Wednesday, November 4, 2015

So, what is CRPS?

November is CRPS Awareness Month! As many of you know, I had been diagnosed with CRPS in 2012 after my accident.  It's the main reason why I'm the cyborg I am today!  My Spinal Cord Stimulator helps manage my pain on a daily long as I remember to charge my batteries! ;-)

Please help by showing your support and wearing orange during November!  I would love to see pics and I know I won't be the only one.  You can share them with me at:

Be sure to tag them with: #CRPSAwarenessMonth #PaintTheWorldOrange and/or #CRPS

Again, thank you all for your continued support! 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS is a Neurological Disorder stemming from injury-related Chronic Pain, affecting thousands of Americans each year. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage and/or malfunction of the central & peripheral nervous symptoms which disrupts the signals between the brain and spinal cord. In severe cases, CRPS can spread to internal organs and cause them to malfunction.

Symptoms include severe pain; joint stiffness; problems coordinating muscle movement; muscle atrophy; tremors; muscle spasms; limb buckling; hypersensitivity to light, sound, heat, cold & vibrations; significant skin temperature changes; decreased mobility; fatigue; difficulty concentrating; short-term memory issues; etc.

Long term sufferers often develop other related conditions including depression; anxiety; post traumatic stress; cardiovascular issues; Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS); Fibromyalgia; chronic migraines; and are considered high risk for heart attack & stroke. In combination with the primary symptoms and lack of proper care, early death is expected.

CRPS can be manageable with proper care & treatment, but there is no cure and care is often unattainable or unknown by many doctors who lack the current research and developments in treatment protocols. Awareness & more research are much needed.   

“Fire & Ice”

People who are diagnosed with CRPS suffer from triggered “Flare Up’s” or “Attack’s” which can occur frequently and are debilitating. These attacks usually begin with a change in temperature of an affected limb or region, followed by severe pain that can last days. 

For example, a person will experience an ice cold foot, followed by severe pain when trying to warm it. The opposite occurs where an area becomes warm to touch, followed by severe pain when attempting to cool it, let alone, touching the affected area.   

The pain can be so severe, that doctors often consider amputation of the affected limb. 

According to the national McGill Pain Index, CRPS ranks near the top at 42; almost double the pain levels of child birth & loss of limb.

CRPS Awareness is represented in multiple ways with many patients choosing Orange & Blue as it portrays their daily battle with hot & cold flare ups.  Patients refer to it as the battle of fire & ice as they fight both the burning sensations of hot flare ups and not being able to warm up without severe pain during a cold flare up.

November is National CRPS Awareness Month and patients & supporters are encouraged to paint the world orange to spread awareness of this “invisible illness.” 

Thank you for your continued support and showing those who are afflicted that they are not alone in their fight.  

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