Ok like I said in my last post I’m determined to get caught up and get back on track with this thirty day challenge. So here is post number two for today. How I’ve been able to achieve this today I don’t know. I’m tired in pain and fighting off the start up of another flare up. Like most health activists though you find a way to push on and move forward. So onwards we go! This is day #21 of the WEGO Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge. Todays challenge is to reflect on my journey. That’s quite the challenge seeing as I have to try and cram ten years into this short post!

Its hard to believe that coming up this fall will be ten years since being diagnosed with CRPS. To say that its been a wild ride is an understatement! The range of emotions that I’ve gone through have been too many to count and the same goes for the number of ups and downs that I’ve experienced. When I look back and reflect there are all kinds of things that I’d like to put behind me and not relive ever again. At the same time there have been some extremely proud moments as well. The low point of all of this had to be that day where I walked out of that doctors office with my diagnosis. I can still remember the day as if it was yesterday, and the anger and frustration I felt as a result.

Keeping with my optomistic or optimistic attitude however I want to say that there have been some great things that have come from all of this as well. First and foremost has been how God has been there from the start. If it weren’t for the support that God has shown me through all of this I would lack confidence but my confidence couldn’t be stronger today. My ability to overcome adversity no matter how hard things get is another. Every time I walk into a trial I know from the start that I’m going to be able to get through the storm no matter what. Through all of this I’ve been able to see a new me emerge. One who’s stronger and more confident about what I can accomplish with my life.

I’ve also been able to establish some great friendships with others who live with CRPS and other chronic illnesses. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to get through half of what I do in managing my CRPS. It means so much to be able to go through this with others who are facing some of the same trials. On those days where its all to much there is always one of you there with words of encouragement.

Living this last ten years with CRPS has opened my eyes and given me perspective into a disease that goes along very quietly to most, yet to those of us living with it the pain and suffering is very real. My hopes are that through all of this that I am able to make a difference in educating and raising awareness about a silent disease that affects so many. Imagine a child having to go through what we have to endure as an adult! Would you want your child to have to live with pain as bad as this? The reality is that its happening and I’d like to see that change. We should be opening more pain clinics and the health sysytems world wide shouldn’t be dismissing chronic pain but treating and reasearching it! In our province they just shut down one of our pain clinics because of funding. That’s a whole other topic!

My hopes and dreams are to see people in positions of authority catch on to the same visions as me. That there would be changes to the health care systems, and that CRPS would be seen for what it really is. We can’t do anything about it if it sits in the closet collecting dust!