Is This Real? Fight and Survive

Hi my name is Breanne aka “Brie”. I am 35 years old. I live in California with my husband and 3 boys. I also have 2 dogs. I have always been a very active person and love cooking and baking. I loved chasing after my crazy boys and being out and about with my family or friends.

That all started to change is April/ May 2014. I am not quite sure when it happened or what even happened since I didn’t experience a trauma. But it felt like I woke up one morning and my left foot was swollen and in extreme pain. Due to the fact I was always a clumsy person I though may I twisted my ankle without realizing it and treated it as a sprain. I wrapped it. I iced my ankle which cause even more pain. I soaked in epsom salt. I did everything you are supposed to do for a sprain. Finally in July I couldn’t take the pain anymore and it not getting better. I went to the ER. They did x-rays, blood tests, and a sonogram. They gave me a shot that was supposed to take the swelling down and it didn’t. The x-rays showed I had a fracture in my heel. I also said I had cellulitis. Sent me home in a boot, crutches, 800 mg Motrin, and antibiotics. Once finished with the antibiotics nothing happened. I went from taking 1 Motrin to 3 at a time. NOTHING helped. I called my doctor in September and got in the next day. He told me the boot was causing the pain and swelling. To remove it. I did. 4 weeks later. No relief. I called again. He sent me for another x-ray. The next day I get a call. Fracture healed but you have a fluid filled cyst in your ankle. Going to get you to an Orthopedic Surgeon but first we are going to do an MRI. Middle of October I went in for the MRI. They couldn’t use the smaller size foot hold and used a men’s size for me. The pain was horrible. The swelling was 4x the size. I was told 3 days for results. The next afternoon I get another called from my doctor. He says “My God girl what did you do to your foot?” Most of my ligaments were completely torn and the ones that weren’t were ripped. He made an appointment immediately for me to see the Orthopedic Surgeon. I had to bring a copy of my MRI. Of course being me I looked at the report. Bruising all the way through my bones. Then I saw the sentence that made me numb. Signs of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Before I go on I should say I am the daughter of a RSD/ CRPS warrior. My mom got it in 1989. There was never anything showing it was or wasn’t genetic so I never told doctors about her RSD. Never felt the need to. Why would I?

So anyway I burst into tears because I knew what my mom has endured for 26 years now. I knew it spread through her body. I knew she was 35 and it started in her left knee and I knew I was 34 and mine started in my left foot. I cried. I mean I cried! I am not big on crying but I did. The next day I went in to the Orthopedic Surgeon. He took a look at my MRI and came in and said I have to refer you to a Pain management specialist before we go any further. You will need surgery but I can’t do anything till we know if you have RSD. That was the first time I brought up my mom. His eyes got huge. I told him the Motrin wasn’t working. I had stopped taking it. He prescribed naproxen and a pressure stocking. The pressure stocking was HORRIBLE. It cut into my skin in so many places. The naproxen was a Joke. I went in to see Dr. Barnett in the beginning of December. He looked at it. Ran things up and down my leg and foot. Then said we need to do a nerve block. That will help us see what is what. So we got approval for it and on December 22nd I went in. It didn’t work. We tried another in January. That didn’t work. Then we tried to do 3 one week apart in end of March, beginning of April. Nothing was working. We have tried two different topical creams. One the Ortho prescribed which wasn’t for RSD at all and actually made me sick. Second was a compound cream that didn’t work. I have yet to try pills because I have seen what they did to my mom and I don’t handle pills well. I am trying for the SCS treatment and am the first stages of qualifying. Not sure what I am going to do if I can’t get it or if it doesn’t work.

I keep going though. I try and try. I don’t go out much anymore. A lot of my friends get annoyed but are trying to be supportive. The thing I miss? Chasing my toddler around. He will never get to experience that part from me. I hardly sleep. My pain is getting worse. I almost fall constantly now and am slowly bringing myself to understand the cane I use in the house may be something I use more then on “cane days”. That everyday may soon be a “Cane day” and that scares me.

I have survived a lot in my life.  This is a fight I will survive too!

8 Replies to “Is This Real? Fight and Survive”

  1. Brie, I am so sorry for what you are going through! I have also fought CRPS but was luckily diagnosed very quickly. The only thing that helped me through was physical therapy. Have your doctors suggested that at all? Best of luck to you!!

  2. I’m sorry. I feel you’re pain. I’m the same age but I’ve had it since 2008. I had young kids and it’s so hard. Have u heard of or tried Ketamine? Where do u live? There are more and more docs and specialty centers popping up to deal with this. I’m im Philadelphia area and can Rec docs if ur interested. Take it day by day. On the really bad days I accept this is my life and I may need to lay in bed, the kids may have to watch more TV than I’d like, but tomorrow will be different. That’s my mantra. Hugs xo

    1. Hi Liz. I live in California and have one of the best pain management doctor’s in my area. I have heard of Ketamine but I have not tried it. I am sincerely hoping the SCS treatment works. I don’t do well with meds and they tend to have very bad reactions for me. But if this treatment doesn’t work I will look more into Ketamine. 🙂

  3. I was a icu critical care nurse. Got hurt 12-05-2011 my RSD is global now. But I am also done with Rsd controlling me and my life! So I am fighting back …I will contol it ! Soon I hope. .. you ever just need to talk or cry or scream l am here.

    1. Thank you Cindylou. I am sorry your RSD is global. So is my mother’s. Thank you for the offer and the feeling is mutual. We all have to stick together.

  4. Hi Brie, my name is Sandy from Jamaica and I have been fighting RSD from 2000. I just want to encourage you that you have friends who are here for you. Don’t give up. I had my trauma in 1992 and was not diagnose untill 2000, it was too late by then and I have been fighting since.

  5. Hi Sandy. I am so sorry it took so long for them to diagnose you! I know RSD/CRPS has always been kind of unknown to the medical work. I have had mine for a year now. I wish instead of waiting for two months I would of went in to be seen earlier. Sometimes I think if I had maybe something could of been done sooner.

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