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Cindy Morris writes book on chronic pain

Cindy Morris writes the book on chronic pain I’m Still In Pain – Now What Can I Do? - RG - photo by jessie moniz hardy

The Royal Gazette BermudaJessie Moniz Hardy

Created: Mar 19, 2024 08:00 AM

Some of Cindy Morris’ (Dr. Cindy Morris, BSc, MD, DABA) patients come to her desperate for pain relief. They have battled agony for years and been told by doctors that there is nothing that can be done. That’s why Cindy Morris did write a book on chronic pain.

Some patients have been told: “All your tests are negative. The pain is all in your head.” Some of them have to quit their jobs while others go to work every day to pay the bills, despite their constant discomfort. “It is a daily battle for them,” the owner of The Complete Care Clinic said.

Chronic pain can be a life or death matter

Anywhere from 14 per cent to half of all patients with chronic pain consider suicide, at some point, according to an article published by the Journal of Pain last November.

Earlier this month she released her first book I’m Still In Pain – Now What Can I Do? with the intention of putting one more tool into the hands of struggling to find relief from pain.

The book gives tips and tricks for dealing with continuous pain, including instructions on the proper way to use massage wands.

Dr Morris’ patients often turn up after having bought a massage wand at a pharmacy. “They don’t cost that much,” she said, However, she finds that some people use them incorrectly, causing themselves more pain, or even use them in a dangerous way.

“I have seen people use them to put pressure on their carotid arteries,” she said. “Then they feel dizzy. I tell them to stop doing that. The box does have some warnings, but who reads the directions?”

The book is directed at people with chronic pain who do not have access to a wide range of pain management resources or don’t have a lot of cash.

Some of her clients have complex problems and need ongoing treatment weekly or monthly.

“There can be financial restraints,” she said. “There are co pays or they have to pay out of pocket. That can add up, but I work with that. I do give every patient homework to do at home, so they do not have to rely on me, all the time.”

Still In Pain is written for the regular person. “There are hardly any medical terms in the book,” Dr Morris said. “I have tried to write it at a conversational level.”

The hardest thing for her about writing I’m Still In Pain was the editing.

“This was my first time writing a book,” Dr Morris said. “So I actually enrolled in self-publishing school.”

She learnt from experts what went into writing books, and how to organise her work.

“I did not realise there were so many steps,” she said. The book took her about a year to write.

“I am definitely not a procrastinator,” she said. “I started in 2022, and got basically all of the text in by last summer. I had to find different pictures to illustrate the book, and so forth.”

She was thrilled when the first copy of I’m Still In Pain came in the mail.

“It felt wonderful,” she said. “It was a task that had finally gotten done.”

Dr Morris first noticed chronic pain in the community while working as an anaesthesiologist in the operating room at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in 2006.

“I was seeing people with fibromyalgia coming through,” she said. “It is a condition where people have pain in several areas of the body, and is difficult to get rid of.

“Some people do very well on medications such as Cymbalta, but Bermuda has a large population of people who do not want to take medications. They want to do things more naturally.”

Then after having surgery, she started experiencing ongoing pain herself. As she struggled to find a solution, she discovered there were many others in the community going through a similar experience.

She opened the Complete Care Clinic on the corner of Dundonald Street and Brunswick Street in Hamilton in 2014.

“I utilise my anaesthetic skills, medical and surgical knowledge while incorporating hands-on treatments and home remedies that have worked for centuries,” she said.

People frequently come to her for everything from post surgical pain, low back pain and frozen shoulder, to pain from sports injuries.

She said trauma to different parts of the body can cause scarring deep in the tissues and nerves, which results in muscle tightening and chronic pain.

Because of the way the entire body is connected by nerves, pain is not always felt at the point of injury.

When she started, she often gave clients injections of very diluted amounts of anaesthetics and steroids, her speciality.

“It would help them tremendously,” she said.

However, many clients were seeking natural pain relief, and did not want medications or injections.

“Some people had already had so many injections in hospital,” she said.

Now she also offers techniques such as myofascial release, a series of traction, compression, and twisting manoeuvres to bring pain relief.

“We work on different areas of the body that are tight,” she said. “We might bring their pain from 15 areas of the body hurting, down to ten.”

Dr Morris also counsels clients on eating right for their blood type.

She said in the 1950s there were studies done by nutrition students working on their PhDs that showed that certain foods worked better for people with certain blood types.

She said: “I found that when I switched my pain patients off of the foods that were causing them inflammation because of their blood type, it reduced some of their pain. They also lost weight.”

She counts success as reducing the intensity of pain, and also how many areas of the body are giving the pain signal so that the person is able to do more.

Dr Morris said these are not necessarily methods taught in medical school.

“All of this creativity is patient driven, technically,” she said.

Her book is now available on Amazon.com and she is working to get it into local stores.

For more information see the Complete Care Clinic on Facebook and Instagram

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