By Pat Anson, Editor
Suicides are never easy to accept. Especially if they involve a loved one. Even more so if they could have been prevented.
Lacy Stewart says her mother never would have killed herself if she’d been given proper medical care for her chronic fibromyalgia pain.
“I feel angry about the way she was treated,” says Stewart, a registered nurse who believes the healthcare system not only failed to treat her mother, but drove Marsha Reid to suicide at age 59.
“Her life was taken from her is the way I feel,” says Stewart. “I know it was. A person can only handle so much pain for so long. It takes its toll on every area — your mind, your body, everything. And she just couldn’t do it anymore. She’d had enough. Because nobody would help her. Nobody.”
Stewart says her mother was fit and physically active – handling all the chores at her 10-acre farm in north Texas — until she slipped on ice and landed hard on her face in 2009. Reid broke a few teeth and sustained nerve damage in the fall — injuries that evolved into the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia: chronic widespread pain, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and depression.
“Of course she sought out help. Searching for doctors that would take her on, she encountered road block after road block. Many doctor’s offices would just flat out say, ‘We don’t take fibromyalgia patients,’” recalls Stewart.
“So you take that and couple it with the fact that pain medication is often required for these patients and now the CDC has regulations that deter a physician from wanting to prescribe pain medication at all and you end up here. Zero help for a woman suffering day in and day out for all these years. She lost her job, her home, her independence.”