Written by Barbara Schaffer for the RSDSA blog.

Barbara Schaffer RSDSA CRPS
Barbara and her service dog, Feather

My name is Barbara Schaffer. I am 70 years old and have had RSD for 32 years. It started with a stretched brachial plexus and spread through my entire body.

I live with my husband, Paul, of 49 years. My daughter,  son-in-law, and three grandsons live a block away and they have all been the lights and motivation in my life.



32 years ago, my life changed when a very minor accident caused by RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy).

PAIN, disability

PAIN, treatments, complications from treatment

PAIN, RSD invading my arms, legs, chest, face, lungs, stomach, full body

PAIN, great doctors who tried but couldn’t help. Lousy doctors who purposely made my life more difficult.

PAIN, legal battles to prove I was in pain and to get treatment paid

PAIN, it always comes back to the PAIN!

Paul and Barbara Schaffer RSDSA CRPS

  32 years. All of my 30s, all of my 40s, 50s, 60s and now my 70s. Life dealing with, but not controlled by, RSD. My husband, daughter, son-in-law, sister, brothers, and my grandchildren… all of their lives affected by RSD because they are my loves as I am theirs.

My life is filled with my family, friends, dogs, live music, music festivals, traveling and camping in our little RV, named HARV (Handicap Accessible Recreational Vehicle), reading, laughing… all despite the PAIN and disability.

   RSD I hate you but I do not fear you, for even though you have invaded my life, I have not and never will let you control it, or control me…


Please consider making a donation to RSDSA today!

Did this post resonate with you? Do you have questions or would you like to learn more about this topic?
Please reach out to the RSDSA team directly and privately using our form and we'll get back in touch with you as soon as possible!