Hi I am 45 years old and work(ed) for over 20 years as a child and youth crisis worker in a locked psychiatric ward. As a result of an assault on me by a psychotic patient in 2004 I ended up with some pretty severe body trauma to the left side of my body. I felt better and returned to work after a few weeks. 6 months later I began to experience pain and swelling and for the next 7 months most of the symptoms associated with CRPS on the entire left side of my body primarily my left arm. The doctors did all sorts of tests but never came up with CRPS as a diagnosis. All the symptoms eventually disappeared and I felt fine. I returned to work with no real idea of what had just happened to me. Then in Dec 2008 I wake up with a very swollen, dusky coloured sore right leg. No injury occured this time. The swelling continued and the pain grew and reminded me of what I went through 4 years earlier. This time 3 doctors later and I ended up with an autiimmune specialist who diagnosed me with CRPS. They also found anti ena and anti ana antibodies present in my bloodwork this time. The doc figured the 2004 injury probably started the CRPS. I am allergic to several pain medications and ingredients in lots of other medication so I am on no meds. I was just diagnosed April 8 2009 so I haven't even had a folow up visit with my rheumatologist to discuss this disease and the effects on my life. I am saddened to read that most people don't seem to go into any sort of spontanious remission. Since the last week in April my symptoms have changed dramatically and I wonder if I may be going back into remission for a second time. I notice that I have pretty bad nerve damage in my right foot. I can no longer feel nor move the 4 small toes on my foot and it often feels as if there is a heavy brick sitting on top of it. I still get black bruising all down my leg but the swelling isn't as dramatic. I have mirror image symptoms with my left leg in terms of pain and feelings but not swelling. I have constantly cold feet and hands which feel tingly and asleep. I have what dull burning pain in my right knee. It feels as if someone has injected acid into the viens in my right leg. But, the pain is no longer excruciating and debilitating. It's as if the monster is sitting and quietly waiting to re-emerge and pounce. I am at the fork in the road and can't imagine giving up my job, but is it realistic to think I can return to my job where I am on frequent occasion expected to engage in physical restraints and deal with violence. Am I a fool to hope that this awful disease goes away and doesn't re-emerge. How does one cope with the drastic lifestyle change? I have 3 children and a very supportive spouse and I am very independant as I'm sure you all are also. Will my work even alow me to return to my position? Am I crazy to want to? So many of you are in constant, debilatating pain which I was for 7 months and 5 months. I empathize and hope each and every one of you has the chance at remission. I guess I'll just to ask my doctor lots of questions and hope that this decrease in symptoms continues. I would be very interested in anyones imput and experiences with remission.
Thank you and be well,
The following user gives a hug of support to Guysgal: Grace and Peace (06-12-2011)
Try to see a GOOD PM doc as quickly as possible. For many people a block or a series of blocks can help put them into remission or at least relieve many of their symptoms. There are also quite a few meds that can help. Staying mobile is critical, since it keeps the blood flowing. And I plan to work forever, since I can't afford not to. So I have removed the words "can't work" from my vocabulary for now.
It does sound as if you may be able to return to work but that is up to your doctor. My advise is to get a pain specalist just in case you need one for later in life. I am hoping you never ever wil!!!!! I have heard of and spoken to two other people that have been told they are cured. I can not swear on that but it is what they tod me!
Good Luck and I hope your crps is gone for a long long time.
Hi, Guysgal. Glad to hear of your CRPS/RSD remission. As for advise, it may not be so bad to have to modify your career due to a work injury. However, losing your health & ability to function would be (so bad). CRPS/RSD may be related to fear (bio)chemicals, as well as physical trauma to nerves, as a link has been found with previous PTSD/ emotional trauma & the development of this dreaded disease. Protecting your health & future may depend on lowering risk of injury & eliminating pain and fear from your life. I suggest investing effort to find both an MD you like (to control any daily pain if you're having it) and a job with less risk. Give your body & treasured remission their best chance to succeed, & good luck to you going forward. -horse187