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Andrea’s Story (Complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS)

andreas-story-crpsI was living a pretty normal life until November 2007.

I had a sick friend who had couldn’t go out in the cold, and me being me, I wanted to help her. She needed her medicine from the pharmacy, so I went to pick it up for her. I never made it to the pharmacy and that’s the day my life’s journey made a drastic change: I was hit by a car.

My injuries included a broken tibia and fibula of my left leg, a non-displaced skull fracture of the right temporal lobe and several bruises. In order for my leg to have a better chance to heal, the surgeon decided to do a rod and pin placement.

As I started to heal, it took longer than the doctor expected, and he kept saying you should not be feeling pain anymore. The doctor did not believe the pain I was having. At this point, I was living with my sister in New York. I was feeling burning sensations in my feet and face, but nobody could tell me what I had. I became very depressed because I was 40 yrs. old and losing my physical abilities. I became dependent on a cane. I went from being a dancer, and very active person, to not being able to walk without a cane. I thought I was broken; who could love me and what could I offer to somebody?

In 2012, I was blessed to marry my best friend from childhood. He didn’t care that I was broken or that I couldn’t work. He loved me for who I was, right at that moment. We married that year in November, and he took me to Maryland where we found a doctor who finally diagnosed me with CRPS II (previously known as causalgia).

I started intense physical therapy and strength training. I now had somebody in my life to live for and fight for. I also got my first dog Marty, who always stayed by my side.

Today, I am 54 years old and I am a trucker’s wife. I have a beautiful family with 5 fur babies; one is my service dog, a cute little Shih Tzu named Miracle.

For a while I was doing well; I could even dance again, so my hubby gave me a gift of ballroom dance lessons. But now I am going backward; always in pain and losing physical abilities again. I had a dream of being involved in competitive bodybuilding, but I can’t work my legs. I have come to the realization I’m not going to be able to fulfill that dream. I have applied for disability, hoping this time I will get it. I do not see having a job outside the home as an option for me anymore.

I am a very spiritual person so I believe God gives me nothing more than I can handle. I am a fighter and will continue to fight. #FightLikeAGirl

Andrea
Maryland
Submitted 08/13/2019

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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