Pain Awareness Month 2015 – Feature 1 – The Faces and Limbs of Pain

The faces and limbs in these videos are many of the people you have crossed paths with over the years. They may be your friend, colleague, or acquaintance.  For other’s, you may not have realized what it is they endure. They’ve shared this part of themselves to educate and bring awareness to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The faces you gaze upon seem fine, look well enough, perhaps not even a glimpse of pain, or discomfort. Such an illusion. The delusion lies less in the patient who complains than it does in the provider who doesn’t care to look beyond what initially seen.  You’ll then watch the limbs of people and if you make note, you’ll find that those faces …   live with more than just an ache.  To see it, you have to look beyond the faces.

It’s Pain Awareness Month. Share and make aware to continue the common mission of all of us everywhere who strive to make a difference in the lives of those suffering to survive.

Thank you for all you do!



Faces of Motivation 5 by Power of Pain Foundation ––Bpw



Uploaded on Jan 22, 2012
This is the 5th Faces of Pain video by the Power of Pain Foundation. The video contains chronic care patients who
are dealing with an autoimmune condition which attacks the nervous system, immune system, muscle, bone and
sometimes organs. For more information on the POPF or RSD please visit The video was
produced by Twinkle VanFleet and Kurtis VanFleet. Background Image taken by Kurtis VanFleet. This video is
property of the POPF copyright 2012. All rights reserved. The Power of Pain Foundation is a 501(C)(3) Charity.
“Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)



RSD / CRPS Limbs Montage –



Published on Jul 12, 2012
This video goes through pictures of RSD/CRPS patients who have visual symptoms of their extremities (hands, arms,
legs and feet). RSD is a Neuro-Autoimmune condition which affects many aspects of the body. For more information
visit Power of Pain Foundation. Special thanks to Twinkle and Kurtis VanFleet, and singer Page Jackson.


Faces of Pain Video 6 (In English and Spanish) –



Published on Aug 2, 2014
Faces of Pain Video – 6th edition for Power of Pain Foundation
Created by Twinkle VanFleet, Executive Board Member, Power of Pain Foundation
Spanish Translations by Vanessa Lara, California Representative, Power of Pain Foundation


POPF September is Pain Awareness Month


Nada hay más surreal que la realidad.

Pain Awareness Month 2015 Featured Sneak Peeks

A little sneak peek into next months efforts to raise continued awareness.  Beginning September 1st a combination of people, groups and organizations will be brought to you for Pain Awareness Month 2015.  There will be additional shares in between. These are the 8 features. The pages may be posted out-of-order of that listed at this time.

Trudy Thomas- Featured Blog Talk Radio Host and Founder of the Living with HOPE Show on The Body, Mind and Spirit Network.

Danielle Cosgrove, Founder of TheProject3x5.

Barby Ingle, President of the Power of Pain Foundation.

Shane Shultz, Founder of Arisen Strength.

Faces of Pain Video 5, RSD/CRPS Limbs Montage, Faces of Pain Video 6 (in English and Spanish).

Sheila Purcell, Founder of the United Kentucky Pain Care Action Network (UKPCAN)

The Power of Pain Foundation

The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) and the history of Pain Awareness Month.

A special feature coming from PK Saint-Amour

WeHaveAllBeenUnitedByASingleCommonDenominatorAndThatIs...Pain by TwinkleVanFleet@rsdcrpsfire 2

Thank you for all you do.

Making Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Simple For a Jury


A start-to-finish strategy for proving the chronic pain and resultant damages of CRPS

When God was testing the faith of Job, the worst punishment was physical pain…. He lost his lands and property, his family – but it was not until physical pain was inflicted that Job broke. (Job 16:6).

A case dealing with chronic pain can be difficult to prove due to the subjective nature of pain itself. This is especially true for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome cases (“CRPS”). CRPS, formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy Syndrome (“RSD”), is an incurable chronic pain condition that is often debilitating. For trial lawyers and their clients, this disorder is especially troubling because of the controversy surrounding its diagnosis and treatment. As its very name implies, the disorder is “complex” in nature, is routinely misdiagnosed, and as such, is difficult to explain and prove to a jury.

Take a recent case that had a mixed diagnosis: Some doctors thought it was CRPS, while some did not. In the end, what mattered was our client had severe pain that would likely afflict him for the rest of his life. This was something the jury understood, whether we called it CRPS or not. The primary purpose of this article is to explain the basics of CRPS, highlight some of the challenges in dealing with a CRPS case, and discuss some useful strategies from a recent trial.


CRPS is a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), in which the pain is out of proportion to thc injury. There are two designations of CRPS: Type I and II. Typc I, which this article will focus on, is a result of trauma. Type II stems from a specific injury to a nerve.

Some researchers have said CRPS is potentially the worst chronic pain disorder a human being could endure. Doctors describe the severe cases of CRPS as being higher on the pain scale than childbirth and amputation. However, over the years, pain management practitioners were overzealous in diagnosing chronic pain patients with CRPS. In the early 1990s, “RSD” cases were popping up everywhere, perhaps in part due to the unclear diagnostic criteria at the time. Now, after the hype has calmed and thorough research has flushed out a more clear understanding of the disorder, CRPS cases can and should command the same attention as other severe injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries.

To begin with, CRPS arises typically after an injury or trauma to the affected limb. For example, a seemingly simple fracture to the ankle eventually causing a severe pain disorder in that limb. The most frightening aspect of the disease is that it often initially begins in an arm or a leg and often spreads throughout the body. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, 92 percent of patients state that they have experienced a spread, and 35 percent of patients report symptoms in their whole body.

CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area. These signs can be subtle in nature, or dramatic, depending on the severity of the CRPS.

CRPS symptoms vary in severity and duration. The key symptom is prolonged pain that may be constant and, in some people, extremely uncomfortable or severe. The pain may feel like a burning or “pins and needles” sensation, or as if someone is squeezing the affected limb. The pain may spread to include the entire arm or leg, even though the precipitating injury might have been only to a finger or toe. Pain can sometimes even travel to the opposite extremity. There is often increased sensitivity in the affected area, such that even light touch or contact is painful (called allodynia).

People with CRPS also experience constant or intermittent changes in temperature, skin color, and swelling of the affected limb. An affected arm or leg may feel warmer or cooler compared to the opposite limb. The skin on the affected limb may change color, becoming blotchy, blue, purple, pale, or red. As discussed in more detail below, due to the complexity of the disorder, CRPS cases are often overlooked, misdiagnosed, and not properly worked up.


As trial lawyers, we appreciate that many of our clients do not have the type of medical treatment and insurance required to get a complete medical workup and diagnosis. Often, an injury like a brain bleed or spinal fracture might go misdiagnosed. With a disorder such as CRPS, this is truly one of the injuries that often require an attorney’s eye and attention to appreciate the client’s dilemma.

The following are a few points to consider when interviewing a client to determine if he or she potentially has CRPS:

• An injury causing pain which is out of proportion to injury,

• Changes in skin texture on the affected area; it may appear shiny and thin,

• Abnormal sweating pattern in the affected area or surrounding areas,

• Changes in nail and hair growth patterns,

• Stiffness in affected joints,

• Problems coordinating muscle movement, with decreased ability to move the affected body part, and,

• Abnormal movement in the affected limb (most often fixed abnormal posture, or tremors of the affected limb).

For a full CRPS potential case checklist, please contact the author.

Find out more about:

What Causes CRPS?

CRPS Diagnosis and Prognosis

How to Deal with Conflicting CRPS Diagnoses

Voir Dire Tips in a Pain Trial

Experts: Get the Dream Team

Dealing with the Defense “Expert”

Making it Simple

via Making Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Simple For a Jury.



Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: The Relentless Pursuit of Justice



Diagnosis and Risk Factors

Prognosis and Treatment

Lawsuits and Damages

Spencer Lucas is a trial lawyer at Panish Shea & Boyle and specializes in complex catastrophic personal injury, products liability and wrongful death cases.  He has extensive experience in cases involving traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and chronic pain.

Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP

11111 Santa Monica Blvd #700, Los Angeles, CA 90025

PHONE 877.800.1700

FAX 310.477.1699

My Month In Review- July 13 – August 14, 2015

My Month In Review- July 13 – August 14, 2015

I spent nearly 8 hours with my mom, dad, and sister-niece July 22, 2015, It was the last day. Mom, Dad. Rosie, my husband Erik and I went up to our daughter Kharisma’s job so they could say “love you”, not goodbye. Erik and I left them at the hotel about 10:50 p.m. that night. They finally arrived from Georgia the evening of Monday, July 13, 2015. We spent that evening together. We also spent the next 2 days together. We parted until we spent another 2 hours together when they arrived for our grandson De’Mantai’s baseball game. We parted again. They stayed with my step brother that week. During that week though mom was able to meet with her brother who she has not seen since the passing of my aunt, her sister in 2003. She was also able to meet up with her sister and her niece who she hadn’t seen since either. I didn’t see her at all that week but I am so glad she was able to see her family, go by the house she grew up in, which also happens to be the same one I did as a little girl from the second grade to the start of high school.

I hope that the time will come again that we can all be together at least one more time. But we know this might have been it. And for this reason, so many wonderful photos were taken to last a lifetime.


I’ve postponed one surgery for another complication.


Our oldest daughter, who turned 27 just a few months ago was put out of work a few days ago for a minimum of 3 months for her Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma (EHE). It seems to be metastasizing. The several lesions on her liver. One in her kidney, a splenule spleen. Partial collapse of her lungs. Swelling, pain of course, but know what? It’s never over until it’s over.

We are #StrongerThanPain


Working on some exciting projects. Privileged to develop the strategy for the Power of Pain Foundation. Blessed to have people acknowledge my abilities and offer me opportunities to try while acknowledging that minimal time can be spent doing it. Yet, also believing that the minimal allotted availability is wholeheartedly used for the project or another given task.


Assisting in legislative efforts via POPF, SPPAN, and other collaborative efforts to provide information, awareness and hopeful change in matters affecting pain care.


Announcing the West Coast PAIN Summit 2015, Elk Grove, CA – More Info on NERVEmber 14, 2015

West Coast P.A.I.N. Summit
Access to Care, Advocacy and Neuromodulation 2015
Hosted by the Power of Pain Foundation and Medtronic Neuromodulation Therapies
Saturday, NERVEmber 14, 2015
Elk Grove Public Library Conference and Meeting Room
8900 Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Elk Grove Library, Elk Grove, CA

Questions: Contact Twinkle VanFleet Director


Our daughter Rikki is doing well as a Coroner’s Assistant. Ozra is thriving in work, goals, his future, and advancement/ promotion in the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Explorer’s Program leading and teaching others. I’m so proud of all 3 of you.


I did do something without revealing a peep to anyone. I went through the application process on my own, the interview process, and was accepted on another team. It is independent of the Power of Pain Foundation. It is something I have put off for a few years, but had been asked to consider on a personal level by those associated. I’ve been on board since August 4, 2015. I’ll officially be available on August 24, 2015 or there about for this position. It’s not a paid position. An Ambassador for patient relations. It’s providing my knowledge and experiences to other’s who are either considering or are already using the therapy. I will not be providing any professional, medical, or technical answers. I’m very much looking forward to being a part of this team.





TwinkleV and Melody T (Daughter and Mom) July 15, 2015_A

I miss my mama. Wednesday, July 15, 2015. 2 days after they arrived. Sitting outside together.


De'Mantai, Mom, Kharisma and Rikki (Greatgrandson, Grandma, Granddaughters) July 13, 2015_A



Our Grandson De’Mantai Xayvier (‘Tai) who met his Mimi (Grandma) for the very first time, our oldest daughter, Kharisma, my Mama (center), and our daughter, Rikki. Outside together.


TwinkleV, OzraV, Mom, and KharismaV July 13, 2015_3-a



Me, our son Ozra (Kurtis), our daughter Kharisma, and Mama (Melody)


Happy 28th Wedding Anniversary Master!


“When you think you can’t, maybe you already have” ~TwinkleV/rsdcrpsfire