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Before CRPS took over my life in December 2020, my life was that of a “normal” teenager. I was entering my senior year of high school, trying to decide where I wanted to attend college, and I had a goal to continue my dancing career beyond high school. I was heavily involved in school, volunteering, extracurricular activities, pageants, and competitive dance. However that was all taken away from me when I was diagnosed with this beast on December 4, 2020.///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////My journey began with what we thought was just achilles tendinitis caused by overuse. I was put in a walking boot, limited my dancing, and tried to get it to heal. After a few months, the swelling and pain remained, so my doctor decided on a cortisone shot in my ankle. A treatment meant to help my pain and swelling, only made the symptoms worse. A few weeks after the injection, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a rare chronic pain condition that ranks at the top of the pain scale. This condition causes unbearable pain, discoloration, swelling, sensitivity to touch/textures, temperature fluctuations, muscle spasms/tremors, dysfunction of impacted areas, and many other symptoms.
Originally my CRPS started in my left ankle; however, within the last year, my pain has spread to both legs, arms, hands, and stomach. Since being diagnosed with CRPS, I have been unable to walk unassisted, as I have needed a walking boot or brace for stability for over three years. The functionality of my entire body has been altered, and my ‘normal’ daily life as a college student has changed drastically. My dream of continuing my dance career is on hold, and it has taken a toll on me. I miss being on the dance floor and doing what I love!
Right now I spend most days in bed or laying low at my house. I am currently unable to work or go to school due to the amount of pain I am in. This semester, I decided to take time away from school to focus on my health. It is difficult for me to do daily tasks such as getting dressed or standing to brush my teeth, as these tasks cause extreme pain. The sheets from my bed or a blanket rubbing up against my body causes my pain to rise. Wearing socks, shoes, or any clothing item is painful as my body is extremely sensitive to touch and textures. The pain is so intense that it keeps me up at night and leaves me with little or no sleep. The pain has not only taken over my body, but it has taken over my life.
I have been fighting for my CRPS to go into remission for over three years. My days have been consumed with appointments. I’ve tried physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, water therapy, dry needling, multiple medications, injections, nerve blocks, pain programs, a spinal cord stimulator, multiple revisions for my stimulator, and about every treatment possible. With each failed treatment and after years of fighting, I had lost all hope. I felt like I had no future. Today, I have renewed hope, as my family and I have decided the place I need to be is in Arkansas at the Spero Clinic. We truly feel this is where God is calling me to be right now. We are hopeful the Spero Clinic will lead me to remission and help me get back my ‘normal’ life
So, at the beginning of April, I will be moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas to begin treatment at the Spero Clinic. My treatment will take at least 3 months as I work toward remission. While I’m excited to have this opportunity, it will come with a large financial responsibility. While I’m at the clinic, we will be paying for housing, food, travel, and treatments, as insurance does not cover much, if any, of the costs. We may also have to buy therapeutic devices for me to continue using when I return home.
As a family, we do not ask for help often, but I need your help! I’m asking for your help in my journey to beat CRPS. I’m creating this donation page through a non-profit foundation whose founder is a former patient at the Spero Clinic. Any donations will go directly to my care and expenses. In addition, all donations are entirely tax deductible. I am extremely grateful for any assistance and will update everyone once I begin my treatement at the clinic. Thank you all so much!
Help me defeat CRPS!