It's the beginning of another hot and humid Alabama day. Just like most of you I start my day with a trip to the bathroom. Not just for the obvious, I have morning meds to take. The usual for us forty-something’s, a multivitamin. Then there’s vitamin D, which most Fibromyalgia patients are encouraged to take. Next are two prescribed meds for the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and Fibromyalgia.
In today’s blog I am going to describe my most recent diagnoses, RSD, by far the worst. I want all who read this blog to know I do not want anyone’s pity. I want people to pray for me. People, who have taken the time to read this blog, learn about my conditions and understand what life is like living with chronic pain disorders. People are so busy these days. So busy in fact I have close family and friends that know I live with chronic pain but have no desire to educate them-selves so they can understand what I go through. How can a person pray when they don’t even know what to pray for? God says to be specific when we pray. Generic prayers are better than no prayers, but I would love for my prayer warriors to pray specific. The only way to do that is to get involved in my life through information, this blog will help.
(Causalgia) RSD also known as Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a malfunction of part of the nervous system. Nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. The condition usually follows trauma, such as an accident or surgery. (Mine, I assume were the three herniated discs in my lower back and then surgery). Symptoms vary as the stages evolve, so I have decided to list only the symptoms that I am currently experiencing: Constant chronic burning pain which at times can feel as if a red hot poker were inserted over and over. Pain can be throbbing, aching, stabbing, sharp, tingling or *crushing. There is extreme sensitivity to touch, which I feel in both legs, mainly from the knees down, in the feet and toes. A simple light touch, clothing, even the sheets touching your legs and feet can cause an extreme amount of pain. Spasms and muscle cramps of both legs and the affected limbs often become swollen, usually my feet. Just prior to the swelling my toes and the surrounding skin turns a bright red, the pain and tingling get worse and then the swelling begins. At times it feels as if a knife is being jabbed into my feet, the tops, sides, and soles, over and over. Sometimes it feels as if I am walking over glass.
*Crushing may be a description that you haven’t heard of or experienced. This is the worst symptom for me. It comes on sudden and feels exactly as described, crushing. Imagine, it’s 3AM and you wake up feeling as if the bones in your leg are broken to pieces, your ankle feels broken and it feels like shards of glass are piercing your toes. This happens at random times and is absolutely horrible.
This link will show where RSD rates on the McGill Pain Index. RSD is rated the most painful form of chronic pain that exists today. As you can see on the scale, Arthritis pain is ranked about an 18, Cancer pain is 24, Chronic Back Pain a 26, and then RSD/CRPS is ranked a 42! The only thing close to RSD pain is the amputation of a finger. But keep in mind, RSD is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. http://www.freewebs.com/rsdgirl/themcgillpainindex.htm
My General Practitioner has found a local doctor that specializes in RSD. This is an answered prayer. I won’t have to travel across the country, although I was willing to do so. The specialist practices at UAB Hospital. Shin J. Oh, his credentials are quite impressive and my doctor’s office will be setting up an appointment for me to see him as soon as possible. http://medicine.uab.edu/neurology/faculty/Oh/ As soon as I have an appointment with Dr. Oh I will know more about the method of treatment.
The morning medications affect chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system. The meds make me sleepy, my mouth very dry and often I get headaches. So most mornings a nap follows my medication routine but without the meds the pain is unbearable.
My next blog will cover Fibromyalgia and how it has affected my life for the past 10+ years.
Thank you for your interest in my journey. Your prayers are appreciated and your desire for knowledge and understanding goes beyond what I can express. My heart is filled with so much gratitude!
Until next time, love and prayers to you all!!