Complex Regional Pain Syndrome · CRPS · Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy · RSD

We Impact Our World! 

The choices we make in life define not only who we are but how we live. Every little decision we make has an impact on our lives. 

I never thought I’d be that person, that person someone who I’ve never met would one day call me inspiring and all it took was a very cruel diagnosis and a blog. 

A few nights ago I received an email from a college student named Allison Pond. I’ve never met Allison before but when I saw the subject of her email and that she was going to write about CRPS I was hooked right away. 

Here is what Allison asked me about being diagnosed with CRPS. 

Hello Margaret,

I am working on a final paper for my health psychology course and I am writing on CRPS. This paper is a “walk in their shoes” paper. I must get the perspectives of people who are dealing with CRPS so that I can better understand it and how it impacts the lives of those who deal with it and their loved ones. If you have the time and would be willing to answer any of my questions, I would greatly appreciate it. I think that CRPS is something too few people know about or understand and it would be amazing if I got to present this to my class and help raise awareness. I will include my questions at the end. If you are willing to answer any of these questions, I would greatly appreciate any that you could fill out. Thank you so much for your time!

When were you diagnosed with CRPS?  

I was diagnosed February 17, 2015 

What has been the most challenging part of your diagnosis?

For me the most challenging part of being diagnosed with CRPS would have to be not being able to be involved in sports. I was an athlete from the age of 3 and was highly involved in Gymnastics for over 18 years and coached Gymnastics as well. When I was told that I would never be able to do anything in the sports field again really devastated me and it still does. 

What has been the most helpful thing for you to cope with it?

I’m forever thankful to my mother and my family for being my support system. Because of them I’ve been able to cope with this diagnosis much better than I ever expected. I also started a blog that 1) raises awareness for CRPS/RSD and 2) helps me to understand what I’ve been diagnosed with. 

What psychological struggles do you find many people with CRPS face? 

For myself it’s more of the OCD tendencies. Since being diagnosed I’ve had this feeling that if any of the fur from my pets wound up on my bedsheets I can feel it, the same goes with my hair. I don’t know what others have struggled with but I can tell you that it’s a cruel diagnoses to have. 

When I received an email back from her I was shocked when she called my attitude inspiring because I’ve never thought of myself as someone who is inspiring, Allison told me that she has read my blog and said that I’m an inspiration for sharing my life with people. To me I’m just a 24 year old from small town Connecticut living a small town life I’m just being me. 

To me the real inspirations are people like Allison. Allison is involved in a charity called TradingHope

Trading Hope is not just a charity giving to people in need. Instead their mission is to empower people and help them reach a greater potential. Trading Hope is a fair trade jewelry company that sells jewelry from small vendors around the world. They are providing work opportunities for so many people on developing areas. 

To me that is what I call inspiring!