This is My Story:
“My name is Jamie and I live in Midwest City, Oklahoma with my best friend/partner in crime/husband and our four cats. I was diagnosed with CRPS in my left leg in March 2015. Before my CRPS I had a lot of different and random careers.
I love animals so I got a degree in zoology, but math is what I’m good at so I minored in that. For a long time out of college I worked in medical research as a research and lab assistant.While living in Seattle, Washington, I ended up finding out that I had a knack for working with data & computers. My last job before taking an extended medical leave of absence due to CRPS was working as a project manager for an aerospace company in Oklahoma City.
In late January 2015, I tripped and hyperextended my left knee while recovering from an arthritis & meniscus repair surgery in that same knee. After being told that I had torn a ligament, I was placed in an immobilizer brace for well over a month.
During this time, I had constant and intense pain in my left knee. My knee seemed to always feel hot to the touch, with a burning throbbing sensation and it would turn a bright red color.
In March 2015, I was able to see my orthopedic surgeon and was told that there appeared to be nothing wrong with my leg. Luckily I had begun taking photographs of the strange symptoms in my leg, as they tended to disappear at the most inopportune times (such as at doctor’s appointments). The pictures I took convinced my surgeon that there was something wrong and allowed him to diagnose me with CRPS.
Since the time of initial diagnosis, the condition has spread to both legs and feet. It has also started to alternate between incredibly hot skin that is bright red and icy cold skin that is a blue or purple in color and sometimes numb. I ended up having to stop work in November 2015 because of the constant pain, swelling, and the resulting impact it had on my stamina, my energy levels, and my abilty to think clearly.
Right now I am in the middle of applying and fighting for long term disability benefits which is ridiculously exhausting and frustrating.
I am unable to walk very far without the use of a cane and cannot sit or stand in one position for too long. Leaving my house is so exhausting that I limit my outings to appointments only and it generally takes me about a day to recover from each trip.
Heat and sunlight cause immediate flare ups, as well as the cold. I cannot tolerate wraps, braces, or tight materials touching my legs or feet. Taking a shower or bath is incredibly difficult and I have severe flare ups from both the heat of the water and when my limbs begin to cool down. I usually have to spend several hours recovering from a single 10-15 minute shower.
I am unable to cook, clean, or do most chores because of the severe pain and swelling that occur from performing even the simplest of tasks. I cannot go shopping, out to eat, o r to the movies because of my CRPS and resulting pain.
I used to love reading and could read an entire book in one sitting, now I can’t focus on a book long enough to even enjoy it and have not been able to read an entire book since early 2015.
This illness has taken away my ability to do so many of the things I love that I no longer feel like the person I was before CRPS.”
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a rare neurological disorder that causes severe inflammation in the sympathetic nervous system…. CRPS causes severe pain, swelling, and sensitivity. Many People are unable to walk, work, or wear clothes.
To Learn More About This Devastating Illness Please Visit: