Dubai: A Norwegian expat claims she is forced to endure intense ‘suicidal pain’ because no hospital wants to treat her.
Dubai-based Leila Camilla Gaaserud, 37, was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Type 2 in 2009 after she met a car accident and injured her right femoral nerve.
The femoral nerve is located in the leg and helps the muscles move the hip and straightens the leg. Damage to the nerve can lead to CRPS, a rare, chronic and progressive condition characterised by severe pain.
According to the McGill Pain scale, the CRPS pain is more acute than what is caused by amputation, cancer or child birth.
“It’s as if someone is chopping my leg with an axe. Every few days I am rushed to a hospital only to be sent back. At best they give me some paracetamol,” said Leila. “At one hospital I was screaming in pain unable to move but the doctor refused to admit me saying the hospital was full. As I begged him, he got very annoyed and called the police. I was put in a wheelchair and parked outside the hospital screaming in pain.
"My passport was also confiscated while the doctor suggested that I was perhaps a drug addict. When I explained my condition to the police, they wondered why they had been called in the first place.”
Leila said even a hospital which had earlier performed a Femoral Nerve Block on her to ease the pain refused to treat her again.
“This is impossible to understand...I don’t know what to do. This suicidal pain is so bad I once asked a doctor to cut the nerve even if it left me limp for the rest of my life.”
Leila’s mother Wenche Camilla said her daughter’s condition has changed their lives irrevocably. “Until four years ago, she was so active. She used to play polo but now, even her piano has remained untouched for months.”
Leila said the disorder is bleeding her red as her insurance company has not renewed her policy since 2011. “An Abu Dhabi-based insurance provider is willing to give me a potential cover, but they are asking for Dh336,282 a year. I have lived in Dubai for 18 years but am planning to leave now. I can’t live like this anymore.”
Have you had a bitter experience with pain management in the UAE?
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