Thursday, February 25, 2010

Understanding The Pain!!

Over the last couple of days I've been trying to do what I can, to distract myself from all the pain from my most recent flare up. Trying to do that however isn't always as easy as it seems. I love to read and there is no better way to distract myself from the pain than picking up a good book. However lately with the inability to concentrate and fogginess in the head this hasn't been so easy to do. It becomes hard to find any comfort from the pain. It's like when you get one of those splinters in your finger that you just can't see. You feel it and know it's there but you just can't see it. It irritates you over and over however there's very little you can do about it.

Where I'm going with this is that there are going to be days where you just can't do anything to help the pain. On these days you just need to back off and listen to your body. I've become a lot more aware of what my body is trying to tell me. There are some days where I'm in too much pain to be able to do my relaxation because it only aggravates the condition. Sometimes with my inability to concentrate it makes trying to focus on the relaxation techniques really hard and causes extra stress which in turn causes me to flare up.

Then one day it was like someone had turned a switch on and I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it. If I was having a good day and could concentrate then I'd keep going, and if I was having a bad day then I would just stop and tell myself that maybe another day would be better. I know it sounds like I did this quite easily however let me assure you that the changes didn't happen overnight. It has taken quite some time to tell myself to relax and not force things.

It has taken a long time to learn all the different triggers to my pain and what causes a really bad flare up and what doesn't. At the same time it has been just as hard to learn all the different ways in which to manage all those different triggers. Does it mean that we are successful in being able to control them all the time? No it doesn't. There are going to be days where no matter how hard we try, we just can't control what's going on with our body. This is when you have to understand that trying to do to much can in turn cause the opposite results of what you want.

Telling yourself to relax is very important. What's the worst thing that you can do for this condition? Get stressed right!! It's a delicate balance that doesn't always work, however we need to keep trying. I really want to encourage people to understand pain and how it works. The more we understand as someone with CRPS the better you will be able to control your pain.

There are two choices that we can make as we fight the CRPS that effects our bodies. One of those is to say " nothing is working " and complain all the time, or we can choose to try everything that may help us in our efforts to get better. If you take the time to understand the pain and how it works then you will understand the therapy and why its important to do it. Remember that you're going to have lots of highs and lows and that you just need to keep pushing through everything no matter how hard it may seem.


  1. That is terrible. What can the doctors do for it besides pain meds? Thank you for leaving me a message on Blog Catalog. I actually deleted the PCOS blog, but Last year I created a website, If your wife has PCOS, she might find this useful. I haven't updated it in awhile because I have been focused on my review blog but there is a lot of valuable information.

    I am also following you now. If you are interested in gaining more followers, you can add your link to Friday Follow

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks Jennifer! There is really nothing the doctors are able to do. There really is no cure right now and the only real treatment is physio. Physio has shown some results in some people however doesn't work with everybody. Keep checking in!

  3. I can't even start to imagine how it feels, but at least I can start to understand by reading this. Keep up that Positive Mental Attitude, it's a really great thing to have!

  4. Hi Ross: I live with CRPS, it's been five years and during the last year have been an outpatient at Wascana Rehab. This has been my worst year as it is progressively worse. I developed CRPS from a surgery where the doctor damaged the nerve in my leg. Today, it is in both legs and started in my right hand/arm. What you say is true. Make the best of our good moments and get through the rest of the time. Yes, keeping calm, relaxation is a bonus and I agree that everything is difficult with pain. It's the worst pain, the burning, needles, cutting, pulling, heated legs, reddness, swelling etc. Drugs don't do it! I've been on narcotics over the last year and I think it helped me to relax through the pain, breakthrough was a treat but does nothing now. Stronger drugs??? I don't know if that's the answer. I've been on everything, gone to so many for treatments, tried alternative measures, and have figured out what helps a bit. Yes, physio is a lifesaver. I have regular treatments such as laser along with alternative measures, massage is good relaxation, bio feedback, heated pool therapy and of course drugs. Anything heated, even jet tubs. I feel for you and your family as I know how hard it is on my family. This is hard on all family members. I use walking aids such as a walker and a scooter. Things have been so bad that in the last three months, I do not leave the house other than going to the Rehab centre. I keep waiting for a little break in pain and if there is one, a few hours, it is wonderful. Many people live like this and just learning to cope and manage is key. Stressfree and relaxation helps! Wonderful to talk to someone with CRPS. I've asked my doctor to send me to a specialist to find out if I'm a candidate for the Sympathetic Nerve Block or blocks? I've read that this helps people with CRPS. I want to try this to gain some relief. I've been approved for the Spinal Cord Implant but would prefer to try the nerve block first and heard from a few people that it didn't help their CRPS. I've read lots about the Ketamine injections but that will be last resort. We have few options but the key is the combination of all. I wish you my best and your family. This is horrible to live with but everyday, I tell myself that there are so much worse off and keep thinking positive. Everyday, I'm thankful even if it's a struggle and takes over two hours to start to walk. We just have to keep holding on. Wonderful to talk to you, keep up the positive spirit and thank you for setting up this blog as I thought I was alone for a long time. Great support! Terry

  5. Thanks for the comments Terry!! I feel for you as I know exactly how you feel. We have to keep fighting though. I have also been refered to another doctor to see about a nerve-block as well. If you read this message you should give me your e-mail so we can meet at Wascana sometime.

  6. Hi Ross, I have had my appointment with the specialist and will be getting the sympathetic nerve block. My email is Please contact me because we should talk. Someone just had the procedure, 3 blocks 2 to 3 days apart. He had no pain after the first one an walked without any aids. I'm excited and want this so bad. I've been almost five years and am just hanging on. I want a better quality of life and believe this is it. I've researched this procedure and it is very commonly used to deal with people with CRPS. The block and physio together or it won't work. Good luck! Talk to you soon. Terry


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