerbrook, NL, opens local chronic pain support group for those in need.
          Please view article below for full details:

          Pynn ready to play supportive role

          • May 11, 2013
          Please view article below for full details:

          Halifax woman endures years of pain.

          •    March 4, 2013
            St. John’s, NL Telegram
             Chronic pain services in high demand

          The waitlist for high-demand chronic pain services in St. John’s is anywhere from four to eight months, according to Eastern Health.
          Sonya Martin-Drake of Mount Pearl told The Telegram this week she has to travel to Clarenville regularly for chronic pain treatments because it’s unavailable to her in St. John’s.
          Chronic pain services are offered by some, but not all, of the anesthetists working for Eastern Health. Services are offered at the Health Sciences Centre, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, Dr. L.A. Miller Centre, Dr. G.B. Cross Memorial Hospital and Carbonear General Hospital. According to Eastern Health, at the Health Sciences Centre, the wait is six to eight months; St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, four months; and Dr. L.A. Miller Centre, seven months.

          There are currently 17 anesthetists offering chronic pain services to patients in the region — 14 in St. John’s. All of the physicians provide other services besides chronic pain treatment.
          Patients, therefore, are sometimes referred by their doctors to certain facilities based on their need, or elsewhere in the region to get quicker service.
          Meanwhile, Martin-Drake was unable to receive her treatment Friday because she has been suspended from income support benefits and could not get her transportation to Clarenville.
          Martin-Drake told The Telegram that her Facebook status was used in an investigation against her by income support.
          Her status still says she’s married, though she insists she has been separated for years.
          • February 2, 2013
          In Nova Scotia alone, health officials are predicting a shingles increase on the horizon. Presently, the shingles vaccine is NOT funded by any Canadian Province  to protect our senior population.
          CBC news reported regarding this increase.  Please view article below for full details:

          • January 4, 2013
          New Support Group Formed, N.B.
          Support group formed for those enduring chronic pain

          Miramichi Leader
          Fri Jan 4 2013
          Page: B6
          Section: Entertainment
          Byline: K. Bryannah James [email protected]

          MIRAMICHI - Angela MacDonald, a registered nurse at the Miramichi Senior Citizens Home, knows the value of support.

          "I only had to sit there for 30 minutes and I already felt comfortable. And I knew that these people were suffering just as bad, if not worse than I was."

          In an interview with the Miramichi Leader, she was speaking about her first experience with a six-week support group in Ottawa a few years ago for those who suffer from what she deals with on a daily basis - chronic pain.

          "I realized that the support group is something that is necessary for anybody going through chronic pain," explained MacDonald. "Because these are the people that suffer along with you and go through the same obstacles of troubles with sleep, pain and mood."

          Now, she has started-up a support group in Miramichi for those who suffer from the same illness she does.

          The first meeting for the group, called R.E.L.I.E.F Chronic Pain Support Group, was held Thursday at the Miramichi Senior Citizens Home in the 100 Wing Lounge.

          A poster in MacDonald's office, one of many which was set up around the community in preparation for the first meeting, reads "No more suffering in silence, have your voice heard with fellow sufferers!"

          The support group will meet once a month at the home and is open to anyone who suffers from chronic pain. Each meeting is two hours long and is not only a place for group members to discuss chronic pain, but to gain information about it as well.

          "We'll be sharing each other's experiences of our illnesses or our injuries and our chronic pain," explained MacDonald. "And then we're going to look at coping mechanisms. Specifically for that person."

          Other areas which will be covered during the meetings will be topics on exercise, medicine, nutrition, meditation, social awareness, workplace issues, and hearing guest speakers which include doctors who specialize in specific fields, pharmacists, and more.

          MacDonald said chronic pain isn't just illness related, it can also occur if an injury didn't heal properly, like a broken bone. However, it's not to be mistaken with acute pain. Acute pain is a small time duration of time where an individual may be in pain, such as healing from a broken bone which eventually heals and the pain subsides and eventually goes away.

          "Regardless of how diverse our illnesses are, or injuries are, we all suffer (under) the umbrella of chronic pain."

          She said when it comes to chronic pain, "it does not stop," and is something which effects every aspect of a individuals life who suffers from the illness.

          She explained that while the level and intensity of chronic pain varies depending on the individual, it is a "full time job" because the pain is there every day, for the whole day. She said when it comes to chronic pain, it can effect every aspect of the individuals life who is suffering from it. These effects can take their toll on a persons sexual, personal, professional and social lives.

          "It's pain, mood, energy levels and sleep. They all go hand in hand," she explained, adding that with chronic pain it can also be intertwined with depression due to the toll it takes on a persons life.

          "Because nothing's relieving the pain. You're trying to get through work, trying to be a mother, or a sister, trying to be a good friend," she said. "But sometimes (you) have to cancel events or dates ... sick time at work, weeks off of work. And that is very draining emotionally, due to finances, due to not having a normal life like everybody else."

          Although only 27, MacDonald suffers from three different forms of chronic pain - something she will endure for the rest of her life, as there is no cure for it. The three illnesses MacDonald suffers from include fibromyalgia, better known as "widespread body pain from head to toe." The second illness MacDonald suffers from is endometriosis, which affects the reproductive system and causes extreme pelvic pain during menstruation. "Along with excessive bleeding and increased infertility," she added. "And this pain can be debilitating and usually requires surgeries and pain medication."

          The third illness is interstitial cystitis, which affects a persons bladder and MacDonald said can be known as "painful bladder syndrome."

          "Basically what happens is your bladder loses its capacity to hold all the urine," she explained. "An average bladder holds a litre of fluid, and for somebody with interstitial cystitis may hold a cup of fluid."

          MacDonald explained there's still a stigma surrounding the illness chronic pain, which can either be people not wanting to talk about symptoms and the pain it causes, or to others not fully understanding the effects the illness has on a person physically and mentally.

          "That's the thing with chronic illness, nobody wants to talk about their illness," she said. "That's why I want to do the support group."

          MacDonald first wanted to bring a chronic pain support group to Miramichi in 2011 when she moved back to the area.

          "I had thought about it then because there was nothing here in Miramichi. And I knew how much that support group had helped me," she explained. "I just felt when I left that group I felt supported, I didn't feel alone."

          Though she had wanted to start the group two years ago, she wasn't sure how to bring the project to fruition. She said it didn't get rolling until after meeting Dr. Jeffrey Hans, a chronic pain specialist in Miramichi. During one of her visits with Hans, MacDonald mentioned her interest in starting a chronic pain support group on the river.

          However, it wasn't until November of 2012 that MacDonald was able to make the support group a reality. She, alongside 25 other chronic pain sufferers from around the Atlantic provinces, attended the Chronic Pain Support Group Facilitator conference in Halifax. It was hosted by the Chronic Pain Association of Canada. There, MacDonald was able gain information to start the chronic pain support group in Miramichi.

          "It was (at) Miramichi Senior Citizens Home where I work ... thank you to Debbie McGraw and Margaret Manderson who are my bosses," she said. "They allowed me to have the room in the 100 Wing Lounge to host my meetings for free."

          MacDonald said when it comes to the support group, it is a non-profit organization and anyone who suffers from chronic pain is welcome to attend meetings for free.

          Meetings will continue to be in the 100 Wing Lounge of the Miramichi Senior Citizens Home, from 7 to 9 p.m., on Feb. 1, March 7, April 4 and May 2. For further information, contact MacDonald at 210-3568.

          K. Bryannah James
          Reporter & Photographer | Miramichi Leader
          T: 506-622-2600

          •  November, 2012
          Northern Pen News-Article on growing numbers of pain patients, St. Anthony, NL
           Please view the article below which features our facilitator, Sharon Kean, who started  a new chronic pain support group in St. Anthony, NL:
                                               Chronic Pain Services, St Anthony, NL

          Action Atlantic is funded by independent grants from organizations such as Merck, Astra Zeneca, Purdue Pharma, Paladin, Eli Lilly, Allergan, Dr. John Gillis, CPM Dartmouth and others. Thank you to Tony Martin who meets all our printing needs: