Sunday, April 13, 2008

RSD patients deserve fair treatment.

On Monday I had an accident where my left leg went out to the left with a loud cracking sound. The pain was sudden and very severe. We were bush camping in our caravan so didn't reach the local small town hospital for several hours. In small towns in Australia local general practitioners service the hospital. My leg was strapped with a wooden spoon, a ruler and two sturdy sticks.

As is mostly the case in these small towns, the nurses were wonderful and the doctor seemed kind and thorough in his examination. I explained that I was not in much pain if I kept still but that my leg collapsed if I tried to walk. My knee did not feel stable and I'd collapsed with extreme pain 5 times. At this stage my leg looked normal, swelling came later. I told the doctor I have RSD. He said he knew the condition and that it involved weak muscles from not using them. He told me both my quadriceps were weak and I should see a physiotherapist. I explained that I understand the neglect symptoms RSd patients often have but that I have had on going physiotherapy for 10 years. He bandaged my knee and offered me pain medication. I explained that I do not take pain medication and was not in much pain as long as I didn't weight bear. With that he left the room.

I wondered if this doctor had preconceived ideas about RSD patients. Clearly he did not listen when I explained I had an accident where my leg went unnaturally sideways with a loud click. He did not listen when I said I could not weight bear. If he had no knowledge of the pain syndrome would he have treated me with the same arrogant disregard for what I said?

The nurses were concerned and asked me how I was going to manage. I stubbornly said that as he seemed to think I was fine then I would get up and walk which I did and promptly collapsed in severe pain. The nurses strapped my leg in a steel brace and called the doctor back. He suggested I come back the next day for an x-ray. I was then told to go home, two days' drive away and see my own doctor.

It's Sunday here today. The gross swelling has gone down considerably. I am having conservative treatment of laser acupuncture, anti inflammatory cream, vitamin C to prevent CRPS complications and passive exercise. My leg remains in a brace except for several times a day when I do passive movements. Today I have improved range of movement with my leg but cannot weight bear. I do not have CRPS symptoms in my left leg. I followed Professor Scott Reubin's protocols for prevent CRPS after orthopedic injury and I am taking vitamin C which deals with inflammation. If I continue to be unable to weight bear then I'll have further tests.

The real downside for me with this accident is that it has caused a recurrence of cardiac symptoms. My immediate problem when my leg gave way wasn't the pain. It was trying to remain conscious as my blood pressure plummeted. I was halfway up an embankment with a river below. I'm hoping that in time Yamamoto Acupuncture works its magic again.


3 comments:

How to Cope with Pain said...

Jeisea, so sorry to hear about this incident. Sometimes mis-informed knowledge is worse than no knowledge. It does indeed sound un-related to RSD.

Hope this week shows improvement, or, when you see your doctor, you get an accurate diagnosis.

Marla said...

Oh Jeisea, I first have to applaud you for not "enlightening" the good doctor on your reason for being there in his office. =).
But I am so sorry you have to be going through this. I hurt right along with you as I was reading this post....and for you not to feel the pain is pretty common with us who suffer with CRPS/RSD. It's crazy that we sometimes don't feel the pain when we actually hurt ourselves, and we feel pain all other times, ya know.
I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery.
Love Ya Girl!!

Your Friend,
Coach Marla

jeisea said...

Thanks HTCwP and Marla. I have no signs of RSD in my leg. I suspect taking vitamin C and removing the brace often to massage and move the leg has helped prevent this.

This was an accident pure and simple. I was climbing an embankment after fishing. The bank was too steep, and although I am stronger the step up was too high for me and my lower leg gave out. I was so happy to be coping better I misjudged my ability to climb. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Just a glitch in the wellness plan. I was a bit too confident after being able to ride my bike up a slight hill to visit waterfalls.

jeisea

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