One year down, the rest of my natural life to go. It has for the most part been literally, one year down. One year fighting my body for the privileges I absolutely took for granted. Walking, dancing, being pain-free. A year ago I suffered a relatively minor knee sprain, working at a Stampede party tent. The acute injury became a chronic pain cycle, that seemed to be livable until it really wasn’t. My physical decline became steady, as my peers and professors watched me [insert mobility aid here]’d to class, and watched my personality dampen at times, due to the pain. On November 6, 2015, I reached a level of pain I could not fathom, nor control. I went to the local Emergency, and that was the last day I attended university in 2015. My last class was a Molecular Genetics lab, with some wonderful people…
I have learned two very important things in the last year. One seems inextricably linked to the other.
I should trust myself, and trust my body. I thought something felt very off, even from the beginning. I was constantly told that everything was normal, I was going to be fine. It was all my anxieties going around in my head. There was something wrong, and I was the only one seeking to identify it before it took more than a knee from me. This doesn’t mean that I will discover a whacky disease in my body every time I feel “off”. However, I owe it to myself to process the sensory information my brain receives, using every bit of knowledge I have.
In the same breath, I realized that I am very fortunate, and very lucky. I could not be better equipped for this lifelong battle. I have an amazing support system in my immediate family, I really cherish their ongoing presence in my life. I have been gifted with a brain always clamoring for more knowledge, one always looking for a logical explanation. My cognitive ability has been affected by this disease, but I am happy to say my decrease is minor. I hope one day my brain will do the near impossible, and contribute to the cure for my disease. I also met a wonderful woman I can call my friend, peer, and mentor early on in my diagnosis. Further luck was her starting a support group for people like us with CRPS. We meet every month and it is so important to hear everyone’s stories. I finally have a wonderful doctor on board, whom I trust. I can’t forget that I also have been blessed with experience, 3 years of chronic pain in high school. It’s not my first rodeo, and I’m not an amateur any more.
I am also one of the most stubborn people I know, and I will prevail over my challenges. No matter how long it takes, and how much energy it gets out of me.
It’s not my first rodeo, and I’m a professional now.