CRPS Awareness Day 8- The Young Chronicle with Vicky
By Ashley Epping
The Young Chronicle is a new blog series started by Ashley to get insight on CRPS/RSD from young adults. Each blog will offer insight to the unique challenges that young adults with chronic pain face and their ways of coping, healing, and continuing on.
Vicky is a 25 year-old from Illinois who was diagnosed with CRPS nine months ago. Her original injury was a trauma to her foot while playing soccer. As she started seeing doctors and making trips to the emergency room, her pain was dismissed as a bruised bone. Once she was accurately diagnosed with CRPS, the doctor said to her “If you don’t act on this fast, you will be disabled for the rest of your life and will never be able to walk again.”
Vicky and I sat down and discussed her journey from medical worries to her photography business.
Have you noticed a change of opinion about CRPS in the past few months?
Completely, seeing results and doing my research gave me hope. I have been buying book after book and keeping my own journal on what I did in physical therapy and how I am feeling.”
Has anything surprised about CRPS you since you have been diagnosed?
“The way CRPS spreads. I never know if my arm hurts because I knocked it on something or if it is CRPS. It is very scary.”
Have you been able to keep working with your photography business?
“I just shot my first wedding since being diagnosed; it was like coming out of retirement. After not being able to walk, to then learning how to walk again, I knew I had to do this because it is my passion. I couldn’t be scared anymore.”
Have you ever taken medication for the pain?
“Not prescription, I wanted to feel the pain so I knew how to get rid of it.
“I wanted to feel the pain so I knew how to get rid of it.”
Vicky needed a direction to turn to after not being able to walk or put pressure on her foot; she was advised to attend physical therapy. At first she was incredibly hesitant, but her mother pushed her to schedule the first appointment. Six sessions later, Vicky was walking again. Vicky says “To this day I am so grateful for my physical therapist and what she did for me because it was something I never thought I would get back.”
I went on to ask Vicky if she has been able to connect with other young adults who have CRPS, but sadly she has not yet been able to. This is a similar experience with many other young adults with CRPS, and one of the reasons we started this blog sequence. Vicky shared some of the comments she receives when she tells people about CRPS, “People ask me, “how did you get this, you’re so young?” What they don’t understand is I didn’t ask for this, but people have gotten through this.” Connecting with others is difficult and it is something you always have to continually explain.
“People ask me, “how did you get this you’re so young?” What they don’t understand is I didn’t ask for this, but people have gotten through this.”
For being diagnosed only nine months ago, Vicky is incredibly optimistic. Vicky completed her first photography job since being diagnosed with CRPS and said the results were fantastic. She edits the photos to have a painter-like quality to them; it is her passion and CRPS will not stand in her way. It is only upwards from here for Vicky.