CRPS Recovery - Thoughts on Rehabilitation
I know, when I started this process, no one could really tell me what recovery looked like (because they tell you there is no recovery). We are used to getting an injury and it taking days to months to heal. CRPS is not that way -it takes way longer and is way more painful.
From my experience, from what I have read and from talking to others who have recovered these are my thoughts/observations on the recovery process:
It takes time - think long term (months to years) - not a quick fix.
It is very hard to see the progress - most people cannot see it because it is so very gradual.
Expect it to be a painful process (CRPS is painful).
There are up and down days as it gets better - not a straight procession forward.
Get good counsel from doctors, psychologists, etc.
And it seems, at some point they start to get moments of no/low pain which eventually get longer and longer.
Think of it like a brain injury - it takes a long time to recover from this.
I could not see my partial recovery very well while I was going through it but I could certainly see it in hindsight! I think most patients have a similar view.
(Dr. K's tip: video tape yourself before you start any program and review the tape once a month and see if you improve).
Dr. K. has videos on his website of patients who have recovered. You can see the process and it is very slow. This has really helped me view this differently. The wonderful thing is that people will continue to heal for years afterwards (regardless of what method they use to get them on the path of rehabilitation).
Another thing I had noticed back in June of 09, I was able to do more than I could in months prior. For example, I could visit with people for 4-6 hours as before it could only last a couple before I could not stand the pain anymore. I could go shopping for about 30 minutes. I could walk 45 minutes. I could go to a movie and sit through it.
That is another way to measure progress. Can you do more now than you could before? Keep a record of it.
Try to get others that are close to you help you notice the improvements. They might say: "hey, I noticed you are smiling more" or "you have complained less about the pain in your feet" or "you have had 2 good days in a row" or "wow, you just watch an hour TV show".
That woman (the judge) who went for ECT for depression. She had 12 sessions and 4 years later she was pain free! They guess the 12 sessions changed the brain and put in on the path to healing.
I hope this helps! If any of you have thoughts on the recovery process, I would love to hear them.
With God, all things are possible!