That Day, ‘The’ Day…
On January 12, 2016 I was told that Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) was the most likely explanation for the pain I was going through. I remember crying and thinking to myself, “I am going to remember this day for a long time”. I had never heard of CRPS, although I was familiar with chronic pain. As soon as I hit Wikipedia looking for preliminary research, I felt cold. Phrases such as, “symptoms vary”, “no cure”, and “one of the most painful conditions known”, jumped off the page.
I do remember that day. I remember it very well…
To describe it is one thing, but every time I think about That Day I feel it all over again. The whole range. Thankful to have a reason for all the sensations that left me feeling weak and alone. Shocked at patients’ journals I found on the internet. Scared at what my recovery time had become. Awe that it had never been suggested before. Grateful to the man who had suggested it. Proud that I had a reason to be broken, and that it wasn’t psychological as everyone had been implying. I fucking told them so. Anger wrapped in pride wrapped in rage, stuffed with a helping of suffering and sprinkled with reflections of a time when I had control over my life.
Nine days beyond the 6-month anniversary of my accident a doctor who had never physically inspected me, had figured it out. I had seen over a dozen doctors in person, several physiotherapists, and other traditional and alternative health practitioners. I had developed a blood clot in my leg, because I was in so much pain from school I would lay down for 3-4 hours sometimes without moving after my classes. Those were the days that I made it to school. I used to walk to school, but I had done that only once in September before realizing it wasn’t OK. Before I knew it, my mom was driving me most of the time. Crutching to the car after class, just telling myself that I was almost there, almost there. There were many days when I couldn’t believe I made it to the car.
I was so happy that I wasn’t “crazy”, and there was a reason for everything. Then I realized how in the past 6 months, I had felt the worst pain I thought I could feel. It would not be a fond memory. That day was the start of my CRPS journey, and although I hate cliches, the word “journey” really is fitting. This blog will be where I put my personal thoughts, and where you are welcome to really find out how I am. If you would like an academic summary, I have a Google Doc I prepared for Mount Royal University’s Chemical & Biological Students’ Society that you can access here.
Thank you for reading.