I saw this video on the facebook page of Chronic Pain Australia. It's a short piece showing the experience of two young people living with CRPS. What life is really like when you have this very rude fiend gatecrashing your party.
For me, it was uncomfortable to watch. I couldn't quite grasp why I felt this way; after all, it's what I live with too. It hit me suddenly - I don't view it from the outside. This is what my loved ones see. While you're the one experiencing it from the cheap seats, it becomes somewhat normal to you. For the ones who love and support you, I don't think it can ever become 'normal'. It must be horrifying for them to watch and would have a huge impact on them. It certainly had an impact on me too.
As the years go by, I see how much it has changed not only my life, but also the lives of my loved ones. None of it is fair. In the past year, I have become more in tune with my own mental strength. It also means that I am more able to focus outside myself. All these years, my close family and friends were my rocks, supporting me and keeping me grounded; carrying me when I couldn't carry myself. Now I feel strong enough to be able to be their rock too. I wish, more than anything, that they didn't have to go through all this with me. No one wants to see their loved ones suffering in any way and it makes me feel terrible that I am the cause of this suffering in them. However, what makes it tolerable is having their hands to hold. Shared problems are halved problems, and our combined strength makes us a force to be reckoned with! My X-Men team of superheroes, fighting the fiendish villain CRPS and his sidekick Pain!
It's great to see in the video how the boy uses the mirror for his leg. Mirror box therapy is such an excellent treatment that really should be used by most; if not everyone with CRPS. It is such an interesting way to retrain the brain, and can provide some relief of symptoms by 'tricking' you to see a normal and healthy limb. It is good to see it being actually being demonstrated, because it can be a little difficult to explain how it all works to others.
What made this particular video so important and striking, is that both of the people with CRPS speak of being stronger as a result of it. They will not give into Pain, and refuse to let it dictate their lives. Their Pain will never win! There is a real sense of determination in both of them that is often absent in these news stories covering CRPS. It becomes a little tedious, seeing stories that focus too much on the victim/suffering angle. I can't really relate with those stories. They don't really explore what this particular condition is all about and don't really help in the general understanding of it. That there is more to it than just Pain, a list of out-of-control symptoms and all the things that it takes from you. Rather, the story of CRPS is about the incredible strength and determination it brings out in you; that which comes from fighting such a powerful foe every day. A very powerful message!
A medical mystery is afflicting the son of INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret that causes him agonizing pain (on www.boston.com):
Mysterious CRPS condition hits home for Inside Edition Reporter