Baby Steps

Hi all,

So my week pretty much consists of trying to get better in all ways I can think of.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I work my butt off with my Physical Therapist Kirsten. On those days I usually feel like I got beat up for a while afterwards, so when I get home I relax eat lunch and think about life and my day and what I might be able to plan to do for another physical therapy session at home on my own.

On the days I do not work with Kirsten I am working my foot all day long. I practice walking with the crutches using weight on my foot. I also do laps using the crutches without putting weight on my foot. While I sit down I do leg stretches pulling my knee in and holding my leg out straight while I tightly squeeze in my leg muscle to hold it up and then release to put my foot down with some weight and texture of the floor.

For those who have had a broken limb you know that when doing physical therapy you push through the pain and keep going. Physical therapy for treating RSD is significantly different. A big part of my condition is sensitivity to touch. Part of my therapy is getting used to different kinds of textures, pressures, and temperatures. It sounds crazy but one of the things I do regularly is use a paint brush. I brush my foot from heel to toes then just on the toes then on top. The crazy part of it is that this is unpleasant rather than the normal feeling, (which I try out on my good foot) which is tickling.

Another big part of therapy is working on the mobility of my toes and ankles. Constantly I point and flex my toes while I try to push my feet away from me and towards me as much as possible. I also use my hands as compression and hold my foot and touch my toes and rub. I am also working on putting a regular sock on my foot and a regular sneaker (all of this hurts so much). I am still rocking a tube sock and surgical slipper and on my good foot a sneaker.

As I have titled this entry, controlling my RSD is all about baby steps. But they are truly teaching me to appreciate the little things more. Yesterday I actually got my foot in a sock and, sat it in my sneaker for 6 minutes! It is so amazing how big that is, but it is huge as I haven’t been able to walk, let alone wear a regular shoe in 3 whole months, it hurt so badly- but I did it!!

Also I have been able to put more weight on my foot and I have improved my balance. I also sometimes have more manageable pain than other times.

I am also learning to look for ways of healing in any way possible. I have hired a healer who does meditation and Reiki, and it truly relaxes me. I am also reading a book called “You can heal your life” by Louise J. Hay. In addition, I am speaking to a therapist who surprisingly has RSD herself. I feel in trying to work on myself completely can only be helpful towards my health.

If that wasn’t enough I am taking Lyrica, Allegra, and Aleve, and a sleeping pill. Thanks to my father’s research and being, I am on an all day vitamin regimen. I take two Acidophilis supplements 3 times a day, Fish Oil supplement one 3 times a day, B-12 two 3 times a day, Vitamin C one 3 times a day, Magnesium one 2 times a day, Glucosamine one two times a day, and a multi vitamin one twice a day. These vitamins are not bad to take on a regular basis, obviously when I get over this flare-up I will continue but probably will lessen the amount of pills.

RSD has changed my life, today and forever…

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I Broke a Toe?

Hello all,

Well, so much has gone on since I hurt my foot.

So, my parents visited me after the 4th of July. I kind of made somewhat light of my foot situation, as I couldnt walk or stand on it without pain.  My foot is swollen, changes colors, majorly sensitive to touch and I have shooting, pressing, squeezing pain. I am actually shocked that I worked for two whole months in this condition!

While my parents were still in town I had another visit with my doctor. He had said he would plan to give me cortizon shots in a week to hopefully relieve the pain during my vacation in August.

A week later came by I went back to the doctor and my foot had not improved. It  had  been almost TWO MONTHS of living with this nonsense. The doctor than decided  I was not better I should get an MRI to confirm the bone in the toe was broken and probably do surgery, which meant also that I was not getting the cortizon shots as planned, I was really looking forward to having a break from feeling pain!

Meanwhile my parents found this big shot foot surgeon in NY who said I am a candidate to look at, so he squeezed me in, which meant I had to leave Miami  asap.

Crazy my life is, the doctor in NY was able to see me as soon as Monday the 6th of August. I had to leave Miami and work. I had to tell my manager on the wednesday that I had to leave and fly out on Sunday August 5th.

On Monday I went to the NY doctor, had an MRI.  I was surprised to hear that my toe was not in fact broken! I have a torn ligament and it has caused this nerve condition known as RSD. RSD is an incurable condition where my Sympathetic nerve thinks that my foot is broken. The tear in my ligament has made my nerve go on overdrive and created this incredible pain!

So with those results I am being treated by an expert Pain Management doctor. I am learning about this condition as I go as I really don’t want to read about it. But what I have found out so far is that RSD is real and that no one truly understands it until they have it. Also, since RSD is incurable but it can be controlled, I can get it again and again. It can happen after something as small as stubbing my toe.

I am truly lucky actually, from what I have heard it could take a lot of doctors visits before diagnosing RSD, which if not caught early on it can mean deteriorating of the joints. In my case, it only took two doctors.

RSD is very personal has very wishy-washy ways of treatment meaning there is no straight answer for treatment and the timeframe of how long one can suffer with this is unpredictable. For my treatment my doctor, my parents, and I decided to try Nerve Block procedures. These procedures are incredibly painful and required my being on an operating table while I’m awake.-I got FOUR of them. I will spare the details of the feelings I experienced during the procedures but very painful- and afterwards I was in pain for days and never really had the chance to recover in between each procedure. However the nerve blocks did definitely do some good as I had slightly less pain in my foot when I try to walk or stand.

So my parents being amazing have been researching a lot my mom found this therapist who happens to have RSD herself. The therapist referred us to a physical therapist who she uses personally.

After my fourth Nerve block a little over a week ago, my pain management doctor allowed me to start physical therapy! Everyone is located in NY so I currently spend my weeks in NY and the weekends at my parents in Connecticut.

Anyway, so for something I thought was as simple as a random broken toe I actually have something pretty serious-go figure! I still, believe it or not find myself to be lucky. I know I will be ok.