Here's a link to a news story you can watch on CBC's The National, for November 15th. MS patients who travel abroad for angioplasty surgery and have complications; are being denied post operative care when they return to Canada .
I can't say I blame doctors for denying treatment to anyone who has had a procedure abroad. Angioplasty to treat MS is not a recognized procedure in Canada. Doctors are in a difficult situation. They would like to help but feel they can't.
That is why we must press on to have angioplasty recognized as a viable treatment option. There are complications for some, however, out of the thousands who have already had the procedure only a handful have had problems. Isn't it like that for any treatment? Some people will have problems. I had two teeth pulled out last year and I was stunned when the dentist handed me a list of possible complications. I never imagined there were so many thing that could go wrong just from having a tooth removed. Did I hesitate to have the procedure? No and that is the my point. I had a choice. I was an informed patient. Weighing the risks, I decided to go ahead .
Shouldn't it be that way with angioplasty for MS? We the patients inform ourselves with the help of the medical community and then decide what we want to do. Instead, the choice is being made for us based on hesitation (for whatever selfish or unselfish reasons ) which means no choice.
And my fellow bloggers (if you still read my blog ) Here is quoted text from an email I received from Tim Donovan, who is in the vanguard of fighting for " angioplasty for all" . My feelings exactly, but he says it so much better than me.
"Hi Everyone : Please allow me to share with you my feelings on the CBC and CTV stories yesterday about complications arising from the Angioplasty Procedure. I made a comment on the internet in May about how I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. This started a dialogue with many of you with MS and I felt for the first time that maybe something could be done for this horrible disease. I was skeptical at first like many people , but then I started reading your reports of how improvements were taking place and that people were getting their lives back. I decided at that point to take the risk and have the procedure....I had the procedure done on Aug 5 in Albany NY with Dr.Mandatto. I cannot express in words how much better I am since then !!! I can now live a relatively normal life. I cannot walk real well yet but I can walk !! My fatigue level has gotten much better, I can stay up most of the day now.. These are absolutely wonderful life changing improvements. I have heard many, many horror stories of people living with MS and dying with MS. That is why I took on the challenge to educate Canadians about my improvements and yours. Some people do not see the same improvements as I did, and thats just the way life is. I did not have stents. Some patients have had stents put in and everything has worked very well for them.. Some have had stents put in and are having difficulty getting back to their doctors out of the country for follow up. That is why I am telling everyone to be very very careful where they go for this treatment. The very best place to go is right here in Canada, but we are not there yet!! We will be !!! but not yet. I have received a few emails about the CBC report yesterday. Some were negative, many were positive. We are all entitled to our opinions, but Please do not let this cause, become devisive. We must Stand together !! (pun intended). We can disagree with each other but please do it kindly and respect the feelings of all MS patients. My feelings are this, I am not going to encourage people to get this procedure without sharing the possibility of complications arising. If people ,do not want to take that risk that is their decision. I would feel just absolutely terrible if anyone gets harmed by this procedure and I did not share the possibilities with them, even though the risk is very low. I believe that this Procedure Absolutely works, better yet I know it does !! I would recommend it for any member of My Family, I believe that strongly in it. We must be willing to address all the issues concerning Angioplasty even if they are negative. I get excited every time another MS person gets better, so I try to keep all this in perspective. Many thousands have gotten better,probably well over 90% ( my guess ) some have not. Tell me any medical procedure that can boast these results !! I am Not a Doctor and I wish a neurologist was doing this instead of me, but if they wont we will !!! We are going to Win, We are going to get this treatment in Canada !! If the complications of this procedure cause doctors to be concerned, they should be and so should we. I believe we take more of a risk driving to work in the morning with our cars than we do with having this procedure done. Please be assured before I do any media interviews that I will try to see where they are going with it. We need Media exposure to educate people about this fantastic breakthrough for MS Patients. We are Making History Today !! I care for everyone of you, so lets fight this battle together and hope the media continues to work with us. Until we all get better !!!