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New Year's Hope

Posted Dec 30 2009 12:00am

New York Times Square New year celebrations in...
As the new year is coming to a close, I thought this would be a good time for reflection. It has been a crazy year; full of ups and downs. Clearly, the ups outweigh the downs.

In March, after over 4 yrs, I finally got a treatment on my right hand that has relived much of my pain. My RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) is still alive and well.....just less painful. Since the Trigger Point Injection I have been able to stand more physical therapy on my hand and it has improved a little. It is still not usable, but the thumb is starting to work a little. My goal is to get it straightened out instead of the disfigured "tent" position it is now stuck in. I would love to be able to lay my hand flat.

In June, I stopped the 13 medications I had been taking for the RSD. I decided to approach my condition in a healthier, more natural way. I started taking several vitamins daily as well as increase my exercise. It has helped a lot with my circulation. I started out exercising from my bed. I then progressed to exercising while sitting in my wheelchair. Every movement, even though I manually have to move my legs, is lessening the pain in my legs. Swelling has also decreased. It is a slow process, but it took almost 5 years to get this way and I figure it will probably take another 5 yrs to get back even, if that is even possible.

In September, I was finally able to venture out with my husband to the grocery store. It was my first time since January 2005. I know it probably doesn't sound very exciting to the able bodied, but for me it was FREEDOM! I rode around in one of those little carts just grateful to be out in the world of the living again. It was wonderful!

The holidays have been peaceful yet wonderful. For the first time in years, I was able to enjoy the season, fully awake and able to participate in the celebration.

The years of strong medications have taken a toll on my body. The RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) caused my bottom teeth to fall out. That is my first project for the New Year. Teeth! It's embarrassing to smile or talk with strangers or neighbors. It's also hard to eat anything of substance. I think I'll try the dental college. Dentures are expensive and without insurance it will probably have to be done on the payment plan......if they have one.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions as such. I will continue to support the wonderful communities I am involved in. Most of them are for people who suffer from RSD. However, because of the political climate this country has taken this year, I am going to become more involved in that arena. I can do a lot from my computer.

In order to keep improving, I need to keep busy. I have been given so many blessings this year and I want to help out others in need of support. The years of dealing with this illness has opened my eyes to a world of people suffering. Physical and mental difficulties are hard to overcome alone. Sometimes, just another person who has gone through similar situations can make a big difference.

If you need support, please seek out a support group. They can be your lifeline. Here are a few that I belong to.

RSD Groups
theJabberbox  A small, personal support board. With less than 100 members, we are family.  One of the most extensive RSD/CRPS sites around Another great support site for people with chronic pain
Living Whole with Chronic Pain A religious group for chronic pain

Another group I belong to is  This site has over 700 different illness it supports. From physical to mental issues, this is a great site for people who suffer multiple health issues. It is a large site and there are many knowledgeable people staffing the groups.

I belong to a disability website that specializes in anyone with a disability. they have great information on equipment for the disabled, like wheelchairs. it is run by a wonderful, disable man named Rudy who is full of inspiration.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone this year who gave me support through the rough times. A special thanks goes to the first RSD Coach, Marla Martindale, AKA Coach Marla. Without her help and support, I would still be in bed.....She has a wonderful weekly radio show that you should check out at  Her website is

Thank you all for a great year. Expect miracles; they do happen....
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