A Nurse’s Fight Back Against CRPS – Impacting Other Nurses

Nurse Beth and Jim Broatch educated other nurses about CRPS. Beth lives with CRPS while fighting against itWritten by Nurse Beth Seickel for the RSDSA Blog

When RSDSA was asked to be a part of ASPMN-LI’s 16th Annual Pain Conference, we were happy to join. Nurse Beth, a CRPS warrior, was one of the first people we wanted by our side during this. She was kind enough to write about her experience as she is a nurse fighting CRPS while also educating others.

RSDSA was invited to be a part of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing-Long Island Chapter’s (ASPMN-LI) 16th Annual Pain Conference at the DeMatteis Center for Cardiac Research and Education in Greenvale, New York, an annex of St. Francis Hospital on Long Island. ASPMN-LI’s mission is “to advance and promote optimal nursing care for people affected by pain by promoting best nursing practice. This is accomplished through education, standards, advocacy, and research.”

This dynamic group of nurses and nurse practitioners strives to improve the quality of care for patients living with chronic pain. In 2016, the ASPMN-LI chapter jumped on board to support RSDSA’s First Long Island CRPS/RSD Awareness Walk in Eisenhower Park, NY. Collaborating with the ASPMN-LI chapter enabled the event to host over 225 attendees. Many of whom had never met another with this condition, but they all publicly spoke about their chronic pain due to all the “myths & stigmas” surrounding it.

This year, ASPMN-LI chapter’s board president, Lynn Grimaldi, RN-BC, shared the board’s decision to create a team to support RSDSA’s Second Long Island CPRS/RSD Awareness Walk on September 9, 2017. RSDSA cannot thank ASPMN-LI enough for their continued support for all living with the challenges of CRPS.

On June 2, 2017, Jim Broatch, Executive Vice President and Director of RSDSA, and I were honored to join this dynamic group at their 16th annual conference of pediatric & adult nurses and nurse practitioners, many of whom had never heard of CRPS. Therefore presenting, “Your Patient Has CRPS, Now What?: Insights into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” was extremely well received.

Despite the fact I lost my nursing career 10 years ago from CRPS, it was a pleasure to share my journey with other nurses as I have a unique perspective being a nurse and
chronic pain patient. In addition, I know how little to no education on chronic pain is provided in nursing and nurse practitioner schools even though nurses are the front runner for providing education and pain relief to their patients. Unless nurses’ pursue additional education on chronic pain conditions such as CRPS, how can any changes be made? This is why the partnership between RSDSA and ASPMN-LI is so important as they are the front runners for all living with chronic pain.

Thankfully, Jim Broatch, who has been there for me the past 10 years, was not only able to do the driving to the conference, but share the presentation in order to minimize my CRPS flares since mobility limitations and medications present numerous obstacles.

However, it was unbelievable the impact that was made. So many nurses and nurse practitioners shared stories of patients they had treated who didn’t have a clear diagnosis, despite extensive diagnostic tests. Looking back now, they can see the many symptoms associated with CRPS that were present and unrecognized. Many felt overwhelmed by the enormous impact CPRS has had in both adults and pediatrics and wanted to learn more. Some provided empathy for what CRPS brings to patients’ lives and how patients can best be served in a variety of settings.

We had many RSDSA resources available and they were absorbed like sponges! A few RSDSA resources include:

For me, it was a pivotal moment to share a unique perspective as a nurse and a chronic pain patient. Maybe this is why I developed CRPS?

Thank you ASPMN-LI for partnering with RSDSA whose mission is to provide support, education & hope to all affected by the pain and disability of CRPS/RSD, while driving research to develop better treatments and a cure.

Please consider making a donation to RSDSA today.

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