My Story: Giving Up Is Not an Option

My Story: Giving Up Is Not an Option

I am a disabled 55-year old woman in West Virginia who is having lots of issues getting a doctor to help me with my medical conditions because they think that I am faking it. Not because I am, but because in this part of West Virginia, the medical doctors are either uneducated or unwilling to change the way they think.

Let me begin this way. I spent 30 years of my life working, raising three healthy well-adjusted children, and buying my own home. I paid off a 30-year mortgage in ten years, because of working so hard.

Marilee Nutt

Marilee Nutt

Then in 2005, I was rear-ended by a drunk driver less than a quarter mile from my house. My daughter and 3-month old granddaughter were in the car with me. Thank God, neither of them was hurt. But I was.

I initially hurt from the top of my head to my rear end, and within days the intensity of the pain increased by ten-fold, centered in my neck and back. The pain was so intense it made the pain scale totally obsolete.

I needed surgery, and wound up with a titanium plate and 8 screws in my neck and back.

Suffice it to say, I went from working two or three jobs every day, to not being able to work at all. I went from being an active parent to being an inactive grandmother. When I move, it hurts.

I have since been diagnosed with a variety of ailments that I don’t think would have impacted me as early as they did had I not been hit by the drunk driver. I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.

I have pain 24/7. I sleep maybe two hours at a time, and then I’m awake for two to three hours before I’m able to sleep again. I really rarely sleep well, because of the pain.

There are no doctors in my little town that treat this level of pain. They are all afraid of the addiction that the supposed experts say we have in West Virginia because of prescription drugs.

Some say travel to Charleston, just a 45 minute drive for a normal person, but it’s a 90 minute drive for me because I have to stop so often. It’s also an impossible trip for me, because I can’t afford to drive that far in the car I can no longer afford to insure. I live for a month on what I used to live on for a week.

The pain forbids me from riding on a bus to Charleston. So, I have to deal with doctors who don’t know.  Plus, I take so many over the counter pain remedies that I have torn my stomach up completely. I have recently started trying natural and herbal remedies to see if they may work for me.

The intensity of pain in my entire body leaves me unable to move around much, breath or even sit without hurting. There is no relief and there is no help.

But for someone with my attitude, there is no giving up. I pop another acetaminophen and get back to it. I garden, I scrapbook, I make and design my own jewelry. I also work with and for the homeless. I know that they understand. Imagine that.

Inspiring all I know with my faith, my hope and my courage, makes each day complete. Giving up is not an option.

Marilee Nutt lives in Parkersburg West Virginia.

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Authored by: Marilee Nutt

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John Quintner

@ Karen. Would the local Medical Board be interested in your case? The doctor concerned has abandoned you without ensuring continuity of your care. This in my opinion is a serious breech of ethical practice. It also appears that you have undergone heaps of useless “passive” treatment for your pain. Who paid for it! As for the insurer, the decision to deny liability for compensation needs to be tested in court. Saying that your pain is now attributable to “degenerative” changes is the oldest trick in their book.

karen dean

I am having the same trouble finding a Chronic pain doctor. My doctor retired and assured me that the new doctor taking over would not change anything since it has been working for me and allows me to function every day. After he left I found this not to he true and he does not see patients with chronic pain issues. He said he didn’t know who or where I should go. I am disabled at 48. I am a nurse and was injured at work. I herniated 4 discs, have sciatica, si joint dysfunction, rsd,.osteoarthritis in my knees and back.sine the last not came up saying degenerative changes workers.comp has denied me any more help. I also suffer from fibromyalgia that many doctors don’t believe in. I have under gone many rounds of PT, injections, massage therapy etc.. I have a little girl and boy to take care of and can’t when I am in.too much pain to walk or get out of bed Anyone have suggestions?

John Quintner

Thanks for the clarification, Marilee. Were you ever referred to a multidisciplinary pain management unit where you could learn about the availability of non-pharmacological techniques of pain management? Sounds like you worked them out for yourself. Best wishes. John


I had severely herniated, dislocated discs in my neck that required surgery. There was something about having my neck nearly snapped in half. BUT I count my blessings because the doctor who took care of me was in a larger town, at a hospital called Riverside in Columbus OH. While I still have tremendous pain in my neck and shoulders, I can at least still walk. THANK GOD! There is little to be accomplished by whining but much to be gained by each of us working together to try to find a solution!

John Quintner

@Marilee. I would be interested to know why you needed surgery to your neck and back. I do hope that sanity will eventually prevail over the opiophobia that is currently rampant within the medical profession in your country.