A Pained Life: Where Can I Get Help?

By Carol Levy, Columnist

Pain News Network recently featured a story about a California woman with chronic pain who is in such dire financial straits that she resorted to asking for help through the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.

After reading the article I realized how many of us are in the same or a similar situation.  I often read and hear the laments:

"There is no one I can go to for help."

"I am alone in this and have nowhere to turn."

"Where do I go for help?"

I have been there myself.

But there are help resources out there once you know where to turn. Here are some of them:

Meals on Wheels provides meals, companionship and safety checks to seniors and others with mobility issues.

Dental Lifeline Network  provides donated dental services. They will connect you with a dentist who will make up a treatment plan for you and complete all the work he feels you need.  The downside is you can only use this service once. 

1-800-Charity Cars provides donated vehicles for free to a wide array of individuals. Their list of those they help include the "medically needy."

The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics provides a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged Americans. Their website can help you find a free or charitable clinic near you.

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program provides work opportunities to people on disability.

This Google search page has information on dozens of programs that offer free lifeline cell phones. 

PsychCentral has a list of hotlines available 24 hours a day that can help you with whatever assistance you need from substance abuse to domestic violence issues.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline links crisis centers across the United States into one national chat network that provides emotional support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services.

Suicide.org has a listing of suicide hotlines by state.

The Samaritans is a hotline that offers emotional support to people dealing with every kind of problem, including illness, trauma and loss.

The National Health Information Center has an extensive list of toll free hotlines for health information.

In addition, you can call your state capitol or local township to find out about local social services, which may include counseling, food, setting you up with an aide, and other in-house help.

Often a local senior center will provide services.  At mine there are professionals who come in every so often to offer free assistance, such as a lawyer who deals with legal issues, accountants who help with taxes, and insurance agents who can help sort out what is the best plan for you. They may also have members who are willing to provide transportation at low or no cost, or other services like cleaning and making meals.

Also, if you live near a major university, often their professional schools (legal, dental, business, etc.) will offer reduced cost services where faculty will double check the work they do for you.

Our lives are hard enough as it is.  These various numbers, services and people can help to make them a little easier.

Carol Jay Levy has lived with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic facial pain disorder, for over 30 years. She is the author of “A Pained Life, A Chronic Pain Journey.” 

Carol is the moderator of the Facebook support group “Women in Pain Awareness.” Her blog “The Pained Life” can be found here.

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.