Sunday, June 27, 2010

How has CRPS affected your independance?

On my last post someone made a comment saying that letting go of your independence is a lot harder than coping with the pain sometimes. I would have to agree with that comment. It's almost like there's this grieving process that has to take place, and getting over that is a hard thing to do. It could be a matter of days, months, or even years. If I look at myself I'm already five years into this and I'm still not over losing certain aspects of my independence.

Another thing that the person mentioned in her comment was that it takes a whole lot of patience to get through that grieving process. This is so very true!! It can take next to nothing to set me off when it comes to my independence. It can be something so very simple that sets it off as well. Take for example in my case trying to do up buttons on a shirt. It's not that it's that big a deal, however it's something that I couldn't do and had to rely on other people to do. Now I've come a long way and in some cases can do them myself with one hand depending on the size of the button.

There are all kinds of things that we face on a day to day basis that affect our independence, and it's a real struggle to move forward and not let those things affect us in a negative way. If we aren't patient then we let those things eat away at us, and affect us in ways that we don't want them to. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't ask God to give me the patience that I need to get through each day.

If your like me, in many ways you've lost certain aspects of your independence. Over time though you learn various things that help you gain some of that back. So it doesn't have to be that you lose it for good. However what it does take is a whole lot of patience as you do learn those things!! This is where God comes in for me, because He helps me with get through the hard times when it all seems to be to much.

One thing that I know for sure with me is that it's a slow process, and that it's taking baby steps to get over some of the things that I need to get over. Learning to not let all the small things bother you and set you off can be hard. I would say that this is one of my real challenges that I face. There are lots of times that I just put on a brave face and say that everything is ok. The funny thing is that they are really small things that shouldn't matter all that much. However because they involve my independence they take on a different meaning. They become bigger issues than they really should.

It's a day by day process for me, and each day it gets a little easier to move forward from something that's so incredibly hard. Each time that one of those things sets me off I try to have a little more patience in dealing with it!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adjusting Within CRPS

Well as I sit here writing my new blog post I'm listening to the thunder, and watching the rain come down harder than I've seen before. Streets are turning into lakes and it's almost time to break out the canoes!!! It's a perfect time to stay inside and write a post.

I was thinking the other day about one of the things that I've had a hard time adjusting to when this all started happening to me. I was a very active person before, and I really enjoyed doing all the yard work and all the projects that needed doing around the house. All of a sudden I had to rely on others to do everything around the house. This has been a really hard adjustment, and even now I still have problems watching others do the work.

Not only was doing this work good exercise, but it was the sense of accomplishment that you would get after doing something that was so rewarding. I was also raised from an early age doing all the jobs around the house, so it's deeply ingrained in me to take part in doing all those things. Sitting back and watching others wasn't part of the plan.

When I was young I would spend time doing jobs around the house with my Dad. Doing all of these things was all part of your identity as a male. As my dad would always say it was doing man's work!! So to say that what was ingrained in me at an early age hasn't affected me would be lying. It just so happens that I also enjoyed doing this type of work so that factors in as well.

It just really bothers me that I have to sit back and watch things being done. For some strange reason I have a really hard time letting it go. If anyone can tell me why that is then let me know. I'm just not good at watching others break there backs when I should be in there doing my part. I contribute in other ways and so to some degree I've made adjustments, however I can only take so much sitting or laying on the couch.

I guess what I'm finding is that as time goes by I'm learning to let things go a little bit more. It isn't easy however the reality is that there are things that I can't do anymore and other people have to do those things. I'm starting to learn that I have to just accept that things are different, and that I have I can't do all the things that I'd like to do. Slowly it gets easier to accept!!! Like everything else however, you never get over it completely.

What I'm trying to do now is focus on what I can do. I'm looking at ways in which I can make the biggest impact with my contribution. I may not be able to contribute very much but I can play a part in how much my contribution helps others. I can still play an active roll in the things that need to get done, just in a different way. It's a matter of trying to wrap my brain around how things have changed, and turning them into something positive.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Physical & Mental Fight of CRPS

I know it's been a while since my last post but since then I have become sick with a case of bronchitis which is the last thing that I need right now. It started as just a cold however refused to go away, finally I decided that I needed to see a doctor who has since put me on antibiotics. That being said yesterday was a bit better and hopefully I've turned the corner.

In my last post I was still very much at a standstill as to what I what I was going to do with regards to the spinal cord implant. I have since met with someone who works with the implant clinic in our city. I'm glad I took the time to meet with him because it clarified a lot of questions that I had, as well as validating some of the risks that I was concerned about. I got to look at the unit that they would implant and he explained the procedure to me. What I appreciated was that he was very honest to say that like everything else it may or may not work!!

What I quickly found out was that of the people who have had the implant done the pain sometimes returns after the initial reduction in pain. In other words I had a lot better understanding of the procedure and all the pros & cons of the implant. Did it make it any easier to decide? The answer to that was no. However I did decide that I would start the process and now I am on the waiting list. I can always cancel if I decide against it.

Like I've said from the start I'm going to put this in God's hands and trust that He will help me with my decision. For the moment I'm just concentrating on my physiotherapy after my nerve blocks. I do have increased movement in my foot however my pain levels continue to bounce around. I'm trying to stay focused on not letting the pain affect me. As I try to keep the focus away from the pain it does help to stabilize the pain, so that my flare ups aren't as bad.

In a couple of weeks time I'll be going on vacation to visit my family in Vancouver. This will be a great break from everything and will help me relax. I have had a lot of distractions of late that have helped take my mind off the pain. As a result my pain has been a little better. As always it's mind over matter!!

Hopefully when I come back I will come back refreshed and ready for the next fight. As I mentioned in my last post I've really been struggling as of late to decide what to do next. Where do you draw the line? It can be so hard to keep up the fight. It's just that the mental and physical drain from fighting all the time takes a lot out of a person. Not to mention how the pain itself takes a lot out of a person. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm tired right now and need a break from everything.

What I find difficult is that as I you find out about new treatments, it can be hard not to find yourself saying " maybe this is the treatment ". You try to focus on day to day living however you are always thinking forward as to what you can do to get rid of the pain. What I find is that it's like someone dangling a carrot in front of our nose. There's always that possibility that the next treatment method could work and reduce our pain!!! So why not try it right!! All I'm saying is that we need to slow ourselves down and not be so quick to think this. Is the treatment right for you? Really look at it and weigh all the pros and con's.

I find that when I slow down and try to face CRPS with more patience and less desperation that I have more energy to fight and that I make better decisions. Every now and then we need to step away from what we are facing day in and day out. Take some time for you!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Past Week!!

I know! I know! It's been a while since my last post. It's getting to the busy time in the year as any of you that have kids will understand. Its getting to that time of year where there seems like day and night there is something going on. As school comes to close for the year we have awards nights, and year end performances. I just have to try to control my stress level. This past weekend we had a family wedding to go to in a small town outside the city that we live in. My kids couldn't stop dancing and as always enjoyed having a party with their cousins.

Over the past week I also managed to pick up a cold. So are those enough excuses for not posting for a while? I don't have a lot of news to report as things with me really haven't changed. Do I get the implant? Or don't I get it? I would really like people opinions!! If you've had one because you have CRPS then leave me a post and tell me if it's made a difference in your pain.

Last week I had the chance to do something that I've never done before. I was chatting with a friend Susan who has her own radio show, and she invited me to be a guest on her show. So on Thurs we got the chance to talk about what CRPS is, how it affects daily living, and much more. I just want to thank her for the opportunity to talk about what we go through daily, and for being a voice for those of us dealing with this. If you want to check out her site and radio show then you can go to my blog list and find her under Susan J Sohn in my blog list.

My pain as of late has been up and down but the fortunate thing is that I haven't had any real bad flare-ups as of late. I've really been trying to control my stress as of late. At the wedding things started to get a little worse, however the rest of the weekend has been alright with nothing out of the ordinary.

Well this is going to be a short post that doesn't have a lot to it, however I wanted people to know that I am still here. It's just that my brain is congested from this cold not to mention that I have two sick kids as well. My wife is the only one standing now who doesn't have it.

So for now I'm going to leave and get some rest. I would really encourage any of you that read my blog to leave some comments to let me know what you think of my blog or what you would like to see more of. I'm always open to positive and negative feedback so that I can make things more interesting to the reader. Anyway see you in a couple of days!!
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