The True Definition of a CRPS “Warrior”
By Anna Evenosky for the RSDSA blog.
What is the true definition of a CRPS Warrior?
We refer to ourselves all the time as “CRPS Warriors.” Although, what does it truly mean to be a warrior? Warrior is defined as, a brave or experienced soldier or fighter. So yes, we do fit under this definition considering every day we have no choice but to fight. We fight to keep our function and fight to keep our spirits bright and alive. Recently, I have had endless things go wrong for me. On top of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), my depression came on full force, and my anxiety on how I will go on temporarily crippled me. I felt that I had every right to give up, I asked myself why I must endure so much physical and mental pain, as I’m sure many of you have.
Although, being seventeen years old, I’m convinced that my purpose here on Earth is to be a crutch for the chronic illness community, to support them, and to raise awareness. This task always lingering in the back of my mind gives me the ability to power through just about anything life throws in my direction. After all, I’m on a mission to make a difference and there is not anything or anyone that can stop me.
So here I am, I’m on homebound, and many days I don’t even feel well enough to get out of bed. Although I know that you always must work with what you got. My brain wandered trying to come up with a hobby that could keep me occupied as well as my spirits high. I tried a few things out, some I found enjoyable and some I did not. One day it finally hit me that I wanted to be a writer. I started out small, writing blog posts that never actually went out to anybody. Then that small little hobby of mine grew big. I started writing for “The Mighty”, a medical blog with around 80 million readers, this allowed for several of my articles to go viral. Then I began writing for the RSDSA (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association). I started setting goals that seemed like the impossible. I’m happy to say that despite everything life has thrown my way this past year, I have been hired as Editor in Chief and a writer for “Odyssey.” This is a paid position at Odyssey with internship credit and the ability to walk into college with a professional portfolio. In addition, at seventeen years old I will have my very own article based on invisible illnesses published on Yahoo. My favorite thing about this hobby of mine is the feedback and endless thank yous I receive. There is nothing more rewarding then knowing the impact my words alone have on people. My fight and mission to help the CRPS community will go beyond this. I just recently committed to Rutgers- Camden as a biology major as one of many steps to pursuing my goal of becoming a physical therapist. I am now more motivated than ever to become a physical therapist that patients can whole-heartedly relate to and look up to.
So, when everything seemed to be going wrong things managed to turn around and began to go right for me. So, yes, I’m a warrior, as I’m sure you are too. But what truly makes us that fighter is the ability to push through any hardships that life throws our way and do it with grace. With grace to show that it is possible to find positive in every negative. We do it with a smile on our faces to mask the pain, maybe in hopes of avoiding making other people feel uncomfortable or maybe in hopes of hiding what you don’t want to be known.
So, to all those warriors out there who have every right to give up, props to you for pushing on. Your strength is an amazing thing and not something that many people are able to say they have. I have people say all the time “I don’t know how she does it.” I do it because I rather push through and make the best out of my situation than sit back and ask: “Why me?” and grieve about it. This life we live is too precious and short to be upset over the unchangeable. The ability to be positive through the negative, to be happy through the sad, to smile through the pain, and to be successful when life has set us up for failure that is what makes each and every one of us a warrior.
Anna Evenosky: Just a teenage girl trying to make a difference…writer for Odyssey, The Mighty, and RSDSA.