In the past year, I have had seven Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks at the hands of one of the world’s greatest doctors, Dr. Semith Gungor with the Hospital For Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Gungor is a Pain Specialist, and as such is so dedicated that he and his staff make you feel as though you are their only case and they will have no others. Through this whole saga I’ve come to respect even more that “medicine” is only half the cure; compassion and understanding are every bit as important in a patient’s well being and Dr. Gungor excels in both of these departments. The Lumbar Blocks ultimately did no good, as my CRPS had finally been diagnosed as a Stage II, so we went the next step. As I write this I have a neurostimulator implant in my back which sends electrical pulses to my nerve root and then to my brain. The rough theory behind this is that these pulses try to block out the nerve pain signals (which at this point are phantom nerve pain as the offending nerves are long gone.). It’s only been a few days, but so far it seems to be working. While it doesn’t cure or fix the problem, it does replace the excruciating nerve pain with another sensation of a slight tingling which I can control via an external wireless device.
I’ve come though this ordeal mentally and physically exhausted. While there’s hope on the horizon, if not directly in my hands, it’s going to be a slow but decisive trip back to where I was a day before the original podiatrist removed that original tiny sliver of a bone chip (“It’s supposed to look like that.”). CRPS is a brutal and vicious syndrome. Everywhere I’ve been, all the doctor’s I’ve worked with, all the research that I’ve done, I keep coming upon statistics of the numbers of reported cases, which is actually the gist of this blog. If you have CRPS (RSD), know of someone who does, or are simply curious about it, I’d love to hear from you. You’ve been patient enough to read each part of this blog and share in my experience. I’d love nothing more than to read of yours. So much of the healing process, the “road back to wellness” is sharing and communication. It’s my hope that in this blog you can feel free enough to do everything from letting out your frustrations, share your hopes and success stories or simply ask a question. By no means is this to say that I’ve any answers, nor am I a professional in any sense of the word. But perhaps through this sharing we can all help each other find some relief, answers and hope.