Anyone else here with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? I was diagnosed at 17 and have been working as a nurse for 2.5 years. Just wondering how it affects your work performance.
Nov 28, '12
YES! I was diagnosed with CRPS two weeks after wrist surgery earlier this year. My hand surgeon IDd it immediately, and I underwent stellate ganglion blocks less than a week later. Prior to surgery (for OA), I worked as an emergency RN for 3.5 years. I can't speak as to the effect that CRPS has on my clinical skills, as my employer terminated my employment earlier this month for what they determined to be a potential danger posed by the occasional, residual hand weakness r/t CRPS. I can say that after 2 blocks and multiple rounds of Medrol Dose Packs/prednisone, my symptoms improved dramatically. But given my recent life and financials stressors after losing my job, I am noticing a significant increase in previous Sx's: cyanosis, temperature changes, stiffness, weakness, and numbness in my fingers and hand.
I would really like to hear how you're doing!
Dec 2, '12
It is nice to hear someone else was affected as I was. I was diagnosed with RSD, also known as CRPS, over ten years ago. I was an emergency room nurse in a pediatric hospital and was struck with an onset of symptoms that I could not attribute to anything and was sent to a number of specialists for more tests than I could count. After multiple consultations the verdict came in as reflex sympathetic dystrophy and I was put in rehab and on limited duty for six weeks. After that time the hospital's doctor told me bluntly that my career as an emergency nurse was over and I was put out on long term disability. Devastating news to be sure. The first few years were horrendous both physically and psychologically. I did keep my license active and prayed for the day my body would heal. I dealt with blocks of every kind, ganglionic, Baer you name it pain continued. Finally, yoga and meditation and time have eased most of it. There are days that are worse but I just put one foot in front of the other and go on. I recently enrolled in school to finish my bachelors degree. I don't yet know what kind of nursing I will do but the passion and drive has never left me.
Dec 2, '12
lindykid, WOW! I am so, so sorry to hear the hell that you've gone through! The pain and devastating emotional toll that CRPS causes aside; the abuse and discrimination that nurses have to endure at the hands of doctors and members of administration, aka bean counters, is disgusting.
By the grace of god, I was diagnosed within 2 weeks after surgery, so I can only imagine the hell that you've had to endure. That's not to say that I didn't and don't continue to suffer the ill-effects of CRPS. Although sad and disheartening, I'm glad to have read your story and to know that I'm not the only one!
I can tell you that during my first stellate ganglion block, I met a PACU nurse who was diagnosed with CRPS after a stretcher carrying a 350lb patient collapsed on her forearm. 18 sgb's later, and she's still trucking.
Good luck to you in all of your educational and nursing aspirations! I think any kind of nursing, pain management and administrative, would fit you like a glove!
May 28, '13
Hi i live in the uk and was a Nursing student when was diagnosed with crps after my 19th Birthday, i've had it for 6 years now and have tried a number of different treatments all of which failed, i had a spinal cord stimulator put in in 2009 but the op went wrong and i was left with severe spasms affecting the whole body which left me bed bound for a year and a half. Since then i underwent intensive rehbilitation and can now walk, the CRPS is still there and affects both leg's one is worse than the other, it also affects my back and recently developed symptoms in my left hand following a deep burn. I've been told to forget about a career in Nursing, but i'm sure many of you will now once you develop that passion for Nursing it is near impossible to give up. Anyway i'm hoping to go back to college in the hope of getting the chance to finish my degree later down the line, but have been asked how the crps would affect my learning and ultimately how it would affect me as a Nurse, and as don't know any one else with the condition it would be good to hear from people who have gone through it and gone back to Nursing and how the CRPS has affected you in work/learning.
May 28, '13
I developed CRPS (RSD) after a traumatic event five years ago. My symptoms were burning at particular injury sites or even light touch at particular areas surrounding to injury sites. I still have that, although it is less...It is more of stiffness, locking up, sudden numbness, sometimes unable to open things, dropping things, temp changes and I occasionally will feel faint with sweating episodes-I usually go to the ER and get fluids and ibuprofen IV, which helps.
I manage my symptoms by drinking a lot of fluids, staying active, and managing the pain. I have been able to return to nursing as a contractor...I toe the line at full-time, but I am confident I will be able to. I am considering looking into OT and PT to keep the symptoms at bay when they are interfering in my life, but for now, I was able to keep the exacerbation to a minimum at this time.
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