Contributed by: Omega
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, July 2010
Omega is 22 years old and lives in Tennessee.
I developed CRPS last year after a shoulder surgery gone bad. [Complex regional pain syndrome, also known as CRPS, is a painful neuropathic pain condition]. I never thought that I would develop chronic pain. Now nine months later chronic pain has caused every emotion known to man for me. I’ve gone from struggling with fits of anger, severe depression, complete distrust of physicians and the feeling of complete unknown. I’ve gained weight on medications, lost weight on other medication and finally leveled off back to a somewhat normal weight. I’ve decided that the only person that can help me is me and that many health care professionals are not quite so professional. The importance of educating the public as well as physicians on CRPS is the only way others as well as myself will ever find a way to cure this horrible condition.
I manage my pain by trying to realize the things that cause more pain and limit those activities to small amounts at a time. Knowing that my family is there for me and that they understand my condition helps me cope with the unknown. I use medications, and use massage as well as TENS to make my life with pain better. I also try to exercise outside of physical therapy even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood or in the back yard. My motivation comes from a strong desire to return to work, to beat this condition and show people that it’s possible. My inspiration comes from others that have this disorder and that live with chronic pain. I see that it’s possible to live a life, even if it’s not what I considered normal before my diagnosis.
Success stories? My success is that I went from a dark place several months ago to kicking myself into gear and realizing I am the only person that can make things better with depression. I stopped dealing with the workman’s comp case manager and started advocating for myself with the physicians, as well as going to a counselor, doing this my stress level decreased.
Strategies? Take control of your health, ask questions and read about your condition. If you are unhappy with your physician then find another, or another until you’re satisfied. Realize that you are not the only person suffering and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Tips – Live day by day, don’t look so far ahead especially the days the pain is at its worst, doing so only makes your negativity stronger. Take long deep slow breaths and watch as many comedy movies as possible.