Chris Power will never forget hearing the words “I think I can help” from physician anesthesiologist Robert Jason Ain, M.D. after a painful medical journey that lasted almost two years.
Chris developed complex regional pain syndrome after tripping and falling down some stairs while carrying a box of rocks for his aquarium. After the fall, his arm started doing very strange things. It turned purple and was extremely cold. Hair stopped growing on the arm and there was a constant burning inside that felt like a boa constrictor squeezing him non-stop. The pain became debilitating and Chris cut himself off from the world, becoming depressed, exhausted, angry and frustrated. He saw a number of doctors from different specialties but was repeatedly told there wasn’t much hope. That changed when Chris saw Dr. Ain, who prescribed a spinal cord stimulator.
The treatment allowed him to return to normal – to work, travel, shake hands, and spend time with his wife and friends without being in constant agony. Chris’ wife Rebecca credits the treatment with giving her her husband back, and Chris believes physician anesthesiologists not only save lives, they change lives.
Chris, Rebecca and Dr. Ain share Chris’ experience in a video that has been added to the stories highlighted in ASA’s When Seconds Count™ educational endeavor. These stories explain the critical role physician anesthesiologists play in delivering the best-quality and safest care. Whether diagnosing an underlying health condition during pre-surgical screenings or stepping in when a routine procedure becomes an emergency, the stories support ASA’s key messages and highlight how physician anesthesiologists’ involvement can mean the difference between life and death. The new story expands on that and showcases physician anesthesiologists’ role as pain medicine specialists.
In addition to posting the video to the website, ASA will promote it during Pain Awareness Month in September to help increase awareness of chronic pain and the importance of selecting a pain medicine specialist who has been certified in a pain medicine subspecialty by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties, such as the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Chris Power’s video is just one of the new stories on the When Seconds Count™ website. There are also two new narrative stories – one on a child with cancer getting a second chance at life and another on a sleep apnea patient’s shoulder surgery.
As ASA continues to advocate for patient-centered, physician-led care through the educational endeavor, all members are encouraged to develop their own stories. Visit ASA’s When Seconds Count website at www.asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount/stories.aspx to experience some of the stories and submit your own, or work with your own patient to submit a story.