The pain started with the usual unexpected massive shooting pain followed by a series of intense throbbing pains that told me there was a man in my foot with a jack hammer directly on top of a nerve.
We were watching a TV series called Stateless and it was just at a critical part of the film where some refugees were running after the men in a van who had duped them into handing over money and their passports with the promise of a boat to Australia; there was no boat, suddenly I yelled out as the shooting pain jolted me. My family knew what was happening and the TV was immediately turned off as everyone’s attention was on me and my attention was 100% on the pain, this is what severe pain does, it hijacks your attention and interrupts good films.
I went into full on fear and flight mode, I simply could not muster any composure.
I cried, I shook, I screamed out with every pain, I groaned, I blew my nose and went through copious tissues while my husband and daughter stood around me feeling helpless; my heat pack was reheated, dry biscuits were brought to eat with some medications.
Eventually eleven years of experience and self-education in coping with pain flares kicked in a little; I reprogrammed my spinal cord stimulator to run two programs simultaneously, full bore, I dosed up on everything I safely could - Panadeine forte, double my usual Endept dose (as advised by my doctor). None of these measures would stop the pain but they might help me through the night, even a tiny reduction in my pain levels would help. I sat up in bed surrounded by pillows and multiple cushions under and around my foot. I tried to distract myself by talking about other things and then after my family had gone to bed I played games on my iPad and prepared for what could possibly be a long sleepless night.
When you are depleted by other stressful events in your life, our coping ability is weakened and I knew this was was happening to me last night. For a while I felt completely out of control, my CRPS was in control and I knew I had to dig deep to get into a better head space. Somehow I survived the night and when the pains slowed down to a couple an hour I even managed a few hours sleep in between. I emerged from my bedroom late in the morning feeling and looking like some sort of shell shocked survivor.
Today is a waiting day where I do absolutely nothing except go to the bathroom. I elevate my foot and start writing a new blog. It seems my blogs are often written after or during a pain flare. I need to find a new topic, apologies for the monotony.
I am fortunate to have a few best friends in my life and three months ago I made a new friend, he also has CRPS; how easily we relate to others with CRPS, how easily we fall into meaningful conversations, I have several CRPS friends and this really helps me feel less alone.
Living with CRPS is living with uncertainty, living without knowing when the pain will take over our lives for a while and drain us of energy but the human spirit is amazing because our powers of recuperation and stamina often surprise us. So today I am waiting to get through this, I have faith that this flare up will eventually level off and the sun will shine again and my head will feel clearer.