We as a society often have trust that our doctors are the experts, they have all the knowledge. But, what if they don't? This is the harsh reality I've come to realize. This article is meant to educate you and hopefully people you share it with. The more knowledge people have, the better off we all are. Now let me first ask, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrom), do you know what that is? Maybe you've heard of RSD? Nope? Well, you're in for an education rollercoaster. . .
What is CRPS?
Often affecting one's limbs, CRPS is a chronic pain that typically occurs after an injury or trauma to such limb. Dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in an affected area are common symptoms.
CRPS patients often compare their pain to being on fire. The rapid hot sweats mixed with swelling and sharp pains give a CRPS patients that burning alive feeling.
This, my friend, is called the McGill Pain Index. The higher the number, the higher the amount of pain experienced. Can you find CRPS? Yup, as the title of this article suggests CRPS is the most painful thing a human can experience. Th
e sad part, it never ends. Unlike childbirth or amputation where the pain is temporary, CRPS patients experience a constant pain.
Who gets CRPS?
ANYONE. Although more common in women, CRPS can occur to anyone at any age. In most cases, repeated trauma or injury are triggering: "The most common triggers are fractures, sprains/strains, soft tissue injury (such as burns, cuts, or bruises), limb immobilization (such as being in a cast), or surgical or medical procedures (such as needlestick)".
How is CRPS Diagnosed?
Here is where thing's get tricky as there is not a single diagnostic test to confirm CRPS. Based on one's symptoms and medical history, a careful examination is made. Magnetic resonance imaging or triple-phase bone scans sometimes identify CRPS-characteristic changes in the bone metabolism.
There is no cure to CRPS, however, the pain can be lessened in various ways:
- Opioids such as Oxycontin, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, and Vicodin
- Botulinum Toxin injections
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- And Others (click here for more)
How do I know about CRPS?
My dad was diagnosed with it in 2011. After multiple doctors blaming him for faking the eminence amount of pain he was in, a family friend of ours actually introduced us to CRPS. The daughter of our friend was diagnosed after a bad softball accident and she realized that my dad's symptoms were the same as her daughters. Thankfully for her daughter, she had an early diagnosis which helped doctors reverse her pain.
Early diagnosis is key. Sadly, however, my dad was diagnosed after multiple years of suffering with no answers. It was too late and all doctors can do now is try and make him comfortable, which is difficult to do. Many doctors have never heard of this disease even though it's crucial that they do in order to provide an early diagnosis.
Chronic diseases often go unrecognized in our society due to the fact they are not often visible at a fast glance, even though CRPS is unofficially known as the suicide disease. The pain can be so overwhelming that many, without access to medical treatment or knowledge of relaxation techniques, end their lives because of the pain. Please spread the word by sharing this article. I hope that with it I can provide helpful knowledge to someone who may need it.