Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CRPS: Watch Your Step! You better watch your step . . .

This is sound advice! I love Elvis Costello, and I wish I had indeed watched my step that fateful night because I got some bad news from my doctor today.

Watch Your Step by Elvis Costello & The Attractions on Grooveshark

The lovely culprit.
Well, if you've been following me, you are aware that I started this blog as a means of distraction during a period of bed rest following tendon/ligament/nerve damage in my foot from a klutzy near fall in my Tom's wedges. :) In between sharing outfits incorporating my stylish air stabilizer boot, I've been trying to document my foot woes in case this may be helpful for others out there with similar issues. :)

I've been dealing with pain, swelling, spasms, cold, numbness, color changes, and pins and needles sensations in my foot for 13 weeks. (Photo of foot at the bottom of this post.) Today I finally went to the foot specialist and received the diagnosis I feared -- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) formally referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD). Thanks to excellent doctors, it has been caught early, so my chances of beating this, or causing it to go into remission are much better. Lucky for me, my bones are unaffected at this point. A lovely side effect of this syndrome is loss of bone density and muscle atrophy.

My doctor got onto me for not taking my pain medicine at the full dosage, (I've been taking 1/2 a pill on an irregular basis, and a whole pill only when the pain is really aggravating. I hate how pain meds make me feel.) and he told me that I must take Lyrica to manage the nerve issues. My previous doctor suspected RSD, and prescribed Lyrica but I wouldn't take it. I mean, have you heard the side effects in those commercials? ACK! He reassured me about the possible weight gain with Lyrica, telling me that it is usually as a result of water retention and will go away when I stop taking the medicine. Of course, that's what I fixated on, not the "thoughts of suicide" part of the side effects. ha, ha.

Anyway, my doctor is hopeful that physical therapy coupled with Lyrica and nerve blocks, could have me looking at getting better in 2 or 3 more months. I'm to continue walking with the boot, but I did get a new, lighter boot. :) I start physical therapy tomorrow and will see a Pain Management Specialist to look at my next steps which possibly include sympathetic nerve blocks. He stressed the most important thing I can do right now is manage the pain, as pain sensations somehow tie into the whole wacky nerve response and this makes the RSD worse, as does stress.

I am naturally, very upset right now, but I will fight this and get through it as I get through everything through prayer and familial support, with a hefty dose of laughter and a side of goofiness. :D

Come back to me, V.B.!

After all, there are multiple rows of lovely, lonely shoes beckoning to me from my closet.


Yours truly,