When I was first diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, I was told by my doctor if you do not use your arm, you will lose it. I was in so much pain that I did not want to use my arm. I also knew that I did not want it to atrophy either. I definitely did not want a dead limb or to become a “leather skinned.”  At this time, I was a single mom of two and going to school part time. The pain was extraordinary out of this world.  The disease was localized to my right arm and hand only. I felt like I was being electrocuted on my arm and hand. My right arm and hand was burning and turning colors. It was like a rainbow but the colors were maroon to purple to blue.  I used my arm and hand but it was limited.  I took a lot of breaks when it came to writing, typing, or do anything in repetition.  I have learned over the years everything is going to hurt it just how bad do I want to hurt. I just got back from a funeral. I say my cousin who has CRPS on her right side and she is unable to move. She lays in a lazy boy all day long because she says it’s to painful to move. She now has diabetes and her foot has atrophied. She asked me how I could do yoga and play with my kids. I told her it hurts and yes I hide my crying, and sometimes the pain make me sick to my stomach. I love my life, my family, and self enough to fight and not to lose a limb.

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