Understanding Someone With CRPS!

DSC_5757It’s the middle of winter where I live and already I’m begging for the summer! We’ve already had more snow than we’ve had in seventy years and the temperatures have been frigid! I’m used to lots of snow every year but this year has been very nasty. The worst part is how the cold temperatures affect my CRPS. The sudden swings in temperature can make the difference between me being mobile and not mobile in any given day. The last couple of days there have been a few real temperature swings, sending my pain levels in the wrong direction. Now luckily my implants have given me some relief but I’m still having some trouble getting things under control.

From one day to the next you never know how your going to feel! So today I wanted to shed some light on understanding someone who suffers from CRPS. You need to respect a person with CRPS and the physical limitations that they suffer from. Just because they can stand up for ten minutes doesn’t necessarily mean that they can stand up for twenty or thirty minutes. As well it isn’t fare to expect that just because the person managed to stand one day that they’ll do the same the next! So you have to be able to understand that there are going to be inconsistencies¬†in what a person suffering from this illness will be able to do.

People living with chronic pain talk in a language all their own or in their own code! So don’t ever assume that a person isn’t experiencing pain when they say that they are fine. People living with chronic pain often hide their feelings because of lack of understanding in others. So try to understand what the sufferer is feeling even though they don’t describe things accurately. Try to imagine a time when you experienced pain and then multiply its intensity, lasting over a twenty-four hour period with no relief. You really can’t find wordsDSC_5756 that describe that type of pain can you!

You have to have patience when a sufferer seems edgy or touchy. What a person has to understand is that the person living with chronic pain isn’t trying to be that way. As a matter of fact the person more often than not is trying very hard just to be normal. Just try and understand what they are dealing with or going through. Unless you are living with chronic pain you can’t possibly understand it! It plays havoc on the mind and body and is incredibly exhausting. They are doing their best to cope and live life as best they can so just be understanding.

A person living with CRPS needs you to be helpful. Often sufferers need people who are healthy to help them with the basic things like shopping, cooking, or cleaning. Or it could even be something like looking after their kids or getting them to the doctors. You help the person find normalcy in their life. As a result this keeps the person in touch with the things they miss in their life and want to get back again.

If you begin to understand a few of these things, then you’ll start to understand what the life of someone living with chronic pain or CRPS is like. So the next time you encounter someone who deals with chronic pain try to understand them a bit better!

 

 

About Ross

My name is Ross and I want to welcome you to my site. I'm married to an amazing woman who is my best friend, and my soul mate all rolled up into one! I am the father of two very special girls who we adopted from China & Ethiopia. Together we make up one very multicultural family! In 2006 my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD. It was the start of a journey I never could have expected, and one that I couldn't fight without God. CRPS is a chronic pain disease and it started in my left hand. I lost mobility of my hand and started to experience pain unlike I ever could have imagined. Not to long after my left ankle became affected. I spent the better half of about a year not knowing what was going on in my body and traveling from doctor to doctor to find a diagnosis. As time went by I started learning more about CRPS and all its symptoms that it brings with it! As I started to learn more about CRPS I felt the growing need to share the information I was learning with others and to raise more awareness. As well I want this to be a place where we can connect and support one another. So I would encourage you to contact me if you want.
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3 Responses to Understanding Someone With CRPS!

  1. Barb says:

    Thanks for all the great advice. I’m sorry you are in pain because of the weather – but your photos are lovely! Also thank you for your words of encouragement on my migration to WordPress – you validated my feelings.

  2. I have chronic pain in my knees … nothing like what you go through. But I am sympathetic. I too am thinking of summer. Your winter photos are gorgeous though.

  3. Liz says:

    A great post, Ross! It is often so difficult for others to understand what living with chronic pain is like. It took my husband quite a while to gain an understanding of the levels of pain that I considered “normal” or “bearable” and that what I considered as normal was very abnormal for most people. Apart from my explanations, he also gleaned as much as possible from my specialists and also from doing his own research online.
    I find Winter really hard too, but living in a sub-tropical and extremely humid climate, I also find the heat & humidity really problematic. My AS also plays up severely with the high levels of humidity. I find myself longing for Spring & Autumn most.
    I hope you’re having a good week.
    I know the cold is hard for you but your snowy shots are beautiful!

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