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

Published on October 17, 2017 under Giving Back

Nurse Beth and Jim Broatch educated other nurses about CRPS. Beth lives with CRPS while fighting against itBy Guest Blogger Nurse Beth Seickel

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, is one of the first people we wanted by our side during this. She was kind enough to write about her experience. She is a nurse fighting CRPS while educating others.


RSDSA was invited to be part of the “ASPMN-LI Chapter‘s 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. The (ASPMN-LI) American Society for Pain Management Nursing-Long Island Chapter’s mission:


This dynamic group of nurses and nurse practitioners not only strive to improve quality of care for patients living with chronic pain but, last year in 2016, the ASPMN-LI chapter jumped on board to support RSDSA’s “1st Long Island CRPS/RSD Awareness Walk”  in Eisenhower Park, NY. Collaborating with ASPMN-LI chapter enabled the event to host over 225 kids and adults many of whom had never  met another with this condition, nevertheless publicly spoke about their chronic pain due to all the “myths & stigmas” surrounding chronic pain.

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 “2nd Long Island CPRS/RSD Awareness Day” on September 9, 2017 at Eisenhower Park. RSDSA can’t thank ASPMN-LI enough for your continued support for all living
with the challenges of CRPS.

So, on June 2, 2017, Jim Broatch, Executive Vice President and Director of RSDSA and I were honored to be part of 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.” [It] was extremely well received.

For me, a nurse at heart, 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 & NP schools. Yet nurses are the front runner for providing education and pain
relief to their patients. So 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; 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 so as to minimize my CRPS flares.  (Mobility limitations and medications present numerous obstacles).

However, it was unbelievable the impact that was made. So many nurses and NP shared stories of patients they had treated who didn’t have a clear diagnosis, despite extensive diagnostic tests. Yet looking back now 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. While others provided such empathy for what CRPS brings to patients’ lives and how patients can best be served in variety of settings. RSDSA resources we had available were absorbed like sponges, including RSDSA’s online support. RSDSA publications include:  Various publications, such as the newsletter and brochures                 
Former conference videos Videos
2 FREE online accredited courses for medical professionals

For me, it was a pivotal moment to share a unique perspective as a nurse and 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”