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When I Close My Eyes

Published on September 29, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Lexi Uslu via The Coalition Against Pediatric Pain When I close my eyes, I grow wings and fly; I use my wings to fly towards the sky. I abandon my reality of chronic illness as I soar towards freedom. Tonight, I am safe in my bed - away from it all... Away from my dreaded wheelchair and even more, away from the pain of living a difficult life. I fly to unknown places, and I meet new people; I have places to be, and I have people to see. My adventure comes to an end with the sound of my alarm clock piercing through the silence. It is morning now and my eyes are open. The adventure is…
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FAQs – RSDSA’s Treating the Whole Person: Optimizing Wellness Conference – 2022

Published on August 25, 2022 under RSDS General Info
The RSDSA team is excited to have you join our third virtual conference from September 12th through September 15th, 2022 Below are a few FAQs to ensure you have an amazing experience! Q. Is the conference free? The conference is 100% free to join. Q. When does registration close? Registration does not close! You can register at bit.ly/rsdsa2022 anytime, even once the sessions have started. Q. What time does the conference begin? On Monday, September 12th, our first session begins at 12p noon Eastern / 9a Pacific due to our presenter's time zone. After that, the conference officially begins with networking and our expo hall at 6:30p Eastern / 3:30p Pacific each night. Sessions begin at 7p Eastern / 4p…
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Laura’s Path to Pain Relief

Published on August 24, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Laura Low for the RSDSA blog. Submitted by Abbott, a sponsor of RSDSA. In January 2018, my world was turned upside down after doctors told me I had a ganglion cyst on my foot. Prior to that, my life was adventurous and, in a word, awesome! As a wife, mother of twins and having a fun job of being a travel agent, things were going well. Once I was diagnosed, my foot doctor insisted I have the cyst removed right away and schedule the procedure. After the surgery, I was in pain and was not healing well. I was left bed-bound, without being able to put any pressure on my foot. I could not wear a sock, shoe,…
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Surviving CRPS Through Peer Advocacy

Published on August 1, 2022 under RSDS General Info
CRPS Warrior Melissa Wardlaw joined Melissa Adams on the "I Am Not My Pain" podcast on an episode titled, "Surviving CRPS Through Peer Advocacy." Melissa was diagnosed with CRPS type 2 as a result of a non-paralyzing injury. She learned early the value of being her own advocate, but she also realized the tremendous gap in support, which is why this fierce warrior spends her time providing free peer counseling and advocating for CRPS and chronic illness awareness. Listen to Melissa share incredible insight into CRPS as well as offer valuable advice for living with chronic illness on Spotify and Apple. If you are interested in online peer counseling with Melissa or if you live in the Metro Atlanta area…
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My Faith Has Helped Me Through This Journey

Published on July 6, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Brittany Foe for the RSDSA blog. My name is Brittany Foe. I was just 12 years old when my first flare reared its ugly head in 2006. I was frightened, not knowing what was happening. The roller coaster of emotions over the next two years were daunting. In 2008 I heard the words that changed my life, “You have RSD”. At this point I was wheelchair bound, had been in and out of school on homebound, and had been told numerous times that I was faking it. From 2008 to 2016 I had several lumbar injections, the first had got me out of the wheelchair. I was on several different medications and eventually had the spinal cord stimulator implanted.…
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Moving Forward Has Not Been Easy, but Necessary

Published on June 22, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Dwain A. Vaughns, II for the RSDSA blog. How and when did you develop CRPS/RSD? I broke my foot in 2016 and I was diagnosed four months later. What has daily life been like since your diagnosis? Since being diagnosed, daily life has taken many forms. In the beginning, dealing with the pain was one thing, but also dealing with the grief over losing my “previous life” was immeasurable at times. I was an airline pilot, a career that I worked on since I was eight years old. In addition, I was accustomed to living a very active life. Moving forward has not been easy, but necessary. Throughout all of my journey so far, as hard as some days…
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I Give Because It Is My Heart’s Desire

Published on May 25, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Laura Hinkle for the RSDSA blog. When I was told that I had RSD, I was in a failing marriage. It was not long before I was hit with needing a way to financially provide for two children and myself. I attempted to get a job, but because of my RSD pain, I could not hold on to one. It then became time to swallow my pride. Grocery shopping was through food banks. Clothes shopping was a trip to the Salvation Army. Utilities were usually paid by my church. I even discovered the “Giving Tree” as a way to provide Christmas gifts to my kids. And when each of my children turned 14, they got an after-school job to…
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Remember, It Is Your Body, It Doesn’t Belong to CRPS

Published on April 20, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Jon Wells for the RSDSA blog. My name is Jon Wells and I have had full body CRPS for ten years now. I contracted the disease after have surgery on my right shoulder. It started in my right hand and arm, but quickly spread to lower extremities and beyond. Needless to say, CRPS completely changed my life. I went from an active person to someone loopy on meds all the time and sitting on the couch all day. Every doctors appointment meant adding another medication. At one point I was on two opioids, fentanyl being one of them. These were very dark times for me. What I wish others that don’t have CRPS would understand is that this…
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Review of The Healing Journal: Guided Prompts and Inspiration for Life with Illness

Published on April 6, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Rebecca Moshay for the RSDSA blog. Our inner thoughts and the words we choose have a tremendous impact on our outlook on life. I found that as I read through some of the affirmations in The Healing Journal, I couldn’t help but feel uplifted. I even caught myself smiling. At other times they made me a bit emotional because they echoed many of the truths that I had arrived at on my own path to healing over the past decade with CRPS. The Healing Journal is filled with thoughtfully worded questions that you might hear at a chronic illness support group. It encourages you to challenge your inner thoughts and beliefs about your life, yourself and your future.…
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I Try to Be a More Positive Person

Published on March 30, 2022 under RSDS General Info
Written by Tony Gaburick for the RSDSA blog. My story began on October 16, 1991. I was at work leaning on my left arm taking a window out of a home. All of a sudden, I got a shot of pain from my left collar bone down my arm and my arm went numb. After several doctor appointments, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). I have had 10 major surgeries to present and three pain pumps plus legions in my spinal cord T6-T7.  I have been receiving Brachial Plexus Blocks and Occipital Blocks 2-3 days a week for the past 27 years to stay functional. I also suffer from…
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