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Monday, August 10, 2009

Explanation of RSD, Picture of my leg, and Explanation of my Spinal Blocks


Above is a picture of my leg with RSD also known as CPRS. This is how my leg looks on a good day. If its swollen the skin gets shinny, enlarged purple and blue in color and the skin can break open and bleed from the edema that comes with it and the unbelievable chronic pain I live with daily. Now I realize I am not good at explaining what I have to people and family. I have to say in my defense it isn't to upset people about what is going on about me. I just have been on this roller coaster for 4 years now of no one not even my own family members believing that I could be in as much pain as I was. That along with the Doctors over the years believing that I had Fibromyalgia not RSD and that the amount of pain I was experiencing was all in my head or exaggerated. Well finally, I got a good team of doctors who believed me especially when the disorder came to the skin surface on my leg. That got everyone attention then. I know have a great Neurologist, Dermatologist, and Pain Specialist. They are all working hard to give me back some normalcy in my life and are trying to help me not be in so much pain on a daily basis. I am now getting Spinal Blocks for my left leg. I had the procedure done this past Friday and I do post a lot of Facebook to update. I apologize that I am not a phone person. I have gotten to a point were I have to repeat myself and I just don't like it. I am sorry thou. I will try to be better about posting on the blog and making phone calls. My second series of injections for my leg will be on Aug 21st. It causes me a lot of pain but the Doctors and I and Chris have hope for at least a 30%-50% increase of mobility and functionality out of my leg and me to be in less pain by doing these. Soon they will start targeting other areas of my body that have pain like my face and my other leg that is now developing the same discoloring and swelling and pain from the RSD. This is not uncommon for it to go to the matching limb we have found out. Below I have copied and pasted information explaining my Disorder in better terms that I can ever do. I hope you sit and read it and it helps explain to you better what is going on with me and going on in our family. This has turned our family upside down. I am no longer the on the go girl I once was and we have learned to live the life that has been given to us the best we can. As hard as it is for people who knew me before this disorder hit know that I have changed and have a hard time understanding it but believe me when I say, its a life style change and I am still Cori. Please read below. It will really help you to understand more....

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is referred to by several other names:
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome - RSDS
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Shoulder-Hand Syndrome
Causalgia
Sudeck's Atrophy
The syndrome is as complicated as its nomenclature.
What Causes RSD?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), RSD is "a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems."

According to MedicineNet, RSD involves "irritation and abnormal excitation of nervous tissue, leading to abnormal impulses along nerves that affect blood vessels and skin."

Animal studies indicate that norepinephrine, a catecholamine released from sympathetic nerves, acquires the capacity to activate pain pathways after tissue or nerve injury, resulting in RSD.

Another theory suggests RSD which follows an injury is caused by triggering an immune response and symptoms associated with inflammation (redness, warmth, swelling).

RSD is not thought to have a single cause, but rather multiple causes producing similar symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of RSD?

RSD usually affects one of the extremities (arms, legs, hands, or feet). The primary symptom of RSD is intense, continuous pain. According to NINDS, the list of symptoms includes:
burning pain
increased skin sensitivity
skin temperature changes (warmer or cooler than opposing extremity)
skin color changes (blotchy, purple, pale, red)
skin texture changes (shiny, thin, sweaty)
changes in nail and hair growth patterns
stiffness and swelling in affected joints
decreased ability to move affected extremity

Pain can spread to a wider area (i.e. from finger to entire arm) and can spread to the opposite extremity (i.e. from left arm to right arm). Emotional stress can cause symptoms to worsen.

Some experts suggest there are three stages of RSD, during which progressive changes occur in the skin, muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones of the affected area. The progression has not been confirmed by clinical studies though.
Stages Of RSD
Stage 1 lasts 1 to 3 months
severe, burning pain
muscle spasm
joint stiffness
rapid hair growth
skin color and temperature changes
Stage 2 lasts from 3 to 6 months
pain which becomes more intense
swelling
decreased hair growth
nails which are cracked, brittle, grooved, spotty
softened bones
stiff joints
weak muscle tone
Stage 3 irreversible changes to skin and bone
pain is continuous
muscle atrophy
severe limited mobility
contractions of muscles and tendons (limbs may be twisted)
What Triggers RSD?
There can be numerous triggers for RSD including:
injury or trauma
surgery
degenerative arthritis of the neck
shoulder problems
heart disease
stroke
diabetes
cancer
infection
brain diseases
thyroid disorders
carpal tunnel
shingles
certain medications
In an estimated one-third of patients with RSD, there is no associated trigger.

5 comments:

Melinda said...

What an amazing person you are. I also have RSD and rheumatoid arthritis , I feel lucky after looking at the picture of your leg. God Bless you and thank you for sharing . It is so hard for someone who does not have RSD to understand the pain. It is like a truck is parked on my arm and hand , You leg looks so painful ! hang in there .

Cori said...

Melinda, Thank you so much for your kind words. I don't know you but share your pain and suffering. Please feel free to keep in touch with me or follow my blog. I am also on facebook under
Cori Scanlon Pearson. That might be were you found me from. Good luck to you and May God Bless You.

Cori Pearson

Melinda said...

I will look for you on facebook and add you as a friend . I would love to keep in touch. Please feel free to visit my web site as well . we have a group of people just like us who are funny and offer support, I invite you to join us also I am directing them to you here also. my web site address is http://www.cookingwitharthritis.com

Brittany Cooper said...

Cori,

Will be keeping you in prayer and believing for healing!

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.

Thanks