NEW CRPS JOURNEY
For this new CRPS journey it is a slightly special one, as it has been written by a very kind and positive gentleman; Pete Lacey from Essex, UK. This gentleman is not just any ordinary CRPS sufferer but in fact he is 1 of Burning Nights CRPS Support’s TRUSTEES! So, now you all know that Pete is a Trustee for Burning Nights, you had all better ‘meet‘ him and know his story.
Thank you so much Pete for agreeing to become a Trustee for Burning Nights and thank you and your family for all you are doing to fundraise to help us become a UK Registered Charity for CRPS.
This is Pete’s story…
This is my story leading up to my accident that happened in October 2012…. I’m a 44 year old November baby that was a keen footballer both playing & watching. In the year 2006 I needed an operation on my left knee, meniscus repair, a straightforward procedure. But just 2 weeks after my procedure I knew things were not right. It so happened, that morning I was rushed into hospital by ambulance with a blood clot, so yes I was in for another procedure. While I was in recovery I found that more problems had occurred. my PCL, LCL, MCL were all damaged and had been repaired while under anaesthetic, I had only gone in for a routine op!
After the 6 to 8 week physio my consulting doctor at the time had noticed my bend on my knee was very restricted and under caution wanted me in prompt with MRI scan. It was there we found a hematoma which needed bursting and removing. Back into hospital all booked for that day, the removal took place leaving me in hospital for 4 days, all battered and bruised.
Starting to recover from the operations I was having intense physio 3 times a week for 8 weeks in a private clinic that was state of the art, but I’m sad to say my knee was never to be the same again as all the tissue damaged was so severe, it was causing necrosis – muscle death. To try and strengthen my leg I was put in a cast for 8 weeks to keep my leg straight, as for me to bend my leg could of been so damaging, they could not afford for my leg to be opened up or operated on again unnecessary.
Once my cast had been removed and had my staples out I was fitted with a brace for 3 months, can’t imagine the stress this was causing for my family not being able to work, or even go back to what I was doing as it was to physical. After having my brace removed I started to lead a form of normal life if there is one. So I started looking around for a new form of career. Once all my rehab & physio had been completed & signed fairly fit for work the year 2008, I found a manager’s position where I could boss people about!
When I was well into my new position, in 2010 I was finding my leg was taking its toll, wear and tear was kicking in. Maybe it’s because I was riding a bike to and from work 16 miles a day, the pain was bad scale 6 to a 7. The consulting doctor read my notes and decided to try a nerve block to help kill the pain, it was to be a lumbar injection under local anaesthetic. A week after my procedure and it was just a total waste of time. I just felt like I was a pincushion now. In the Doctor’s appointment I was due to have an assessment to find out the results and there the Doctor said that there was nothing else he can do as I’m too young for a knee replacement. Not the sort of thing you want to hear when you’re in pain.
After struggling in pain I had to pick myself up and brush myself down. Work was very busy at that time of year leading up to the Christmas rush. So in October 2012 I decided to assist the work force as we was short staffed.
Monday 1st October 2012, was the worst day in my life. Whilst they were loading a 40 foot container, help was needed so I put my blues on and assisted. The driver at this time was very negligent and certainly not listening and just totally smashed into my bad leg crushing me against another crate, crushing my left calf with a total of 4 TONNE forklift truck. All I could do at this time was freeze in pain. On the scale, 10 was not the marker as I nearly passed out from the pain, I just couldn’t give you a number! After my previous operations all I wanted to do was go home to bed, which I did until the morning. That is until I saw the swelling, the leg was bizarre and the colour was terrible.
X-rays were taken nothing broken which was a surprise to me. BUT… my calf was destroyed inside which were the exact words from the orthopaedic surgeon. While having ultrasound they found a huge lump, I was then referred to RNOH Stanmore which is a fantastic place. The checks were taken and the results came in nothing sinister. Brilliant! My family and I said, but I had a large 5 cm hematoma jammed between my fib and tib, which can’t be removed. I still have it to this day in 2015.
After having unlimited tests and scans they decided to do some aspirations which I had 3 of, as they were baffled by my swelling. 1 year after my accident during 2013, the Radiologist said I was very lucky not to have lost my leg. All the tests were coming back fine, then there was a meeting between doctors at an MDT meeting. While I was waiting for my results from the meeting I was to have an appointment in Harley Street London. This doctor works in severe chronic pain cases. While I stripped off to be assessed, I was asked how long my leg had been that swollen, so I replied that it had been 1 year. I had thermal imaging done, and they found I had another blood clot. So I was rushed back into hospital, warfarin was applied again and so on for 1 week. Once my results came back it was noted that I was to go on a 3 week rehab programme for pain management, which was carried out by myself in July 2014.
It’s ok talking about the pain but I found dealing with the pain is another thing. While I was in hospital I had a suspected blood clot which came back clear, it was just that all the signs were there. Doctors called me and my family into their consulting rooms and basically said you have CRPS. Every sign they saw was identified to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. So my medication changed higher dosage, morphine, pregabalin and I was fearing the worst. Who do I know that’s got this?? It’s taken 26 months to get a diagnosis. I can’t work, sit stand walk for too long and I’m using a walking aid. I have all these questions that are in my head, who understands me?
So it is to this day I’ve had to move to a bungalow as stairs are a battle but I have a very understanding family that helps me every single day. Then I found Burning Nights and great help with Victoria’s help and guidance.
I thank you for reading my story.
Thank you so much Pete for sharing your story with Burning Nights and its readers! Thank you also for agreeing to become a Trustee and helping fundraise together with all your family! Hopefully other sufferers will gain strength and positivity from your story – the new CRPS journey blog.
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Last Updated: 23/06/2015