I was diagnosed with CRPS last Christmas after being knocked down by a careless driver. I still tried to sit at my computer and write. A whole year has passed. What have I done with it? How will this year’s Christmas CRPS affect me?
Keeping things positive
I could write about the effects of constant pain, lack of sleep and side effects of medication etc. etc. In fact, I could write about these things till the cows come home. Recently, I’ve had to concentrate on just these issues in order to write my personal account of how CRPS affects me to give to the medical experts who represent the insurance companies involved in my case.
Here’s a sample of what I gave them
putting on my bra
getting in and out of our sunken bath
preparing meat and vegetables for dinner
lifting heavy pans and casserole dishes
styling my hair
opening tubes, bottles, packages
carrying shopping bags
taking coins from my purse
putting on tights or stockings
holding a fork properly
manoeuvring the vacuum cleaner
putting large items on the washing line
changing bed sheets
using my computer keyboard
holding the music in the choir
holding my camera and taking photographs
In all things I am now clumsy and slow. I frequently drop things. My activities are limited. I am often very tired and lacking energy.
I am extremely grateful for the excellent medical treatment I have received here in France compared with others elsewhere who have the same condition and have waited a long time for a diagnosis. I am doing everything within my power to help myself get better. I have researched CRPS and learned what other things I might do to make life easier. I know that this condition can continue for many years. It seems nobody is able to tell me how many more years I will suffer from CRPS.
You can see how difficult it is to remain positive when all that load of stuff is going on. But this insurance question is important. I have this condition as a result of someone else’s thoughtlessness while he was reversing his car. I have to fight for my rights. Soon I’m going to need a lawyer.
In the meantime, though, look at what I have been able to do. Two books published is no mean achievement. It’s true they were already at the final edit stage but still I count their publication as an achievement. In some respects I suppose you could say that my enforced limitations actually helped me to get those novels ready for publication.
My left arm is weak but I’ve got a right one. There was a time when I couldn’t touch my head.
Now I can. Only just and it hurts but it’s an improvement.
Earlier in the year I suffered from side effects of all the medication. At the moment I’m doing okay in that respect.
Last Christmas I couldn’t do our Christmas decorations around the house. This year I’m going bananas putting them everywhere.
Christmas CRPS 2014
We have three Christmas trees: one in the sitting room, one in the hall and one outside on the terrace.
I’m loving decorating the house. So what if it’s taken me three days already to do what used to take one afternoon.
When the pain kicks in and it gets too much I stop and sit down with a heat pad on my shoulder. Himself has to do the high up things as I can’t reach.
I’ve even covered all the windows with Christmas clings I made years ago.
Doing all these Christmasey things has made me feel more like myself.
That’s a happy window, isn’t it? I can look forward to 2015. I know there’s going to be more pain and more daily difficulties. I’m prepared for them. I will not let them beat me.
Season’s Greetings to all my readers and a joyful New Year. To other sufferers of CRPS – hang in there. Stay warm.