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Updated: Apr 16, 2021

It was now mid fall. I had an opportunity to have a one on one mentor session with my most favorite photographer. My husband had a work conference in Texas and had asked if I would come with him. I usually declined going on these work trips, but this time knowing that the beautiful, Joy Prouty and her family had just moved there, I jumped on the offer. I thought it would be a gift to myself for fighting so hard for my health and it would be my "Yay, you got better!" gift. Before I booked everything, I decided to run it by my new chiropractor and see if he felt that I would be good by then. He assured me that I'd be more than ready to go by mid Spring to go for the mentorship and that was all I needed. I called Joy up and I had the date set. I can't even explain how excited I was, a dream becoming a reality, it only helped me to push even harder and fight even harder to get better, giving it everything I got.

Time had been passing by quickly and when it came to my eighth treatment, I looked at my chiropractor and said, "Okay, you've got to shoot it to me straight. Am I where you thought I was supposed to be at this point?" He stepped back and sighed, "I'm so sorry. I don't get it. I thought I knew what was going on with your body and it's really bothering me that your body isn't responding how I thought." I kind of figured that much but the hopes that I pumped myself up to came crashing down, yet again, and I couldn't help but cry. He told me that he would write a recommendation to my doctor to get an MRI as he felt that I had either a bulged disk in my neck and/or a herniated disk in my low back.

I had gone in to see my family doctor and we discussed what the chiropractor had said and I also let her know that my lawyers were wondering if I should see a Neurologist as well. She told me that she definitely felt that I needed an MRI but that the wait list was two years long. She came up with a plan for me to go to Vancouver and see a Neurologist. There would be a team of them running the tests and she figured that my nerves were good and healthy but they would see that there was something else going on with my body and they would then go the next step further and get me in for an MRI.

I had decided to call the Neurologist's office and get put on the cancellation list, to hopefully cut the time down from 6-8 months to 3-4. It worked and the timeline was even shorter than that! I had let my doctor know that my appointment was soon approaching. At this point in time, sleep was still really difficult and so was the daily pain. My doctor told me how she was really concerned about me not being able to sleep and the importance of rest. She had told me that she wanted me to go on a low dose anti-depressant to help with nerve pain and to help me sleep. I wasn't for taking anti-depressants, it just didn't make sense to me, so she told me the other option was this other drug called Gabapentin. I'm not really into taking drugs but I knew that my body needed sleep and so I agreed to go on it. She handed me this paper and told me that it's a really strong drug and there are specific instructions that I needed to follow to slowly introduce my body to it.

My husband and I were off to Vancouver and had high hopes that answers to what was going on would soon be crystal clear. I was excited and also really nervous. I'm going to get really real here. I get a nervous/anxious stomach anytime that I anticipate things. It could be the unknown appointment or the excitement of going to Value Village, the scale doesn't seem to matter to this body and it's been dubbed the "nervous poops." You can only imagine the amount of appointments that I've been to up until this point and yes, each time, running to the toilet over and over again. It's really inconvenient and also extremely embarrassing. I finally was put into the room and there were two guys with this machine and the Neurologist. There were these sticker things that had wires connected to them, that were placed on my body. They took these needles and stuck them into different parts of my body and wiggled them around. A not so pleasant feeling. It was cool though, your nerves actually talk to one another and make these high frequency noises to each other to pass the messages along and I could hear it as they were poking around. Afterwards, the machine was put away and I was brought into this other room and the Neurologist went over my results with me. She said "Good news, your nerves are all nice and healthy." I told her that I was in a lot of pain though and in my mind, remembering what my family doctor had told me about how they would push for an MRI. She told me "My job here is done. Your issues are more musculoskeletal." I said, "But can't you get me in for an MRI?" "No, my job here is done. In my job description, I do nerves and your nerves are good. I'm not going to send you in for an MRI. Your issues are more joint and musculoskeletal, you need to see someone that specializes in those. My advice to you is to choose joy." I pleaded with her and told her how hard I've been working and that I do try and do regular life things and the things that bring joy but that I pay big time and I'm in so much pain. I started to cry and then it turned into ugly crying, which is when she handed me the box of tissues, went back into the choose joy thing again, and then ended the appointment and left the room. I felt like my world had been flipped upside down and I was so confused from what my doctor had promised me, to what was the actual reality. I honestly, didn't want to leave and lay there on the bed and uncontrollably cried and cried. No answers. No help. No forward motion to getting my life back. Just a small town girl, fighting like nobody's business to getting her pre-accident life back and not knowing what the heck was going on with her body. My husband helped console me, I pulled myself together and eventually we left.

My sister in law and brother in law were in Vancouver at the same time as us and we met at this tasty donut shop that sold gluten free donuts! We told them about the appointment and that's when my sister in law told me about this private clinic in Vancouver that many of the doctors, that she worked with, had gone to themselves. She threw out the idea of maybe trying to get an MRI privately done. We went back to the hotel and I decided that I was done trying to take what everyone else's theories were and to just google and see if there was something that I could relate to. I put in all different types of symptoms that I had experienced, and things that practitioners had thrown around, and searched for a bit and then that's when I found it! There was a diagram that showed a person's foot on the brake, as they got rear ended. They talked about some of the pain areas that are classic to this condition. The condition is called Si Joint Dysfunction. I took it one step further and researched who specializes in this and where to find them. My google search took me straight to this clinic and the name sounded so familiar to me. I took out the piece of paper that I had written the name of the clinic down that my sister in law had just told me about and it was the exact same one. I couldn't believe it! The only specialist in all of B.C. and it was the same clinic! I got really excited and couldn't wait to talk to my family doctor about this when I got home. In the same breath, I had started taking Gabapentin and thought it was a perfect time to try the morning pills with my husband being around to monitor me in case I had weird side effects. I took the pills and I felt like a zombie, and I felt like I couldn't think properly or function properly. When the medication had worn off, my husband told me that it really freaked him out to how I was acting. He told me that it was like I returned to being like a little child and almost drunk-like. It creeped him out and he told me that he didn't want me taking this drug in the morning. I agreed, and knew that I would be incapable of taking care of my girls if I took this medication to help my pain during the day but decided to only take it just for the evenings to help me sleep.

(Taken from

We were home from the trip and I quickly called to get into see my doctor. I had many appointments and it would've been way too much to have to set up times to constantly have my girls watched by someone for every appointment, and so they got used to the appointment life and came with me a lot of the time. When we got into the room with my doctor, she looked at my girls and told them that she had some coloring set up in her office for them and that her nurse would help watch them, while we had a chat. I felt a little confused as to what she needed to talk to me about and to not have my girls in the room with me. She shut the door and sat down and told me, "Look, Keana, your body has been at this for too long and we're over the year mark now. It's now time to get you into a pain clinic." I felt irritated. We were just getting started and still had no answers as to why I was the way I was. I felt like she was throwing in the towel and didn't even try hard to find a specialist to look at joint and muscle pain. I told her about my google search and how I found this specialist and wanted to pursue it and to get the private MRI at the same time. I also told her about the Si Joint Dysfunction part and she told me that, that is an extremely hard thing to diagnose but that she supported me and was willing to send in a referral, but also that a referral to a pain clinic would also be in order. I was so grateful that she backed me up and was willing to continue to support me, and although the Neurologist appointment was a bust, this new lead brought back some hope that I needed to hopefully help figure this out.

I called up the private clinic in Vancouver and spoke with the receptionist and told her my story and how I would like to see this particular specialist to rule out Si Joint Dysfunction and to get an MRI. She told me that she would talk it over with the specialist and see if he felt that I was a candidate and get back to me. I felt punched in the stomach with a big dose of disappointment when she called me back about a week later and let me know that the specialist felt that I should see someone closer to where I lived. I told her that there was nobody else for me to see and the biggest city center was over a six hour long drive away for me to go to and that a less than two hour flight to Vancouver would be easier for me. She told me that she'd relay the message back to the specialist and call me back. I got another call and she told me that he still didn't feel that I was the right fit. There was no way that I was going to let this go and I argued my case again. I told her that I didn't care if I went there and he didn't find anything, that I'd be willing to risk it and pay the money for peace of mind and maybe a lead to someone else that he could direct me to. She again said she'd talk it over with him and get back to me. About a week later, she called and said, "He said he'll take a look at you even though he doesn't think he'll be able to help you." It felt so good and almost victorious to get the go ahead.

We arrived in Vancouver and took the elevator up to this fancy waiting area. The receptionist gave me an intake form to fill out and soon we were sitting in this beautiful doctor's office that had a view of the city. The young specialist came into the office and he started with the brunt tests (that I had done half a dozen other times or more) and some mobility tests. He then looked at me and told me that he needed to apologize. He told me that he thought I was some sort of wack job, signalling with a whistle and a twirl near his ear and that's why he kept on trying to turn me away, but now meeting me and speaking to me, that wasn't the case. He told me that he felt that there was something going on but his gut felt that it wasn't Si Joint Dysfunction, his gut is 99% always right, so he says. I mentioned that I wanted an MRI and he told me that I was young and healthy and that the scan would likely come back clean, but that if I felt that I needed the scan for peace of mind, than he'd be willing to recommend one. My husband jumped in and said, "Yes, we need peace of mind. We are so tired of being told that a practitioner knows what's going on and then as time goes on, they don't." The specialist also told me that he was going to write a letter to back me up to help my case with the insurance company and told me that he would like me to stay and listen to him dictate the letter over the phone to the typist. I'd never experienced such precision or a dictated letter before. While he was speaking, he paused and looked up at me and said, "You need to go and see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. I have a particular one that I'd like you to go and see. I'm sure this will be very helpful for you."


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