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RSD and meRSD and Me

Like many sufferers of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD) or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (RSDS/CRPS) I found a lack of information on the topic and treatment alternatives. My name is Todd Wong and I put together this site to bring it all together. I hope it helps you.

This site is different than most. It isn’t a platform for a bunch of advertising banners like most websites and it won’t try to get you to buy or download an e-book. It’s just a collection of great information intended to help fellow sufferers.

If you feel I can add something to the site about chronic pain or RSD, tell me. I do not feel that we need to suffer with RSD alone. Sometimes comparing notes helps, and a medical degree does not provide a monopoly on insight into RSD or CRPS.

I will update it as often as I can and to eventually add on discussion boards, and the likes. As all of you know, some days are good, others are bad, so please bear with me. I will be conscientious.

I have been diagnosed with RSD for about 5 years now, am a licensed contractor and have been for over 20 years, and find comfort in expanding what I know about this horrible disease. You can also learn more about me here.

For those of us who live with RSD, also known as Reflex Symathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), know it can be very tough to try to overcome the RSD pain. Living with chronic pain daily is very tough, not curable, but can be manageable, through the judicious use of medication, therapy and lots of trial and error.

I know it from first hand experience as a sufferer and a health care professional. I hope you enjoy my site About RSD and CRPS.

Something That Helped My Attitude

Financial worries can be a real downer when you have RSD/CRPS. I remember back a couple of years ago, when I was still able to drive myself around all the time, I was involved in a car accident. A car ran a red light and broadsided me in an intersection. I had whiplash and suffered a bunch of other injuries including a broken arm, broken clavicle, two herniated discs in my neck and 2 bulging discs in my lower back. For someone suffering with chronic pain, I can tell you that these injuries made some of my good days bad and some of my bad days nearly unbearable. One of the problems was that I had to hire a lawyer and got involved in a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company that lasted almost 2 years, some of which I was unable to work due to my injuries, so of course, that affected my income and financial security and in turn, my overall sense of well-being.

The only reason I even mention this is because during that time, not long after the car accident, I came across something called a “pre settlement funding company”. I wanted to make note of them here (http://tlfllc.com) because if anyone is involved in any type of lawsuit where you are the victim, and you need money before your case settles, these guys may be able to help you out financially. They provide cash advances and use your lawsuit as collateral when you really need money, then they just wait for your lawsuit to settle to get paid back. All I can say is the peace of mind they brought into our lives was a welcome relief during those trying times and I’m grateful for their help. If anyone else is going through anything similar, I’d encourage you to give them a call.

Overcoming Chronic Pain and Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disorder that is characterized by extreme exhaustion. Researchers say more than 1 million Americans have the disorder, but 85 percent to 90 percent of them are undiagnosed.

The reason for so many undocumented cases is CFS is difficult to detect. Symptoms are often similar to those of other illnesses and include fatigue, muscle pain, insomnia, impaired memory, and overall weakness. Previous studies show the cause of CFS is unknown and no specific diagnostic tests have been available.

Patients with CFS often cannot participate in the same activities they engaged in prior to having the disorder. Some can’t even walk across a room because they are so tired. Bed rest does not seem to improve energy levels of patients with CFS, and physical and mental activity may worsen the condition.

Another possible cause for so many unreported cases is many doctors misdiagnose CFS patients as having a psychological disorder. Barry Hurwitz, Ph.D., from the University of Miami’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center, says patients often feel isolated. “Individuals are often stigmatized and told their illness isn’t real,” says Hurwitz. “People with chronic fatigue syndrome face an incredible burden just getting doctors to take their symptoms seriously.”

Hurwitz and colleagues from the University of Miami believe they’ve found a physical cause for CFS. They say the condition is linked to a decrease in red blood cells. “In chronic fatigue, about 60 to 70 percent of individuals we found have a deficit in red blood cell production, and it’s not picked up by normal medical tests. It’s not generally known in the medical community that there is this problem with red cell production,” says Hurwitz. Red blood cells transport nutrients to cells, and an insufficient amount of them, can cause patients to feel fatigued.

A NEW TREATMENT OPTION:

Researchers are now testing the drug Procrit on CFS participants who are between the ages of 18 and 55. Procrit is approved for treating cancer and kidney dialysis patients who are anemic. However, new research shows the drug also stimulates red blood cell volume in CFS patients by imitating the hormone erythropoietin that is normally released by the kidneys. Side effects of the drug include diarrhea, fever, and shortness of breath.

Results of the ongoing study are not conclusive, but Hurwitz says Procrit is definitely helping some of the CFS participants. “Some people have shown remarkable improvement and have gone back to work, and in others, it’s been less effective,” he says. Researchers say future studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the drug on CFS patients.