JADEN’S CRPS STORY
Our next Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) story is from a lovely lady, Jaden. Jaden’s CRPS story started approximately 1 year ago when she was 19 years old.
Jaden is now 20 and this is her CRPS story…
My name is Jaden, I am almost 20 and I got diagnosed with CRPS about a year ago.
When I was just turning 19, I had everything ahead of me. I was just about to graduate, just got 2 jobs and my relationship with my boyfriend was at the high point.It all started one day when I dislocated my left shoulder from picking up a back pack out of my back seat of my car. It was a month before doctors could fix anything. After I finally had my surgery, I got home and started to heal. About one month into my recovery I started getting a strange pain in my right knee. It hurt to bend; it was sharp burning and hurt for almost 2 weeks.
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I woke up after 2 weeks with horrible pain, and my whole knee was swollen. My boyfriend took me to the hospital and they told me it was water in the knee, and it would be better in 2 weeks. They put me in an immobilizer and expected things to heal. So after the 2 weeks went by everything had seemed to be getting a lot worse. It spread to my ankle, leg and hip. This pain was more than just swelling; it became so bad no one could touch me. It turned different colours. Even when the air touched it, it made it so bad I could not bear the pain. I could not go to school, I could not go to work, I lost the new job I just got and my boyfriend could no longer touch me. No-one knew what was wrong.
The doctors put me in a new brace to try and help me walk. The doctors looked at me like I was lying. I had never felt so alone. After about 2 months the swelling stayed and I had MRIs, scans, blood tests, and a lot more. They gave me injections, medications, and so much more. The one and only thing that showed anything was my bone scan. They finally saw my leg flared up. They knew right then that what I was saying was true. My doctor sent me to a specialist in CRPS. She did an exam and diagnosed me with CRPS. I was not happy but I had an answer.
Within a week I had another flare up. It was in my other shoulder, hands, arms and neck. I wore brace after brace. I just had my surgery and was in an arm immobilizer. I had a knee immobilizer, ankle support brace and now I had hand braces and even a neck brace. My body could not be touched. I could not even wash my hands or take showers without feeling my body burn, turn colours and feeling restless. It was horrible. All I could do was try new medications, exercises and see more doctors.
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I became very depressed. I missed a whole year of school, hanging out with friends and being close with the man I loved. My family did not know what to do, they tried to understand but I know it was hard.
I went 6 months with a knee brace before any swelling got better. When things started getting better I was able to do some things. I was able to be intimate with the man I loved even though I would burn I missed the things we shared. Well, I ended up getting pregnant. My flare ups kinda stopped. My shoulder was still a work in progress but I was determined. I went to therapy 3 times a week. I worked on things like retraining my brain to walk and things slowly started getting better. Then as my pregnancy progressed so did I. The braces came off one by one and I got some strength back. After 6 months in braces I was free. I got some of my life back.
During my pregnancy I had no complications no flares until the end. My hands would flare up not bad though. On May 30, 2016 I had my beautiful baby boy. I was worried I would not be able to have the strength to hold him, but I worked so hard I was able to. I am about one month postpartum and I have never felt more alive. I still do have pain and it is still hard to do a lot but for going through what I went through and even having a baby, I can proudly say I did it and still am.
I will be graduating next year and being a mom is the best feeling. I was even able to breastfeed. I might have CRPS and I might not know when I will have my next flare, but I know I can overcome anything I put my heart into. CRPS is a new way in living for me, it is about how to strive to want the best and I feel I am a better person because of CRPS. The braces might suck but they helped. The colors in my skin might have been embarrassing but it was who I became. I am a better person because of CRPS. I am stronger for my son and my family because of everything I have been put through. Just know you can overcome anything. I hope my story helps.