The Accidental Activist
Enter the War on Drugs – The Crack Down On Pain Medication
The Accidental Activist – Six years ago my life as I knew it changed forever. I woke up with my left toes and ankle paralyzed with a burning sensation, numbness, and horrible pins and needles sensation in my foot. I was luckier than most as I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) about 7 months after this happened. Some people wait many years or decades for a proper diagnosis of this rare condition. So what have I been doing the last 6 years?
In the beginning I tried every single treatment option that did not include opiates. Nerve blocks, Prialt, Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial, high dose Ketamine Infusions, Neurotin with an antidepressant, topical creams, and more! Opiates were a last resort and the only thing that had any effect on my pain level. At the time, I begged them to amputate my left leg below the knee because I knew I could live without my leg, but I could not live in the level of pain I was experiencing. I’m glad that no doctor agreed to do that. Phantom limb pain would likely still be there and CRPS spreads. You can’t keep getting limbs cut off.
I was alone and isolated until I found my home in a fantastic support group for people with CRPS. This actually saved my life because I was alone and in pain and abandoned by pretty much every friend I had. These friendships were 20 plus years in the making. I have no family members that can help me.
It is very difficult emotional work to accept how your life has changed forever and try to determine how you can continue to live and contribute to society. I certainly needed to hear the stories of others who had been dealing with the same struggles that I had been dealing with alone for over 4 years. I’m forever grateful to this group and I can say with 100% confidence that my 12 year old son still has his mom alive today because of this group.
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