Hi! I’m Amy. Here’s a little bit about myself: I enjoy life by the water, especially with sunny, warm weather. I have a wonderful large yet tight-nit family and awesome group of friends spread all over the country. Growing up, I probably watched the classic Hollywood movies and musicals a couple hundred times, and I still watch them to this day. My favorite room in the house is the kitchen. I’m usually singing along to music as I go about my day. I read cookbooks like other people read novels. I’m all about eating fresh, local, organic (or at least all natural) and recently gluten- and dairy- free food. Oh, and I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis.
Back in the spring of my sophomore year of college, I had a bad fall resulting in a severe sprain. It took a few months to heal, but I was ready to head back to school in the fall. I didn’t think much of that sprain for the next couple years, but the pain returned in the spring of ’09. After multiple visits to several different doctors, I was finally diagnosed of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS – I)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD) in May ’09. They told to me that basically I had CRPS/RSD back in ’06 but it was in remission the past couple years. I learned very quickly that pain conditions come in package deals. In the fall ’11, doctors told me I was also dealing with Fibromyalgia (FM). Then, in the spring of ’12, I found out that I have Gastroparesis (GP). And, finally, in the summer of ’12, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Arthritis (IA); the sub-type is unknown for now. Okay, I think we’re up to date.
I’ve tried MANY treatments but not all of out there for chronic pain. Some helped and some didn’t but I learned from my experience with all of them. Here’s a sampling of the treatments: epidural injections, drug therapies, pain psychology, physical therapy, changes in diet, Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS), laser acupuncture, and relaxation response. I plan on talking about most of these in later posts, and I hope you will give feedback on treatments you’ve tried. I have spent hundreds of hours over the past years researching my conditions, treatment options, coping techniques, and related issues. I hope to share some of my findings with you.
As strange as this sounds, I know more of who I am today than I did before I had chronic pain. My situation has forced me to take a good look at myself and my life and ask some pretty big life questions: who am I?, what is important to me?, what do I want my life to look like?, etc. I guess pain and solitude can do that to you 😉 I laugh more easily; I smile more frequently. I’ve learned to love the slower-paced life with chronic pain. As ironically it may seem to you, I’m happier today than I was a couple years ago. Wait, what? That is total bull, Amy. No, I’m not lying to you or pretending that everything is just peachy. I’ve made choices to be grateful, stay positive, and put a smile despite the pain. I’ll talk more about this in later posts.
I look forward to learning pain management skills and coping techniques with and from you. So, I wish you the best as you continue with life!
Quick side note: I’m a Christian, and my faith has been sure foundation for me all my life but especially in the past couple years. However, I should be upfront that the “Continuing with Life” blog is not a “Christian” blog. It is a blog about chronic pain management. I will most likely bring up my faith here and there in my posts. Oh, I’m also conservative, which would have probably come out eventually, BUT I’m more open minded than you might think. So, as I’m grateful for our right as Americans for freedom of speech and religion, I ask that we all give each other respect and grace as we read each others’ posts and comments, whether we see eye-to-eye or not. Remember this blog is about helping and encouraging each other as we navigate life through chronic pain.