Happy Stress Season!

Hello there.

The Season of Stress is full-on. For many, this time of year is a cold, busy, light-in-the-wallet kind of time. That’s at best. At worst it can be a living hell, emphasized by losses new and less new, deeply personal and personally deep. I really hope none of you are having this experience this year, but life isn’t easy so some of you inevitably are. Do your best to keep your head up, I am rooting for you.

I find this season to remind me of the things I have lost. I also see what I have gained, like a community and some wonderful friends, but it just seems easier to see the lost mobility, and life. I have said before I have hope for the future, and I am in a chronic pain program now where my goal is to gain some of my life back. I still have hope for the future. It is kind of hard during the holidays now as I am in a several week flare, had a massive spreading scare, have a birthday coming up, and the first “shit-iversary” of a diagnosis that really has changed my life. On the bright side, there are some wonderful people coming to town who I get to see. I hope you pick up on the flip-flopping nature of this. This month seems to have been lots of hope/dissonance. Perhaps you can relate to this, and this will remind every person that we are not alone in all of these worlds of feelings.

So, Bah-Humbug & Yippee Cay Yay Mother F*cker, aka Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.


Canadian Veterans’ Medication Slash

Canada’s Veterans Affairs Minister The Honourable Kent Hehr has proposed restricting veterans access to medical marijuana by cutting funding and the amount available in a prescription. In the proposed changes, veterans will be restricted to 3 grams a day compared to 10 grams as well as a cost per gram restriction, maxing out at $8.50/ gram. Medical marijuana purchased under the relatively new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) must be obtained from a Licensed Producer (LP). These LPs charge a maximum of $15/ gram. I personally find these strains to be more efficient, and more therapeutic as they often include the high CBD and high THC strains. [If you aren’t sure about what these components of cannabis mean, check out this pretty decent description of THC vs. CBD.]

So not only is our Minister restricting the amount but also essentially restricting the quality of meds veterans have access to, especially with our current structure of LPs. Please check out my whole post, I have many sources and comments on many different levels of this (currently) Canadian issue. Read More »

Awesome CIB Holiday GIVEAWAY

Hi, everybody!

I joined a network this year, Chronic Illness Bloggers (CIB). The network is for bloggers focused on chronic illness, with 380 bloggers a part of it currently. There are many different chronic illnesses discussed, with many different ideas and viewpoints from wonderful, real people! For someone like me with a rare disease- CRPS, different blogs and community posts have really helped and continue to help me get a handle on things. It really is a community, and the camaraderie is inspiring…Read More »

November is CRPS Awareness Month!

November is upon us! I hope everyone had a fruitful & candyful Halloween, I can’t believe it didn’t snow.

November is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Awareness Month. CRPS is the reason I have been physically disabled for over a year, with no predicted remission in sight. I am very lucky to have a robust, and wonderful support system, as well as a very dark sense of humour that keeps me going. Something I am really looking forward to this month, is Color The World Orange Day, on November 7th. All over the world, landmarks are being illuminated orange on or around November 7th to raise awareness for CRPS. Here in Calgary, the Peace Bridge and Calgary Tower will be orange!

I know this blog has been very slow lately, and I’m sorry for that. I have been doing as much physical rehab as I can on my own, and so this word stuff is coming in at the end of my priorities. I have also been lucky to make some new friends recently. Always awesome!

If you want to find out if a landmark in YOUR CITY will be orange for November 7th, please visit: http://www.colortheworldorange.com/celebrate/#color-the-world-orange-2016    This is a long list (yeehaw!), so use Ctrl-F, and type in your city to search the list quickly! There are city halls, bridges, fountains, towers, public art, sculptures, cultural landmarks, and historical landmarks participating. Tour around the website to find signs, press packages, and other items.

Orange is the colour. If you are a very cool-toned person like me (I am also very pale right now), try a headband or something smaller if you want to join in! I hope to see some people on the Bridge on November 7th!

To learn more about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, please visit any of the following sites/ links:

http://www.rsdhope.org/  [An excellent website that uses the older name for CRPS, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD. Full of treatment education, testimonials, personal stories, awareness campaigns, and more.]

http://www.burningnightscrps.org/  [A UK-based awareness organization. They also have a Facebook page to follow along on social media.]

http://www.rsdcanada.org/parc/english/index.html  [A Canadian organization who helped me connect to some peers, who are now very close friends.]

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZaK9QrW8SD7AuJEdvPmccewKL0A_LN4HMp70afL_azk/edit?usp=sharing  [A link to a document I prepared for a Biology Students’ Colloquium in early 2016. This is intended for an audience with some type of post-secondary scientific knowledge. If your doctor is having a hard time understanding, this document may be in a format more relatable for them!]

E-mail link for the Calgary CRPS Support Group: calgarycrpsgroup@gmail.com

Cerebral Challenge

I hope everyone is having a good day, with lots of spoons and not a lot of pain! Indulge in some unsolicited advice, and take three deep breaths right now. Because, why not? I love deep breathing, and I did it long before I ended up with CRPS.

This is a short post to express what has been going on lately. I have three more weeks to wait before my team doctor appointment at the multidisciplinary clinic. I have had some very polarizing days lately. Definitely some iffy-in-a-bad-way days. It is what it is.

One of my greatest challenges lately has been a big old brain game. The Cerebral Challenge. A mental barrier, or Brain Fog as many know it, is a very real aspect of CRPS that some patients experience. My Brain Fog has been cranked up to 11 lately. The unfortunate thing is this fog has really postponed some important work I volunteered for to help some peers. I usually don’t struggle with words, or putting thoughts together coherently. CRPS isn’t usual though and its effects on me certainly aren’t either.

So I am sorry if I’ve been distant lately, but as I say all too often, it is what it is.


Progress Maybe?

Hello, everyone!

I am happy to report after waiting for many months, that I have been accepted into a multidisciplinary pain program! My first assessment with a doctor is in November, so I hope to be making a solid rehab plan soon.

The timing for this seems to be great, as I have been pretty down lately. I am constantly doing anything in my power to rehab myself. However, without pain control I have really hit a wall. I was nearly in a wheelchair around Christmas, and now I use a cane most of the time. I still need to use a wheelchair sometimes, but it is not my main mobility aid. I could barely put my foot down months ago, and now I walk with that foot all the time. I have made progress by myself, but it has plateaued.

I am still feeling very unsure about the future, but what else is new? This is just a short update because I feel like I have been pretty quiet lately. Also there was a flu and hospital incident, yay!

Hope everyone has a low pain day.