My name is Jennifer, I am 36 years old and live in New Jersey. I was diagnosed with CRPS on 7-8-2013 after five years of many ER visits and multiple repetitive strain/sprain injuries to my left knee and neck. At the age of 11 I was also dx with Lyme’s disease which destroyed my joints and impaired my short term memory. Three years later I was curious as to see what the inside of a squirrel’s nest looked like 60 ft up at the top of an old oak tree. I fell out of that tree landing on the left side of my body. I was left with only a concussion and was able to continue my childhood as active as any other. I played multiple sports and with my 3 other siblings. I have have had problems with my joints being hypermobile my entire life and dealt with my knee caps popping out and knee sprains all too often. In 2008, I incurred the dreadful knee sprain I would never recover from while working at the Rainforest Cafe waiting tables. This is where my journey began, seeing more than 30 physicians, over 100 lab tests and so on. I also since then have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective tissue disease with more of the Lupus complications, and Raynaud’s ( very interesting color effects). I wouldn’t change an instant in my life. I believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be and so glad to have met so many supportive people in the CRPS community that I absolutely love, I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
I live with my son Austin who is 12 and my boyfriend Jeff. Austin has special needs and keeps me on my toes to say the least! I do not get support from my family other than my father and this tears at my heart like no other pain. RCDOM was a force that pulled me out of a place of loneliness and despair and enabled me to find a voice to be able to do the same for others who feel lost and alone who are diagnosed with a chronic illness and don’t know where to turn. I have never felt so ill in my life and yet so empowered to not give up and take control and at the same time spread the word that “You are never alone,You are strong, and Yes you can!”