Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You CAN Choose!!

Give yourself a gift today.

Give yourself a challenge.

Challenge yourself to accomplish something new, something of your own choosing, before the day is done.

It could be something you create, or learn, or improve, or a problem that you solve.

Make it something that's far enough out of reach to stretch you.

Make it something that's close enough to your heart to push you and inspire you.

Decide that you will do something with this day that will distinguish it from all the others.

Choose to make this a day that you'll always look back upon with satisfaction and gratitude for having accomplished something of lasting value.

Then get busy and make it happen.
Work your way th
rough the challenge that you've so thoughtfully provided for yourself.

When you reach the goal, pause for a moment and fully experience how fulfilled, empowered, effective and purposeful it feeeeels.

Then smile to yourself with the satisfaction of knowing that you can choose to accomplish again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Celebrating The "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 8

~~Amber's Story~~

Back in September 2008, I was doing this crazy thing that occasionally happens in college, called studying. After finishing studying for a biology test I had the next day, I stood up. Upon standing, I had shooting pain in my elbow and tingling in my hand. The pain continued for a few days and I started going to doctors: five medical professionals and a few months later and I arrived at an orthopedic doctor who said it was Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Like carpal tunnel syndrome, it involves a nerve that becomes compressed and pinched, but the cubital tunnel is in the elbow rather than the wrist. It also affects the ulnar nerve rather than the median nerve. Anyway, enough of an anatomy lesson; the doctor tried several conservative methods before resorting to surgery when my pain and tingling persisted.

The surgery was pretty routine - he would slice my elbow open about 7 inches, then move the nerve to the other side of the bone that stick out of the side of your arm called the medial epicondyle (thus effectively removing my ability to "hit my funny bone"). The surgery went well; I was placed under regional anesthesia, so my hand was numb for about 24 hours after surgery.

While the whole arm was numb, I felt great, but the numbness never fully wore off the ulnar side of my hand (that's the pinkie side). Though it was numb to touch, I started feeling a crushing pain in my wrist followed by stabbing pains in my whole arm. The pain continued, so the doctor decided to go in for another surgery to be sure nothing was blocking the nerve (basically, he went "sight-seeing" in my arm to check for mistakes).

That time I had general anesthesia that resulted in instant pain as soon as I was conscious. I was taking Norco (extra strength Vicodin) and it was doing nothing for the pain and nothing did until the surgeon prescribed some Neurontin, which helped the pain a little. The pain at times was so bad I'd want to throw up. That was mid-January 2009 and now the incision is healed up well, but my arm is still in great pain.

My hand sweats more than the other, but my elbow/upper arm feels cold. My hand is swollen some and the skin is stretched tight (my pinkie and ring finger knuckles seem to have disappeared, even when I make a fist). I can't move that elbow, wrist, or hand much at all without sharp pain. The pain is really weird and very hard to explain to doctors. Even stranger is what hurts - people walking by make a breeze that causes pain, so does even the slightest vibration, like someone sitting on my bed, or twitching their foot near me.

The orthopedic surgeon thought it might just be nerve damage, and we would have to wait for the nerve to "calm down." I wasn't entirely satisfied, so I went to a psychiatrist in February 2009 who first mentioned CRPS (or RSD).

The pain in my arm hasn't changed from before the doctor said "CRPS," but the diagnosis has thrown me into an emotional tornado. With Cubital Tunnel, I was looking at going through a surgery and two weeks in a splint, but relief of pain.

When it continued to hurt afterward, the doctor said nerve damage that might take three to six months to heal. A long time, but manageable. But now, CRPS, I'll never "heal" even if I go into remission, there is always the threat of its return.

How can I go on in life when everything I am has been stripped away?

I'm 22 years old. I'm supposed to be graduating from college, looking for a house, a job, a life - gaining independence from everything I've known while growing up.

Yet I can't even tie my own shoes or fold my clothes. I've been robbed of everything that makes me who I am.

I love working with my hands: quilting, knitting, card-making, cooking, scrapbooking, art.

I love being active: hiking, biking, horse back riding, camping, traveling the world.

All of that has come to a screeching halt, replaced with pain, exhaustion, doctor's visits, and trying to hide my pain from everyone. It is all I can do to keep up with my classes, homework, doctor's visits, and physical therapy.

My life will never be the same, my plans for the future have been destroyed, my dreams devastated, but in the midst of pain and struggling to comprehend what God is doing in my life, I find hope.

God is my creator, He made my nervous system, and He knows every intricate nerve that communicates with my brain. I know He didn't make a mistake making me, exactly what He knew He was doing.

Even when all else is stripped away, I can trust that God knows exactly what He is doing in my life. I pray that this time will be one of blessings - growing closer to God and reaching out to those who are lost.

My goals in life are still the same - love God with all my heart, help those around me to know Him more, and reach out to those who cannot comprehend salvation, but my means of accomplishing my goals have changed. Just like Paul, I've been thrown in a circumstance that seems unpleasant, but I praise God because it gives me a story.
It offers a way to meet people I might never meet, it blesses me with the ability to concentrate on God when everything else has faded into the background, it forces me to accept help and rely on other Christians, drawing strength from them when I am down.

Would I choose to have CRPS? No way, but I praise God for the blessing it is to me, even in the darkest of circumstances, I will praise my God because He is worthy. Though I know I face unrelenting pain, I say to God "bring it on, just so long as you use it to glorify you." Blessed be His name, for He is worthy of endless praise.


The Journey Of Another RSD Warrior!!

Allow me to Introduce my friend,
Trudy aka TheMatrix777

To My Readers: This is a three-part series involving my latest treatment for my RSD.
The treatment is called
"Trigger Point Injections"

There is no "cure" for
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) .

The top picture is what I looked like BEFORE I got RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). I was a successful, independent software contractor making a 6 figure salary. So basically, I was very happy....... On Jan 8, 2005 my whole life changed. That was the day of my hand surgery, and my life has never been the same. I had to stop working (forced retirement) and file for disability (SSDI) because I could no longer function without my right hand! A few months later, I lost some use of my left hand too.. and then my legs stopped working. So now I'm confined to a wheelchair.
"So my wages went down to approx $1,000 a month. NO ONE can live on that. But I had to; I had no choice! Remember: I was the sole support of my family......Talk about a stressful situation, this was it!" I cried every night wondering how I could ever find the money to feed my family. I even went to a contract meeting with a client, in a cast, and pretended I was fine, even though inside I was screaming with white, hot searing pain. In the end, I just could not take the contract. There was just no way I was going to be able to bluff my way through and give the client what he paid for.
RSD tends to spread and mine was no different!!!! It spread like a wildfire! Nothing would stop it ...until Tuesday, March 24, 2009, when I got my first "Trigger Point Injection".............. .

Thank GOD for Dr.Kenneth Hampar, M.D. at the Pain Institute of Nevada

Picture #2 AFTER I got RSD. It's a picture of my right hand. Does it look like a hand? Nope. It doesn't. And it didn't work like one either.......... Now, I can't wait for the day when I don't have to have help with cutting up my food; cooking, cleaning, helping me bathe, brush my teeth, brush my hair.........etc. The list can go on forever........but you get the picture. I feel like a baby. Its humiliating...... I want some self-reliance. I want my pride back. I want to not be so foggy that I fall asleep with food in my mouth from so much pain medicine.

Treatment schedule:

1st Trigger Point Injection: March 24, 2009 2nd Trigger Point Injection: March 31, 2009 1 mo Followup: I hope you will join me. I am very excited, especially after the first shot. I have NO PAIN in my RIGHT HAND! (hint: that is the original site of the RSD)

Please remember: No treatment works the same for everyone. It seems to have worked on my hand, at least the first shot did. How long will it last? I don't know. You will know when i know. Will the 2nd one work to sever the pain cycle forever? I don't know... I have all of these questions and more . I'd love you to find out with me. My next shot is Tuesday. I will be writing the next u
pdate the.

Hope to see you soon.


Please click on any of the links in this story to visit her website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrating The "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 7 - Poem

~Talk to Me~

Come talk to me.
I am just like all of you with rsd.

Lost in a world of pain that only we can feel.
We try so hard everyday to fight the fight of pain.
That no one can see or feel but us alone

We all cry. We want to laugh.

We don't want pity or I'm sorry
We just want to be understood.

I am scared are you too?
That we may never be understood by those who love us.
Oh, they try to help but they can't,
for they will never know what we want.
That we only ask for love and some understanding.

Please never give up!!
For we all share a very special gift.
I call it compassion.

I offer you my ear to listen,

my hand to hold,
tissues to wipe your tears away.
But most of all my prayers, understanding and love


Monday, March 23, 2009

Celebrating The "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 6

~~Becca's Story~~

March 12, 2007, I will never forget that day as long as I live!!

I dropped my 4-year-old son off at childcare early in the morning, as I had to go to work. It was a home day care so she was flexible with hours. I told her that her parkway (edge of her yard at the end of her cul-de-sac) was icy and she needed to get it sanded before other kids arrived.
I left and was walking to my car carefully, but not carefully enough. I slipped and fell. Boy did I. I yelled and yelled, but no answer. It was a mess. I had to drive 1 mile to work with my left foot so I could get help because yelling did no good where I fell.

I thought I had a severe sprain since I had done that before. I went to get out of my car, and realized it wasn't just sprained. I sat for about 10 minutes until my co-worker arrived and helped me call my boss to take me to the Emergency Room. After a few hours there, they sent me to my surgeon, a great man who said we were going to fix this!

I had surgery the same day. During the surgery, I went into shock. They thought I was gonna die right on the table. Well, I didn't and when I woke up, my doc told me that he had to put a 5 inch plate with 5 screws that go from the outside of my leg towards the inside and there are also 2 more screws that go from front to back. My fibular head has 2 screws that go from the inside of my ankle up towards my leg. My bones split so I have a piece of Kevlar wrapped around the 2 bones kinda like a rubber band holding the bones in the correct position.

I was non-weight bearing for 10 weeks with an air cast boot. I was finally allowed to walk a little on it in the cast boot for another 5 weeks. I had the boot taken off the end of May 2007. By August, my foot started to have these weird spasms. My physical therapist thought I had RSD, so she sent me back to my surgeon. He sent me to a doctor who does nerve tests. She said I didn't have RSD just a little dystonia, it would go away with time. I went back to PT and fought hard for months to get back to "normal". I was discharged the end of March 2008.

In July of 2008, I went back to the Dr. who said I didn't have RSD because I was having more problems. She then decided I did in fact have RSD. She gave me some meds and sent me on my way. I had been chatting with a member at the YMCA where I worked who has RSD real bad. She gave me the name of a Dr. that she sees, but he wasn't taking new patients. I looked on the internet at a few hospitals near me and found a great Dr. who specializes in pain and has a clinical interest in RSD.

I had 2 nerve blocks, the first lasted 1 day, well almost… the 2nd put me in so much pain that he did a lidocaine IV instead of doing the 3rd nerve block. I played ping pong in his office seeing different docs. I changed neurologists and now Feb 2009, I am struggling to live. I have tried a number of meds, some worked a little, most don't. It's hard because I am on state insurance. They don't like to pay for a lot of meds, so I have to fight to get most of them. Some they still won't pay for. They won't pay for a lot of treatments either. I can't have physical therapy even though all the research says PT is the most beneficial treatment for RSD. I had a shoulder problem in high school and prior to that surgery, my doc (now retired) tried every med available to kill the pain. The only thing that worked was Percocet. I can't have Percocet even though that is one of the every few pain drugs that work for me. I can't take the generic of this med due to an allergy, but Maine doesn't care.

Right now (Feb 2009) I am taking Lyrica, Mirapex (it knocks out a weird side effect I get with Lyrica) and Zoloft (I have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)

I have had to fight for everything since I broke my leg. I can't sue the woman whose house I fell at, because in the great state of Maine, slip and fall cases are difficult at best to win. She had no homeowners insurance (it had lapsed when her husband went out of work) so I couldn't even file a claim with her insurance. Mainecare (Medicaid) pays my medical bills…well some of them.

My RSD has officially spread to my left leg so both legs are affected from my hips down. It is getting harder and harder to walk, but I am not letting RSD get me. I have HOPE that someday there will be a cure.

Thank you for listening to my story.


Ever Wonder If You're Giving A Massage Correctly?

With this video you won't have to wonder anymore!! And if you pre-order this DVD before April 16th, Kathy is offering FREE Shipping!! I have placed my order and my husband is anxiously waiting for it because he says I really don't do it right. =)

You can pre-order your DVD by going to http://www.healingcirclemassage.com/instructional_dvd or you can call 805-680-1984.

Kathy was a guest on my show so if you would like to get to know her before you pre-order your DVD, just go to http://www.rsdcoachlive.com . You will find that Kathy is such an knowledgeable and inspirational lady and what she is offering in this DVD is step by step instructions on how you can give a massage the correct way so as to not hurt anyone, but help with their aches and pains much much better!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where Is God in the Midst of All My Troubles?

Has God forgotten me? Does He hate me? Why does He seem to hide Himself?

by J. Budziszewski

Trouble suffocates me. Worry entangles me. By night I can't sleep, by day I can't rest. The burden of suffering is intolerable. Where is God? Does He know, or are my prayers heard only by the wall? Is He near, or somewhere distant, only watching?

If you hurt enough to ask such questions, you deserve an answer.

Some people think that you don't. You're sick, you're dying, you've been deserted, you've lost a child, you're innocent but accused of wrongdoing — and they try to shush you. Their intentions may be good, but they are hard to bear. "Don't question God's ways; He might hear you." In my cry of anguish, don't I want Him to hear me? "It's probably for your own good." If I'm to be tormented for my own good, don't I get a say in the matter? "I'm sure there's a good reason." No doubt there is, but did I ask for a philosophical explanation? What I asked is "Where is God?"

Some Comforters

Even worse are the people who say, "You're being unfair to God. It isn't His fault. If He could have kept your trouble from happening, He would have, but He couldn't. God is just as helpless as you are, and He weeps to see your sorrow." No. If God is really God, then He could have stopped it; if I'm suffering, then He could have stopped it but didn't. I may be baffled by Him, I may be frustrated by Him, but the God I want to hear from is the God who rules the world. I'm not interested in a God who is "not responsible."

Some Comforters, Some Religion

Has God forgotten me? Does He hate me? Why does He seem to hide Himself? I am weary of my comforters, tired of His defenders. I want God to answer me in person. If only I could state my case before Him and hear His answer!

There was once a man who did that. His name was Job. He too was plagued with so-called comforters and defenders of God, but he demanded a hearing from God Himself, and God answered him. The history of the incident is told in great detail in the Bible.

Job is blameless and upright, a man of such integrity that even God likes to show him off. If anyone deserves blessings, Job does. Yet one day God puts him to the test. Job"s life falls to pieces; calamity of every kind descends upon him. Raiders sweep his fields; his livestock are captured or destroyed; his servants are put to the sword; a house collapses on his sons and daughters and kills them all. Disease strikes him, and he is covered with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. In all this, he submits patiently to God, only to be mocked by his wife, who tells him to "curse God and die!"(Job 2:9) Friends arrive, and still he is patient. For days they sit with him in silence, seeing how greatly he suffers.

A Torrent of Grief

Finally Job can contain himself no longer. In a torrent of grief and protest, he cries, wishing that he had never lived. He doesn't curse God, but he curses the day he was born. The terrible curse demeans all the previous good in his life; it implies that his joy, his home, his peace, and the lives of his children had never meant a thing, just because now they are gone.

This is too much for Job's friends, and they rebuke him. On and on they lecture him; they cannot scold enough. Suffering, they say, is punishment for sin. The greater the sin, the greater the suffering. Since Job is in agony, he must have done something terrible to deserve it. Obviously, then, he is covering up. He only pretends to be just; he is really a hypocrite. If only he would confess and take his punishment, God would forgive him and relent — but instead, like a fool, he complains.

To hear these accusations is unbearable to Job. He rages in grief, defending himself and denouncing his friends. Against God, his complaints are even more bitter — and inconsistent. One moment he wants God to leave him alone, the next moment he wants Him to listen. One moment he declares himself guiltless, the next moment he admits that no man is. Yet through it all, he insists that his suffering is undeserved, and he demands that God give him a hearing.

Answer in a Whirlwind

In the end, Job gets his hearing. God answers from the heart of the whirlwind. He doesn't pull His punches, and the encounter is overpowering. Meeting God turns out to be nothing like just hearing about Him. But Job is satisfied.

There are two amazing things about this face-off. The first is that God never explains to Job the reason for his suffering. In other words, it isn't because God answers Job's questions that Job is finally satisfied. In fact God asks questions of His own: Where was Job when God laid the foundations of the earth? Can he bind the stars of the constellations? Job has challenged the Creator of the mind, but does he comprehend even the mind of the ostrich? Job confesses, "I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know"(Job 42:3).

The second amazing thing is that God does not side with Job's friends. He sides with Job. It seems impossible. Wasn't Job God's accuser? Weren"t his friends God's defenders? But there cannot be any mistake. Even though God humbles Job, not once does He express anger toward him. Yet toward his friends, God declares that His anger blazes out. He says that He will not forgive them until Job has prayed for them. And why? Because they have not spoken the truth about Him, "as my servant Job has"! (Job 42:7-8)

What truth could Job have spoken? Didn't he just admit that he hadn't known what he was talking about?

Not All Suffering Is Our Fault

Yes, but about one thing Job was right: He didn't deserve what was happening. Not all suffering is our fault. We do bring some suffering upon ourselves: Adulterers destroy their homes, drunks their livers, wasters their wealth. Yet the innocent suffer too. Dreadful things happen, things we don't deserve, things that seem to be senseless. This is why God sides with the sufferer, even in preference to those so-called defenders who merely "explain away" the pain.

In His justice, God understands that this will seem unjust to us. He does not even try to give us "answers" that we could not understand. Instead, He visits us, as He visited Job. Is He not God? He is a better answer than the "answers" would have been. Indeed, He is the only possible answer. Though we find ourselves buried in a deeper dark than night, from the midst of the whirlwind, He speaks.

You may object, "What good is it for God to visit me? He's not the one drowning in troubles; I am. You say God sides with the sufferer," but these words are meaningless. God can't suffer with me. He only watches."

But there is more. The story of Job is not God's last word. Nor is it His last deed.

Human Wrecks

Let's face it. In all our thoughts about suffering, we have sidestepped the main issue and focused on the secondary issue. To be frank, we human beings are wrecks. The external troubles that we blame on God are the least of our suffering. Something worse is wrong with us, and it is wrong with us inside.

One writer describes the problem as a "deep interior dislocation in the very center of human personality. " What we want to do, we don't. What we don't want to do, we do. We not only do wrong, but call it right. Even the good things in us become polluted. We may long to love purely, but our desires turn into idols that control us. We may long to be "blameless" like Job, but our righteousness turns into a self-righteousness that rules us. We may long to be reconciled with God, but we can't stop wanting to be the center of the universe ourselves.

Can't Repair Ourselves

Not only are we broken, but we can't repair ourselves. Could you perform surgery on your own eyes? How could you see to do it? Suppose you tore off both hands; could you sew them back on? Without hands, how could you hold the instruments? Our sin-sickness is something like that. Many philosophies teach about right and wrong with pretty fair accuracy. What they can't do is heal the sin-sickness. However true, no mere philosophy can do that. Our cancer requires more than a philosophy. What it requires is the divine surgeon, God Himself, and the name of His surgery is Jesus Christ.

Jesus was God Himself in human flesh — fully God, but fully man. Most people have heard that He taught, performed miracles, healed the sick. Most people have heard that He was executed on a Cross and rose again. What is less well known is what this was all about.

Did someone say God doesn't suffer? In Jesus, God suffered. That was why He became one of us — to suffer for us.

Even though He had no sin of His own, Jesus identified with us so completely that He took the burden of our inward brokenness — our sin and sin-sickness — upon Himself. He understands it all, because He bore it all — the whole weight of it, all for us. By dying, He took it to death; by rising, He opened for us a way, through Him, to life.

There was no other way for God to help us. He bore real agony, bled real blood, died real death. On the Cross, even He felt alone. When He cried out, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" it was for us (Matthew 27:46). All this He saw coming from afar, and He accepted it on our behalf. He paid the price that we cannot pay, He bore the burden that we cannot bear. "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened," He says, "and I will give you rest"(Matthew 11:28).

This is not a fable; it actually happened, and it is really true. If we trust Him as our price-payer, as our sin-bearer, then through Him we give up our broken life and receive His own life in its place. Then no suffering can be meaningless, because it is lifted up into His own suffering and redeemed.

Did you read the catch? "If we trust Him." Can you do that? Can you do it utterly, without reserve? Can you give up the ownership of yourself, and transfer the title to Him? If something in your heart is an obstacle — some fear, some pain, some pride — can you at least ask Him to remove it?

Though He had 77 questions for Job, for you He has only one. Will you come?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrating the "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 5

~Kris' Journey~

My name is Kristin and I am a 50-year-old female who has been suffering with chronic pain for 9 years.

After researching these diseases. I believe mine started from years of emotional and sometimes physical abuse in my first marriage. Spending everyday for 17 years with worry that you may make your husband mad or upset in anyway or at any moment takes a toll on your body. I remember going through panic attacks and being afraid to sleep at night or even go out for anything. I finally got the panic attacks under control and I am so grateful for that.

I then had surgery on my neck for a herniated disc that was causing a lot of pain and pressure in the back of my head and neck. About 1 year later the Chronic Pain started, first with Fibromyalgia. It took many doctor appointments and testing to finally get an answer to the all over aching and pain I had.

I was at that point divorced from my first husband and during the time I was being tested to find out what was wrong with me, I met up with an ex-boyfriend on a class mates site and we started talking and became close and now we are married.

He has helped me through all the hard times and taken me to doctors and tried to get me the help I needed. I have been very blessed to have him.

I then tried to work again and did ok for a while, until one night after work, I was out walking with my dog. It is something we had done for about a year. We were up to 2 miles a night, when I felt a horrible pain in my hip. It went shooting down my rt. hip to my foot. The pain was so bad; I could barely make it back to my car. The pain continued, so I had an X-ray , then MRI. The MRI showed herniated discs in my back, so I went for epidural injections and therapy. When neither of those things worked and the pain continued and even got worse, they sent me to a pain doctor. I was diagnosed with RSD by him and sent for desensitization therapy, aqua therapy and PT. He also did nerve blocks and finally got me on a combination of meds that did seem to help some with the pain. They then tried a trial SCS (Spinal Cord Stimulator) which did not work for me at all. But the pain did go down some from the combination of the other things they had me try.

Since then, I have also been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease with and Stenosis Arthritis in my neck and back, Raynaud's Carpal Tunnel and Hyperthyroid.

I know how devastating it can be for a person suffering and those around him/her. I have had different pain syndromes and have learned a lot about them in that time, but I know there is always more to learn especially from others who also have these diseases.

It is very hard to not be able to do the things you used to, such as hold down a job and know where your next paycheck is coming from. It is really hard to have a doctor tell you that it is all in your head, or a spouse who thinks that you are lazy, or friends who just don't want to be friends any more.

I am fortunate, though; my family and friends have been very understanding and as helpful as they can. My husband is a very concerned, loving and compassionate man and hopes that there will be a cure for some of these diseases soon. I know not everyone who suffers has family helping them. Most of the time, family and friends are not there for them.

Before I had these pain diseases, I had a more normal and active life. I sometimes held down 2 or 3 jobs, plus had some nighttime activities. I am now unable to make plans with friends or family because of pain. It is a hard thing for them to understand and that is one of the things I am hoping to change one day.

I am still able to get around even though I walk a little funny. I am able to do light house-work and keep up with the cooking and shopping. Some days I am just too tired or sore to do things, so I don't. I just do as much as I can and then stop. I am unable to work or hold down a job at present, but am hoping to change that one-day with treatment.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebrating The "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 4

~~Beckii's Journey~~

My name is Beckii and I am 15 and I live in central England and this is my story....

I have CRPS/RSD, Chronic Pain Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

I first fell ill in October 2006, at first we were sure that I had appendicitis, but when my temperature fell back to normal whilst in hospital and the lack of vomiting the doctors were completely confused about what it was. I was in hospital for two weeks, and it wasn't appendicitis.

One of the head consultants said it was a nasty muscle attacking virus that would last 6-8 weeks. We believed him and went away, in the follow up appointments I still wasn't any better, he then referred me to the pain management team at our local hospital (who are very good, the consultant and chronic pain nurse I'm under there are both Christians which is yay for me :D ) They diagnosed me with Chronic Pain Syndrome, (a rather nondescript title which just means that I'm in pain for a long time).

Then I plodded along for a while taking my meds and doing part time school, then Easter 2007 I got crushed in a door frame at school. This was when the CRPS occurred. It first appeared in my right arm, it was diagnosed within 2 weeks, which was amazing. ( It just so happened that the 5th time we went to accident and emergency the doctor decided to send me to the physical therapy department. The PT we saw took one look at my arm and diagnosed it. Looking at it really this was a minor miracle that everything got moving so quickly!)

Again I plodded along taking meds having physiotherapy (at this point my arm was purple nearly all the time, frozen across my body and my trigger finger twitched constantly)

Then in June 2007 I got a night cramp in my left leg. This also developed into CRPS. We took the same course of action only this time we went straight to the physiotherapist, we upped the therapy.

In august 2007 I went to my church's family camp, after much prayer I was completely healed and off of my meds within the week. But this is not where my story ends.

In September 2007 I scolded my hand whilst making a hot drink. I took Co-codamol for the pain, the A&E nurse said it was actually really bad (2nd degree covering about 1/4 of my left hand) and suggested the co-codamol.

By October this had sparked off pain and nausea in my stomach. The docs said this was the chronic pain syndrome back again (we later (august 2008) found out that it was also IBS) so we started back up on the meds, but not with opioid's as that's what caused it.

Again I plodded along until may 2008 when I got night cramp in both of my legs, the CRPS developed in my left leg again. To start with it was only my lower leg but now it's the whole thing. I use a stick to walk and I cannot walk very far most days, after about 50 yards I want to stop, after about 200 yards I need to stop and sit down to recover, if I don't it takes me hours to, after about 500 yards I'm on the verge of collapsing and it can take me days to recover.

I don't live as a normal teen girl would, I've been forced to grow up. But I've also been forced to fully rely on God - I mean even without pain walking on God's steam can't be a bad thing right?

Last weekend I went away with one of the local Christian youth groups, and I can say a good time was had by all. Though if I weren't actually counting on God to make my legs move properly and keep me smiling even through the agony I wouldn't have coped.

It sounds very odd to say this but If I could of course I would get rid of the pain, but If I were given the option of not having it at all, I would still take it. I've learn so many lessons through it the experience has been invaluable.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reach Even Higher!!

Don't let yourself get too comfortable. For comfort can drain you of the ambition to follow your most treasured dreams.

It is great to be pleased with where you are and with how far you've come. Yet even the most satisfying achievements begin to lose their value to you as soon as they are completed.

It is great to spend your time in pleasant, comfortable surroundings. Yet there is so much more to life than pleasure and comfort.

You are at your best when you are moving toward a meaningful, positive and ambitious goal. As each goal is reached, use the position you've attained to reach even higher.

No matter how delicious, satisfying, and filling your most recent meal may have been, before long you will need to eat again. Learn to see achievement in the same way.

For just as food sustains your body, achievement helps to sustain your spirit. As you work toward a worthy goal, you more fully become the best you can be.

You've already made much progress. Reach even higher, and keep that golden momentum going!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Celebrating The "Women Of HOPE" - Journey # 3

~~Mar's Story~~

April 23, 2005

I was doing my job, my job that I loved so much. I was a nurse, and I worked on the med-surge floor at Medina Memorial Hospital. One of my CNAs asked me if I would please help her pull up a patient in bed. I said yes, that I would help her. When I did that, my left leg stayed attached to the floor. It did not move with me. As I did that, the top part of my leg (the thigh) went to the right. The bottom part of my leg (the calf) went to the left...instant pain, dropped to the floor. That night was so very busy. I got an icepack and used an ace bandage to keep it in one place. We had 30 patients and there were just two of us on the floor. No time for me to stop doing what I loved to do. When I got done with my 12 hours shift....... I thought my leg was going to fall off. I called my PCP when I got home that am, and went right over there to see him. He sent me for x-rays. Then he told me that I needed to go to an Orthopedic Surgeon.

May 9, 2005

I went to the surgeon and he said that I tore my Medial Meniscus and that I broke a huge piece of the end of my Patella.

June 22, 2005

I had Arthroscopic Surgery to fix what I had done to my knee....the recovery from this was pretty long, and a lot of physical therapy!!

December 26, 2006

The day after Christmas... .I went out to turn the outside lights on in the garage. On my way there....... .I fell on the patio. The cement patio. I tried really hard to guard my knee. That did not work out so well for me! My knee crashed on the patio. I was on the ground, in the snow...it was snowing. I had my cell phone with me THANK GOD! I called in the house, and Dylan was the only one that was here with me. He was playing with his new toys. I said to him, Dyl mommy fell and I am out on the patio and I cannot get up! He said mommy, I am playing with my new toys! hahahah I said Dyl I need you to call Gam and Pap (my parents). He called them and told them what had happened, but he forgot to tell them that I was still on the ground! My poor son, he was pacing waiting for my parents! They came and helped me in the house. I looked at my knee....it was an instant bruise a really bad one, the whole knee.

I immediately called my surgeon; He said to ice it, and that he would see me in the morning. I went, and he did an MRI...he said that it showed nothing. Well, months went by, and I kept having so many problems with walking, and the pain. I went back to him in July and said that something was really wrong in there. He then did another MRI and said that I needed to have another surgery that I had broke a HUGE piece of the Patella on the Medial side. He then said that he was going to do a surgery that was called Drilling and Coning....which meant that he was going to drill many tiny holes in my knee and hope that the cartilage would grow back.

August 1, 2006

The day that my WHOLE life changed....I woke from the surgery screaming, and crying. My knee was burning SO bad! He was the first face that I saw when I woke. He told the nurse to give me some more medication, and the nurse said that she just had given me some. He told her that he did not care, that she needed to give me some more....I was still screaming, that burning pain, that pins and needles pain....did not stop.......the recovery from this surgery was HORRIBLE! I had to do physical therapy, and I could not do it.....I could barley walk, and that burning pain...still there. After a while he said that he would do a cortisone shot. When he did that, it was soo bad, hurt so bad! The pain was intensified from that shot.

October 19, 2007

A year and two months later....... ..the surgeon finally said that he thought that there was something more going on in the knee...he sent me to about five other doctors to confirm what he was thinking that I had....they all agreed with what he was saying....He thought that I had CRPS.

He sent me to a Pain Management doctor....I was evaluated by him......at first he said that he did not think that I had it. I went back to him about two weeks later...he then told me that I had CRPS.....

After that we tried two Sympathetic nerve blocks. The first one lasted until I got out to the truck to go home. The second one lasted about one week. We have played around with my medication this whole time....nothing seems to be working out so well for me. He often talked about the SCS....I had a lot of thinking to do about that! I talked it over with my husband, and with my parents. My husband said that he thought anything at this point was worth a try. My parents said the same thing. I still was not convinced that I should do it....I did not know what to do. The flares for me were so bad, the discoloration, the burning, stabbing shooting pain, the hypersensitivity. I could not even wear pants, in the winter I was wearing shorts when I had to go out.

One night I had a horrible flare, it was the worst ever. I called my mom, and her and my dad came to my house. They were begging me to please try the SCS...there were a lot of emotions at that very minute. At that point, I decided that I had to try the SCS. I tried the trial surgery first. As soon as the SCS was turned on.....oh man, I felt relief!!! It was sooo nice! I had the trial in for four days....I did not want it to come out! I wanted to run away with it in!!

July 8, 2008

The date that my permanent SCS was put in....this surgery was different. I was awake for most of the surgery so that I could tell them when I felt it and things. Then I went to sleep while they put the battery in.
When I awoke, the pain was not so bad, but the battery site was BURNING!! They kept telling me that it would go away. Six months later they were still telling me that the burning pain would go away! I think that the SCS helped with my CRPS pain for about a month. Then things changed....and changed for the worse. I have had eight re-programming done....still with little to none difference.. ..

February 2009

At this point......the SCS is doing nothing for me. I tried to do what they call the "holiday". That is when you turn your SCS off for a week and see what happens and they say that it might reset the brain. Well, while it was off, the only things that I noticed about it not being on was that my legs and feet were very purple and red...also, I noticed that the spasms that I have in my calves were worse! The burning, stabbing shooting pain that I have always had......was no different with the SCS on or off.... The battery site......still BURNS
like crazy.

This last time that I saw
my PM he gave me some Lidoderm patches for that site. They seem to be helping some what...but the burning is still there... He also increased my Kadian (morphine) too. He said that maybe that would help through out the day. So far, I do not notice a difference at all.

Through this whole thing, I am trying to stay positive. My children.... .oh dear, I feel so bad for them. I was the active, sports mom. And now, I am not! It is hard for them to understand
why.......they ask, and I have to tell them that I cannot do something and it breaks my heart! Work........ oh, how much I miss working. I know that at this point, there is no way that I can go to work.

Depression.. .......sometimes , it is really bad. I feel sorry for myself, and I know that I can not do that. Everyone has bad days right? Well, my bad days seem to be more than that good days!

My marriage.... .I am not even sure that it can survive this. So many things have changed.... I will say, that I have met, and found some wonderful people that also have CRPS. They understand what I am going through every day!

I do have HOPE, and I will always have HOPE! It is a struggle everyday....
I will make it!!