In April of 2010, two days before a big dance competition, I was in gym class playing street hockey. A girl in my class hit me repeatedly in the foot with her hockey stick causing a small stress fracture. But, I still danced at the dance competition that weekend, which made the injury even worse. I was in a short boot that was trying to fix the fracture. The pain seemed better, so I danced at another dance competition and at a two day long dance recital.By then I was put in a cast because the doctors believed I had pulled/torn tendons in my foot. Over the entire summer I was in either a cast or a boot. I started my first day of 8th grade in a cast. On October 27, 2010 I went to a foot specialist who then diagnosed me with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD/CRPS). It was a devastating moment. I was in physical therapy for a long time. I took so many medicines that made me so sick. All I wanted was to know that someone else knew what I was going through. I felt so alone. Whenever I went to school there were girls that would yell at me in the hallway. They would call me “a stupid faker, that just wanted attention.” They would never understand what I was going through. It was hard to go through school every day in so much physical and emotional pain. The more I learned about RSD, the more I wanted to forget. I wanted more than anything to be a normal kid. I would have done absolutely anything to have been able to walk or run or jump… or dance. Even if it was just for one day. It started to spread, and my hope was dwindling more and more. It was hard to believe in myself when so many odds were against me. It’s still so hard to talk about, because bringing back those memories is like re-living my personal hell. Although this story does have a somewhat happy ending. I am proud to say that I survived. I can dance again and I am back to competing and trying to live again. I know that I will never be a normal kid again. I can’t have the freedom other kids have because so many things can make my RSD go bad. I am so proud of myself and I am so proud of all the other amazing young women battling this horrible disease. I was thirteen years old when I was diagnosed, and now at 15 I can proudly say I am doing what I was told would be absolutely impossible. Talking about it helps, even though few people can look me in the eye and tell me they know how I feel. I have a Twitter account to support others with RSD. It is called @NervesOfSteel … Get it? 🙂 I have RSD… but RSD does not have me. Emalie Pennsylvania Submitted 8-24-2012
The informational content of this article 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.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.