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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

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,

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