Grampian Pain Support (GPS) is a self-help group, set-up to help both people with pain and their relatives/carers to support each other to live well with pain. This can be done through helping them to understand their persistent pain and move forward with their lives, thereby improving their quality of life. The group is run by a committee of volunteers who are all living with persistent pain
Gill Thomson -Chairperson
Hi, my name is Gill and I am Chairperson of this group. I am using this photo with myself and one of my fur babies taken a couple of years ago as I have been having a bit of a hard time over last couple of years and don’t like any photos that have been taken recently! My dogs (Keasha and Kayla are my babies now my human babies have grown up and flown the nest). I have a number of conditions including persistent pain. I have battled with pain for most of my life. I enjoy spending time with my granddaughters, seeing my family and Rugby! I have not managed to be active within the group for almost two years, but I am hoping to stay out of hospital and do the best for the group. I look forward to seeing you at the group.
Ian Scott – Vice Chairperson
Hi, my name is Ian and I have suffered persistent pain since 1994 due to being misdiagnosed and was working with an injury. I understand how it can affect your life and those near to you. I was at my worst mentally and physically by 1997 as I felt let down by the medical profession and that I had been left to fend for myself. It was then a psychiatric nurse thought I would benefit from joining a persistent pain support group that had started up a couple of years earlier. Being willing to try anything I went along and after my first meeting began a journey of self-management. This changed my mood and allowed me to accept there was no cure and that I had to learn to live with it but on my own terms. I learned to keep some of the pain at bay by not pushing its buttons and learning to rely more on how planning and pacing activities can make life more bearable. I continue to attend the group in my role as Vice Chairperson and general dogsbody!
Doreen Morgan – Treasurer
I come from a large family, I am one of ten born at home in the Howe of the Mearns, I came to Aberdeen at the age of fifteen years to work in the hospitality trade, where I remained most of my working life until I retired.
I have suffered persistent back pain for many years. I had the opportunity to go on a pain management course about fifteen years ago. It has changed how I manage to live with the pain rather than it manages me. I have a Tens machine which I use when the pain takes over which happens from time to time.
I have been the treasurer of the group since it started as a charity some four years ago. I find Grampian Pain Support very comforting while meeting with people who have similar ailments, and we are a friendly bunch.
Laura McCann – Secretary
I was born in Glasgow in 1964 and have a form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita this is a rare condition, the main feature being joint contractures which means I have limited movement in my joints and muscle weakness. It also caused some other birth defects such as cleft palate and webbed neck, I had many surgeries and hospital visits as a child. Against medical advice I fulfilled my ambition to train as a nurse and managed to work part time for many years. I also provided respite foster care for children with special needs for 13 years. In my 30’s my joints deteriorated and started to cause severe pain. I now manage with crutches inside but rely on a power chair outdoors. After having to give up work and cope with constant pain I found myself becoming depressed and at times isolated. I was referred to the Signposting Aberdeenshire Service who directed me to Grampian Pain Association. This group folded soon after I joined but I became involved in setting up the new group Grampian Pain Support, I am currently secretary of the group. The group has helped me find ways to manage my persistent pain and have the support of others in a similar situation to myself. Being on the committee has given me another interest and I feel I am doing something worthwhile.
Audrey Ross – Committee Member
I was born in Aberdeen during the 2nd World War, spending my school years at Walker Road Primary and then onto Aberdeen Academy. Since leaving school I worked in various clerical positions, also having raised my family and finally working in a doctor’s medical practice before I retired.
I have always been interested in helping people and have enjoyed working with figures I volunteered for A.B.E. (adult basic education) to help adults with literacy and numeracy which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also volunteered with Arthritis Care and Multiple Sclerosis Support as an escort to help with mobility/transport for people attending clubs and outings.
I have been a sufferer of persistent lower back pain and arthritis for many years and also unfortunately had a hip replacement which was unsuccessful and left me with further pain complications and many hospital appointments. It was during this time that I was introduced to the Grampian Pain Support Group over 5 years ago and I am currently on the committee which I thoroughly enjoy. By meeting other members in the group, it has given me a positive insight into how other people manage their persistent pain and I also find the monthly speakers who come and speak to the group on various subjects very informative. We are a very friendly group of people who care for each other and always willing to listen.
Jenny Gallacher – Committee Member
My name is Jenny Gallacher and I live in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.
I was a secondary school teacher mainly of Biology but with some Physics until I retired through ill health.
Quilting and having coffee with my friends keeps me busy at home while having 3 young grandchildren also means that there’s never a dull moment.
I enjoy cycling and gardening when my pain levels allow otherwise I supervise my husband to ensure he does things right.
Micaela Matos – Committee Member
I was born on the island of Madeira the eldest of 3 sisters, I always worked hard during the day and studied at night. I qualified as a hairdresser and owned 2 salons.
Aged 30, I married and had a beautiful baby but in childbirth I suffered from “sacroiliac joint displacement” and unfortunately there is no cure for this condition, it has caused me to stop all my usual activities. I never imagined that pain would change my life and those close to me in such a negative way.
After I had surgery, I was attending the pain clinic and was referred to the persistent pain management program to help me manage my pain and cope with flare-ups. It was there that a doctor informed me about Grampian Pain Support.
The group helps me to deal with the day-to-day levels of constant pain and I feel less isolated. My usual day at home would be spent in my recliner chair watching television, feeling depressed about how my life has turned out and suffering a lot of pain.
At the group all the members have various medical conditions, problems and of course persistent pain. I think together we cope better and maintain hope. My hope while being part of the committee, is to help and support the others using my own experiences.
May Lyon – Committee Member
The youngest of three, I was born and bred in rural Aberdeenshire. On leaving school at the age of 17 years I spent a happy and fulfilling career in office administration until retiring.
My pain issues started in the late eighties and in spite of many treatments and minor operations there has been only minimal improvement.
Persistent pain can be debilitating and depressing which led to me attending the pain group on the recommendation of my GP. I find that interaction with other pain sufferers is beneficial and I know that others feel the same. We have talks on different subjects on how to manage and live with pain. Members come from all walks of life from the young to the not so young. there is also a social aspect as well which everybody enjoys. I recently became a committee member of the group.