Published by HeraldNet

Not too long ago a post popped up in my Facebook feed seeking volunteers for a clinical study at the University of Washington studying complex regional pain syndrome. This notice immediately caught my attention.

In 2014 I broke my left wrist and shared the story of how it happened in a column called “My first ice skating lesson will also be my last.” In a follow-up column called “Broken bone an eye opening, painful challenge,” I described a small portion of my recovery process.

But what I’ve never shared is that after my wrist fracture and surgery I was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome.

The first thing my occupational therapist told me after my diagnosis was “Don’t Google it.” So of course I went home and fired up the computer. An hour later, I was trying not to hyperventilate.

CRPS a chronic condition where the central nervous system gets so mixed up after a traumatic injury that the nerves go haywire. Symptoms include burning pain, sensitivity, swelling, decreased mobility and change of skin color. In many people, CRPS begins in the injured area and then spreads to other parts of the body. Sometimes the pain is so debilitating that people go on permanent disability.

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