Writing with RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Most people have heard of fibromyalgia. Most people know that it causes deep muscle pain. It makes it hard to do the things you love doing. Very few people have heard of RSD sometimes called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). What is it? Well it is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by:
- severe burning pain
- pathological changes in bone and skin
- excessive sweating
- tissue swelling
- extreme sensitivity to touch
Like diabetes, there are two types. Type I seems to have a clear cause for the condition and then there is Type II in which there is nerve involvement. I have Type II.
- The presence of continuing pain after a nerve injury, not necessarily limited to the distribution of the injured nerve
- Evidence at some time of edema, changes in skin blood flow (skin color changes, skin temperature changes more than 1.1°C difference in the effected body part), or abnormal activity in the region of pain
- This diagnosis is excluded by the existence of conditions that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction.
I had a pinched nerve in my left shoulder. This happened when I was still working in the nursing field.
In RSD the nerves and the brain no longer communicate properly. When this happens, the body responses to pain in a way which is far greater than the stimuli. For instance, a friendly pat on the back for you becomes a punch to the back for me.
What does all this mean for me as a writer? It means that I take a lot of medications to keep the pain bare able or under control. It means today I may have a good day but that I might not have another one for a week. It means that when I put my writing down then pick it up, I don’t remember where I was going with the story line. I have five or six rough drafts that I finished before I was hurt and I look at them and can’t believe I wrote them. I look at the ending and can’t remember why or how I got to that particular ending and not another; same thing with the characters and places.
But that’s not the worst part about having RSD. The worst part is not being able to interact with my family the way I want too. Watching my little girl grow up with me sitting on the sidelines. It means going to physical therapy and being in pain so that I can’t go to the movies with the family later. It means not jumping rope or play hopscotch because you know if you do, you will spend the next three days drugged unable to write or even watch TV for being so sleepy from the pain meds.
Know what the best part of having RSD is? It’s that God will heal me and this too shall pass.
Linda Armstrong-Miller is a retired registered nursed. She leaves in Ga. With her husband Mike and daughter Cayla. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the way the truth and the light. I Believe.
Linda’s latest book is Betrayal and Forgiveness.
ABOUT BETRAYAL AND FORGIVENESS
In the Bible, the Lord asked that we not make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them. Lisa made a promise and has done everything in her power to keep that promise. a lesson her father needed to learn. Before he was able to practice keeping his promise, he lost the love of his daughter, his best friend, and he was about to lose the love of his son. Time was running out for all of them, but they didn’t know it.