Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In the battle against the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome staying focused helps with flare ups and set backs.

It's easy to lose the plot and get depressed when, just as I think I'm getting somewhere things get catostrophically worse. I notice that if something triggers a flare up in one area the symptoms quickly extend until they involve a whole quadrant or side. Last Friday my physiotherapist very wisely calmed me by explaining that as I've had some success with symptom control (mirrors, breathing, water etc) then the recovery time after flare ups should get less. This, thank heaven, has proven to be the case. Last week just doing 0ne set 15 shoulder strengthening exercises with a rubber band tied to a post after a lovely day orchid watching triggered a major flare up. Pain, nerve firing, hypersensitivity, sweating, colour and temperature changes etc were overwhelmingly present in not only the left shoulder but the whole left side and right side from the hip down and included the right hand. It was hard to see the the light at the end of this. My amazing physiotherapist was right. I had to pay careful attention to pacing but using a strategy of first mirrors, breathing and water only and later beginning very slowly exercises as the symptoms pared back I now feel on top of things again. I need to think smarter about what I do. It's a constant battle, one I plan to win. Wish me luck.

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