Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes: Type 1. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2 (CRPS Type 2) is a severely painful response to a peripheral nerve injury. CRPS Type 2 is characterized by severe, burning pain affecting a specific area as a result of the nerve injury.
Approximately 90 percent of people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome have Type 1.
The McGill Pain Questionnaire, also known as McGill pain index, is a scale of rating pain developed at McGill University by Melzack and Torgerson in 1971. It is a self-report questionnaire that allows individuals to give their doctor a good description of the quality and intensity of pain that they are experiencing.
This index is subjective. Subjective means that your pain and symptoms are based solely on what you define them to be. It contains no objective findings to establish any certainty whatsoever.
This index leads you all to believe you have the worse pain disease known to man. Above Cancer. The index describes “Causalgia” which the majority of the people with this syndrome do not have.
Upon reading this many of you will suddenly decide that you have type 2. If you didn’t have type 2 there would be less reason to be incurable and in so much pain.
Do you know how many people over the years who have been diagnosed with RSD suddenly changed their own diagnosis to Causalgia upon learning the difference? Too many.
This is why the research and documented statistics are flawed. This is why the healthcare system fails to help us and instead classifies many of you with Chronic Pain Syndrome or Somatic Symptom Disorder.
According to the respected Dr. Philip Getson “Current estimates suggest that there are between two and ten million patients with this disorder worldwide. It is my personal belief that if you subscribe to the theory that fibromyalgia is in fact not a distinct and separate entity but rather a sub-sect of RSD (as I do), that number can be as much as five times higher.” http://www.drgetson.com/reflex-sympathetic-dystrophy.html
This is because RSD and Fibromyalgia share similar subjective results (trigger points/pressure points) and complaints in addition to some objective shared findings. Overactive nerves instigated by stress. The Fight or flight response.
I can assure you that Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type 1: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Type 2: Causalgia can be drastically relieved and has the potential to be curable without drugs, sympathetic blocks, modalities or implantable devices.
I can no longer ascribe to the belief that CRPS is without possibility in healing. I’ll not tell people they’ll never get better, and I won’t be sharing the misinformation that advocacy groups expect of me. What I’ll share are the facts that surround this misunderstood syndrome and how we never have to end up disabled, sick, emotional and grieving over something that has a chance early on for an immediate remission, without years of failed treatments and medications and doesn’t ever have to lead to an end of no return.
NERVEmber ™ brings awareness to the 150 plus conditions that have nerve pain as a symptom.The International Pain Foundation host the OFFICIAL NERVEmber project events each year. Since its inception, tens of thousands of nerve pain patients and organizations have signed on to help promote NERVEmber. Did you know the color orange is the international color for chronic pain awareness. In over 150 conditions that do have nerve pain as a symptom, RSD is one of the most painful. Yet this condition is misunderstood, mistreated and often misdiagnosed.#NERVEmber is International Nerve Pain Awareness Month (including RSD, CRPS, Diabetes, Neuropathy and more). Each day during the month of NERVEmber the iPain (@powerofpain) will present an awareness task that we can all perform!This year we are also giving away prizes available for everyone who registers to participate and uses the hashtags, complete tasks, host or attend an event. The more you participate in OFFICIAL #NERVEmber events, the more chances you have to win! Check out all events going on in NERVEmber Event Calendar.You can bring awareness to conditions like #RSD #CRPS #Diabetes by posting everyday in #NERVEmber with @powerofpain #PaintTheWorldOrange. Using these tags will earn you chances to win some great prizes!During November, the International Pain Foundation’s #NERVEmber project is also supporting the #CRPSdayofaction, #RSDdayofaction, @theproject3x5’s #OrangeInitiative, A voice for the people with CRPS – CRPS RSD Australian Network, United in the Fight for CRPS Awareness, #ColorTheWorldOrange, #ColourTheWorldOrange.Want to be a #iPain Super Advocate for NERVEmber and have extra chances to win! … Register HERE Thank you for visiting NERVEmber.org and don’t forget to visit NERVEmber™ on FACEBOOK.
Monica Depriest and Arik Gohl picked me up from my son’s home on October 23rd, 2016. My husband and I had spent the weekend there to take care of our grandson De’Mantai so his mom could enjoy some time away. I had just had a cervical steroid injection. This was my second in 8 weeks. I had only ever had Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve blocks prior and over a dozen of them. I had began with a series of 3 scheduled one week apart in 2006. It had taken 6 years for any treatment other than medication management due to Worker’s Compensation. So that I’m precise rather than confusing, these weren’t denied. Had they been denied I could appeal, instead just stalled and delayed. Since the first 2 series of 3, I’ve had one injection a year since, generally during winter and often times delayed beyond my physician’s control.
We arrived in Loomis California an area outside of Sacramento that evening.
Photos above taken 3 hours apart and the same day as the video below. November 4, 2016.
Admittedly, my body was weak and pain was high, but I hadn’t shared that yet. I tend to go off on my own, and attempt to distract myself when among others. As we arrived, Susie and her son Tommy who has RSD/CRPS, along with her son David had also arrived. Jamie and Spencer arrived later. Jamie Pearson is active in the RSD/CRPS communities, too. Arik’s wife Veronica was amazing and helped us all feel at home. Vero’s hospitality and playful spirit afforded us the ease of being less anxious and at ease among those we didn’t know. Sam Ballentyne licensed therapist and energy healer was also present during the week. Dr. Edward Glaser arrived the next morning. Dr. Glaser is the owner of Sole Supports and an engineer and DPM specializing in Podiatry and Orthotics. Another Podiatrist joined us to observe and all our therapies would begin the morning of October 24th.
16 years. 10 with a permanent Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) that hasn’t been turned back on since the morning of the 24th. My only blessing that has been on day in and day out since 2006. The only time it’s ever been off is to either charge a drained battery or to push past 2-3 days to allow my brain to scramble and disguise the pain signals it provided. Our brains realize it’s being tricked. Turning it off let it work better again when turning it back on.
It’s been over a week since returning. I wasn’t suppose to ever be able to do this, at least without added pain or causing a flare-up. Lets see if I can get to the point of running one day. 2 days ago, I was still told I never will.
Twinkle VanFleet, Sacramento California. Bakken Award Recipient 2015. Received from Dr. Earl Bakken, Medtronic Co Founder in Kona Hawaii, January 16, 2016.
About the Bakken Invitation Inspired by Medtronic co-founder and philanthropist, Earl Bakken, the Bakken Invitation celebrates and connects people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now making a difference in their communities.Empowering patients to better manage their health is a key element in Medtronic Philanthropy’s approach to expanding healthcare access to the underserved. By sharing and celebrating stories of patients from all over the world, the Bakken Invitation is designed to not only provide valuable information and inspiration to others, but also foster a global movement of people who “Live On. Give On. ”Get involved at www.LiveOnGiveOn.org
Share a Story For every story shared on the Live On. Give On. global online community, Medtronic Philanthropy will donate $10 to Project HOPE to help ensure that medical technology is available in underserved communities around the world.2.
Apply or nominate The Bakken Invitation Award recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism and leadership around the world. Selected Bakken Invitation Honorees will earn a $20,000 (USD) grant from Medtronic Philanthropy to direct to a charity of their choice, and a trip to Hawaii for a celebration event to meet Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken.
Applications for the 2016 are now open.
Applicant Criteria: Individuals who, with the help of medical technology, are giving their time and talent to improve the quality of life for others. Nominees must be 14 years or older.Individuals must be using an approved medical device therapy to treat one of the following disease categories: heart disease; diabetes; chronic pain; spinal disorders; or neurological, gastroenterological and urological disorders. All applicants with eligible medical technology are welcome to apply, regardless of device manufacturer.Applicants must have an established relationship of involvement with a legal nonprofit organization for six months or more.3.
Connect with the Community Medtronic also hosts a global online community where all patients can share how they are giving back after receiving extra life from a medical device.
At http://www.LiveOnGiveOn.org, they can connect with other people who share similar health conditions and charitable passions in their hometown and around the world.“What are you doing with your extra life?”That’s the question from Medtronic co-founder, inventor and philanthropist Earl Bakken that inspired the Bakken Invitation. He acknowledges that his pacemaker, insulin pump and heart stents have given him “extra life,” time he uses to support causes he cares about. Earl knows the gift of extra life is powerful. And while each person chooses how to use their extra time, it is his enduring hope they consider how to give back, in big or small ways.
As a 2015 Bakken Invitation Honoree from Sacramento, California. I wish you all well.. and enough. If you need any help with the nominee or application processes, I’ll do what I can to assist you through it.
Honored, privileged and grateful – Grant recipient: @powerofpain International Pain Foundation, your power of pain headquarters.
In the last week I’ve shared about 6 video’s in the raw. Unedited, me without make up, me with make up, me just going on about the last few months or more, blah blah.
I made it 15 years. I made the last 10 with SCS, medication and functional restoration and the last 4 by medication management, SCS, and home functional restoration enough to help me set goals and achieve them. Sometimes it can really take time to get unstuck from the pain cycles, the why me’s, sulking pity party. I busted my butt, learned, wanted to learn, and aside from a patient, I’m a caregiver too. Hard? It has to be done.
So many times I’ve had to alter my list of the 3 most important tasks needing done in a day. I’d move the least important to the top of the following day’s list. All those little tricks and things I’ve learned over the years that hang out in my toolbox of survival mechanisms.
I knew it was almost over. I just never imagined it would be by the hands and decisions of others/provider’s before giving up of my own. I just didn’t think… of all the thinking I do that my award also became part of my end. I worked hard for that. Decades for that. Unpaid for that.
Spontaneous? Not really. I messaged my mom to have my Advanced Directive revoked and destroyed. I’ve tried to and I haven’t been able to get them back. It was Valentine’s Day, I called the radio station The new STAR and dedicated a song to my man. I’ll hold back on that song title right now. I took the last walk I ever thought I’d walk. It was long and hard, and I had to sit on people’s lawns or lean against trees or mailboxes and it was really only a little farther than end of our block.
Am I a quitter, a coward? Perception. A quitter and a coward would have never rolled into those headlights, but let’s be fair, I haven’t quit yet.
I was already in withdrawal, unstable, but woke up to a nice day. It was all good until I re read the first denial letter stating those 2 medications (Cymbalta and Zonegran) weren’t medically necessarily and not supported by the California MTUS (Yes they are). It also claimed that due to the doctors report it was left to interpretation on a couple of matters and one of them was that those 2 medications didn’t reduce my potential for abuse or minimize my current opioid use. Seriously?!!
I appealed and I won. No potential for abuse or misuse and both medically necessary.
Approved on appeal February 16, 2016. I’m still not on them, nor am I on any pain reliever at all.
I can get through the 7’s, bouncing 8’s and 9’s. I can use my tools to bring those 8/9’s down enough to level myself. I couldn’t handle the 9/10 I couldn’t bring myself out of it. The physical 9/10 that can make you lose your mind. Why? Because it’s in your mind where you’re coping abilities and strategies are.
Already living in your head all day just to manage your 7, see what happens when 10 comes and there isn’t any help. I’ve rarely used 10 in my entire life, I seldom use 9, except to acknowledge it gets there off and on throughout any day for seconds, minutes, hours.
10 though! I drank that bottle, intoxicated, drunk, I could care less about labels because I hit the ground on my stomach and face so hard I passed out. Somnolence, narcoleptic episodes (diagnosed) or alcohol, perhaps a combination of each. Though my husband said he dropped me as I was leaning against him.
I walked out of our gate and stood against our lamp post. Husband came out and told me to go back inside. I wasn’t doing anything but standing there, reflecting, thinking, but then…
He started grabbing me to lead me in and a lady called the Sheriff’s Department on him for abusing me. He wasn’t, but he was in my space and I just wanted to chill. I was sure to tell her that he didn’t hurt me, beat me, abuse me and that I was fine. I was. I think.
Our street, people drive down it like there is no road and a speed limit doesn’t exist.
That was my out! I laid down in the center of the street, spread my arms and my legs as best as I could and I could see headlights flying right for me. Am I mad I was pulled out of the street? A little. Why would I ever think to let a driver be responsible for killing me. Well how about this, slow down and do the speed limit. Everything is a learning experience.
The unbelievable inaccuracies in my medical records are nearly beyond fixing. Medications listed I’m not even taking, and a few for more than a year. I’ve updated again since my release and tonight I peeked at my Patient EMR. They’re all still listed. So the medications go on the record, but they don’t come off? There’s a difference between previously taken medications (inactive) and medications currently taking (active). It say’s I’m on 11 medications including 2 opioids, a benzo, oic med, lidoderm patches, cymbalta, and zonegran and I”M NOT! Lisinopril, Hydralazine, Atorvastatin and Nuvigil. That is what I’m on. 4 medications. Red flag above 7, did you know that? So yes, I’ve been red flagged and it’s flying the wrong way.
I’m sorry to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the Metropolitan Fire Department and the EMT and probably ambulance driver too. I didn’t trust you.
When you asked if I was in pain? I told you I wouldn’t tell you even if I was… Because… I wasn’t going to have in my record an opioid pain reliever documented as given to me. Yeah I suffered and I suffered for not being truthful. I’m learning though that truth and honesty is just someone elses made up lies. Unfortunate casualties of the world we live in.
To the Officer that lacked a little faith, I pray I left you with something. Heart! Have a little faith that sometimes not everyone is who the rest of the world made us out to be.
I’m not sorry for the actions that led to my consequences or my responsibility in it. It’s forever now. I’m glad I screamed all the policy issues going on and made it loud and clear for blocks. I’m sorry for all those who played a part and either bailed or covered their own asses. I’m sorry for all those who think relieving pain leads to misuse, abuse and heroin above the overdoses that are self inflicted one way or the other.
Who ever thought it’d be me? No one!
Goals? Get my lyrics out to those who’ve been interested and play that part of a lifetime. Really though, I’ve already done everything I wanted. From Poster Girl to TV Commercial, being published by my 20’s, being a part of Sacramento history in the news, hard copy, on the news live, iPain Foundation, my own endeavors. All in the background from my space, my cubby.
I’ll either fly off this earth by the grace of God, or by my faith in options. Take that as you will. I’ve had to choose, make choices, decisions, options to save my own life. My own!
Still not what you would simply assume.
I don’t hardly care about much right now because I can’t fix me enough to put in the few hours a month I had been to help others. I’m numb and it’s not the numb I wish it was. It really is easy to rectify wrongs, accidents, mistakes, oversights, correct errors and be responsible for your own actions. It really is easy to do. The only reason someone would choose not to is to hide their own guilt and be unable or against a face to face with you in the presence of a sit down meeting with lead staff for a reconciliation. I feel bad about that and I shouldn’t because I did move to rectify and was denied. I was even denied the 30 days of “emergency care” allotted by law when being dismissed by a provider.
I am grateful for the person who provided LLLT and Bowen Therapy yesterday. Bowen might take a few more times. LLLT I’ve done a few times before. The only “maybe” for months.
Really though, my problem is that I care too much but I think that’s been back handed out of me. None of this is finished, some has only just begun and the rest well… it is what it is, for now.
It’s been a couple of days over a month since I came home from that hospital stay. I can’t say it’s gotten any better, in fact, worse in that I’m also now 6 days off of the very last medication that provided any relief and the only opioid based medication I was on in the first place. Let me back track to pre Hawaii and the honor I received by being a 2015 Bakken Invitation Award Honoree. I was already struggling harder that maintaining my average 7 (on the pain scale). I was to depart on January 13th. A week or about prior I knew or believed at the time that I couldn’t make that trip any longer. I made a non scheduled emergency appointment with my Pain Management provider, who attempted to help me. I had only been using BuTrans 5mcg/hour. I was increased to 10mcg/hour for 2 months. When my husband got me to the pharmacy, my 5 was ready. I put in the Rx for the 10 and didn’t pick up the already approved 5. Trying to always remain in compliance and thinking I was doing right by not picking up the 5, yet instead swapping it out for the new 10 backfired. (why would I try to get them both? I didn’t. That wasn’t the medical plan to have each of them.
I’ve been asked how Hawaii was and I’ll always say amazing due the achievements while living intractable pain that got me there. I never laid out in the sun, or made it to the beach, I never got to visit the cabana, or see the turtles. I went to Hawaii but didn’t get to “Hawaii”. My husband had the privilege to spend time on the beach on 2 occasions and have lunch with an agent of Medtronic. I didn’t.
Each of us honorees were there for living with medical technology that had given us “extra life”. Extra life that let us give back selflessly and the ability to “Live On. Give On. I actually live with other forms of medical technology. An Auto Servo Ventilator by Philips that forces me to breathe when my brain shuts down the muscle that allow breathing in Central Apnea with Cheyne Stokes Respiration, and the Obstructive Apnea I have with it. Otherwise known as complex or mixed sleep apnea. I’ve had 2 clips holding me organs together. The injury that led to my CRPS over 15 years ago was a severe separation of my right foot, chip fractures, and tendon displacements. Either referred to as a mid-metatarsal separation or a Lis Franc fracture.
While my husband went to have lunch with the others, I was getting ready for my filmed interview. It was a hard day for me. That same morning was my Whale Watching Cruise. Each honoree was gifted an event of their choosing among a few choices. I chose the one that didn’t require any physical activity beyond getting to and from the location to each boat transfer for the cruise. I tried to walk the length of the beach upon arrival to get to the boat landing and I did! But in doing so, I set myself back. I had to use ADA beach wheel chair transport on the way back. When we all got back to the Hotel my interview was already waiting. The trip took longer over all. When we got back to our room, I had about 30 minutes to get ready and I used 10 or more of them to get off my legs and lay down. The clock was ticking, I had to change, and do something with my face. I didn’t wear makeup to the cruise. My husband headed for lunch and I got myself to the interview and back. It was that same night that we were having our awards reception. When I made it back to our room after the interview, I rested for an hour or so. My legs were burning so bad. My right side swollen and discolored, my left side could barely take it from carrying me. I had to do another change and get ready for the evening. Neither of the dresses I took was I able to wear due to the mass amount of swelling. I wore a blouse previously worn one other time. (Embarrassing but not everyone knew that I had). I’m not in many of the group photos because of inability, but I’m grateful for the photos I am apart of with a few special people that bonded in love, laughter, crying, and hope. Tanya, fellow honoree, Andrea, fellow honoree, Andrew, photography, Rich, Medtronic, Emelyne and Darren.
My BuTrans was picked up the day after returning home on the 18th. I attempted to refill Cymbalta and Zonegran on the 29th. The pharmacy said my doctor hadn’t responded to the fax request. In reality they had been denied by WC and I just hadn’t known it yet. I appealed via my PMD. Approved by another IME as being medically necessary February 16th. I still don’t have them.
2 months prior I had gone through similar delay of weeks, and before that. Always and abrupt discontinuation of either days, weeks or in this case nearly 2 months for 2 of them.
Can you imagine what it does to someone’s brain each time you go from something to nothing. What being on an SSNRI and anti seizure for over 10 years, yet coping through the adverse effects of on and off over and over again?
Can you imagine physical pain so bad that you aren’t just complaining or trying live anymore because you can’t? Can you imagine pain so visceral and crippling, you lose your mind?
I’ve known this pain before. It’s where all my piercing were born from. The diversion for pain to replace pain. I don’t often use the number 10 because 10 is meant to imply true inability to perform anything, the worse pain “imaginable”. Hospital bound, suicidal ideations, that’s 10. It’s not 11 or 20. It’s 10.
I don’t head for pills or opioid chase as some would like to believe we all do, my toxicology screens is and was negative for everything illicit, but it was positive for ethanol on Valentine’s day. I’ve been there before too, prior to ever getting into pain management in 2004. By the end of 2004, I woke up one day and didn’t drink again until 2012 and not to the point of intoxication and not again for another year. Gradually and after January 1st of 2015, I chose to drink when I wanted to, and not drink when I didn’t want to. January 1st was the denial and abrupt discontinuation of Klonopin 0.5, the reduction from 90 mg of Cymbalta to 30 and the denial of Lidoderm patches entirely as well.
The last 14 months have been a hell only certain people survive. I didn’t appeal those denials and reductions. It was the beginning of my decline in hope. I still had something left that couldn’t be taken and that was my Spinal Cord Stimulator which covers my lower back on down to my toes on each side.
Maybe you don’t like my politics or philosophies and maybe I don’t prefer your inaccuracies and errors in my medical records that I update each and every time I’m seen by anyone. Maybe you don’t prefer the thought provoking statements I make or consequences and responsibility topics I engage in.
That’s okay because I still respect your right to speak out against the pain you‘ve endured, perhaps you could afford me the same.
What good is the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) if it’s not used properly? In my recent hospitalization it showed I was on 11 medications, and I was injected with a medication potentially life threatening due to those errors which claimed I was still on a Benzo, BuTrans 5 and 10, Lidoderm, OIC med, Cymbalta and Zonegran.
I was only on BuTrans 10. The records only indicated a few of my diagnosis’ and left out important others. I’m not speaking of independent care or my PMD, I’m speaking of my primary health record. Dignity/Mercy Health.
The record shows that during that stay Morphine was prescribed, but denied.
Because of the medical record errors they gave me Cymbalta and Zonegran for 2 days which I had already been off for over 2 weeks. So when I got to come home I had to fall from it again.
As of now, I’m only on Lisinopril and Hydralazine for high Blood pressure. Atorvastatin for HC, and Nuvigil for sleep disorders.
Pain? You don’t know pain until you really want to live, but you pray to God to die.
And you don’t know pain until you’ve walked my shoes. Each and every worn out pair (not the ones you physically wear on your feet) but the shoes of life, struggle, being born with arthritis, PTSD x 3, DDD + Cervical, Diverticulosis (it is when flaring), CRPS 2, liver disease, reduced kidney function, female crap and all the others that would only take up space. Survival!
You don’t know pain until you keep doing for others to help them through, give them hope, change their lives, encourage them, love them, care-give when you can’t even care for yourself, yet you continue to put them before anything for you. I’ve been an advocate in one capacity or other for over 30 years and a writer for 40. I’m 48.
Friday evening it took over 2 hours to get myself out of the mind space I was in. That mind space that said go hit a wall, divert it, you know how. With the rest of me repeating to myself over and over #StrongerThanPain. “I’ll walk, when I cannot walk, I’ll carry myself, when I can’t carry myself, I’ll fly”
Late that night, my husband went and got me some generic Acetaminophen PM and another bottle of only Acetaminophen without sleep aid.
I’ll most likely never reach out again, but I’m thankful to Barby Ingle for when I did make it into a new day and I was able to talk a few her encouraging words assisted in the ongoing fight to live through it and with it, somehow. HOPE!
I’m thankful for technology and I’m grateful for those who humanize patients. Dr. Bakken, Dr. Duffy, and Susan Pueschel. I haven’t lost faith in my God, I’m losing faith in humanity.
As I said before, it’s all a Mirage, but I suppose it’s also part of the purpose.
I’m far from well, I can barely walk, my butt is bleeding, every part of me hurts not only from what I already had but from the injuries that occurred on Valentine’s day as well. A laceration/contusion of my head/forehead and face, deep contusions/sprains/strains/possible breaks of my hands/wrists, deep bruising arms, legs, back, butt. None of which documented at all. None of which are part of any record or care in those 2 days. Only my own/photos days later.
In the early evening of Valentines Day, February 14, 16, I was placed in handcuffs in front of my residence and transferred to #MethodistHospital psychiatric hold where I got to come home the evening of February 16th Initially, I was being transferred to another facility for a 72 hour hold and evaluation after the Dr. said I wasn’t a threat to others, but I was to myself. Upon re evaluation the afternoon of the 16th, the doctor via tele medicine (Robot) allowed me to go home. The bruises on my body (severe) are not self inflicted, but are the consequences of my actions. After being denied 2 types of medications I’ve been on over 10 years (non opioid, anti-depressent/nerve pain and an anticonvulsent, 2 others removed entirely and abruptly January 2015 and reduced from 90 to 30 on Cymbalta at the same time, being continuously delayed, denied, retaking these 2, being denied again, going through the withdrawals over and over and knowing how many of you go through the same or similar, I began to crack. Days prior I filed the appeal, the next day I sought psych help from one of my providers, but was never contacted back. Valentines day started beautifully. My husband set up our patio, and have a vase of flowers for me, coffee and it was peaceful. When I woke that morning, he said “don’t go back” referring to the bedroom. He said” close your eyes” I did. He led me to the patio, the best gift I could have been given. As the early afternoon and sunshine made it’s way in, I was updating hand notes previously taken on a legislative conference to send as minutes. I was listening to music. My emotions began to rise. I was upset that I couldn’t be there for Barby in the loss of her dad, or my mom who’s doing all she can to keep her heart beating, or my dad, or my children, even my sister. I saw that denial letter again as I was highlighting the inaccuracies it contained. I tossed back a 200 ml bottle of vodka. To be specific the $1.99 bottle of Tamiroff (the cheap crap) 40% alcohol by volume. It wasn’t the cause of my actions, but it was the liquid courage to tell it how it was and how it shouldn’t be, however misplaced. I remembered what WC took from me, what I was manipulated into 14 years ago. Something that even possibility, chance or a cure can never bring back and I realized how absolutely stupid I was to listen to my health team at the time. See? I’ve learned and I’ve grown since then and while now I have to tread carefully, I refuse to shut up for me, or for you. And I remember that when my case was initially force closed in 2003, I asked for 1 thing. Just one, and whether my 3 know that or not, I submitted it in writing. I asked for them to apologize to my children.
They’re still waiting
I stood in the street and screamed everything we go through. #Chronic, #IntractabIe#Pain, #CRPS, #DWC#California#MTUS, denials and delays, I screamed that if you take an opioid, tomorrow you’re defined an addict If you have a drink, guess what? Now you’re an alcoholic. I screamed that records should be maintained accurately and that I was DONE! With irresponsible people fucking up responsible lives. Was my act responsible? Perhaps not, but the cause and reason was.
My tongue was foul.
When I attempted to advocate for myself, speak of compassion and understanding, humanizing people for all, and reveal what I do and that I wasn’t blind to it all, I was considered hallucinating, fabricating, making it up, laughed at, demeaned and ridiculed. Being kind, caring, loving, understanding, respectful, honest, and trustworthy has got me no where. Incline my head to the higher ups as if they’re right, when really I just don’t have the guts to advocate on my own behalf and tell them they’re wrong.
A person (and patient) who’s done everything right has labeled me, defined me, and stigmatized me as someone who’s wrong and who’s done everyone wrong.
They wouldn’t even give me my SCS controller to turn off my stim. Flat increases stimulation. The nurse tried to give me some line about, not right now, she didn’t know what I was talking about, so I tried to tell her. Being dismissed from that made me see even more red, I called her stupid and told her to f off. Then I apologized because even in my upset state, I had the mind to know it really wasn’t her fault, she was just ignorant and uneducated.
I won’t be tolerating inaccuracies in records, healthcare or otherwise. I won’t be tolerating patients not being able to add note to correct the record. I won’t be hiding away under the blankets anymore, while people create their reports to satisfy their own job criteria, yet leave out pertinent information. I’ll be up to make sure you know you better get it right. And that people deserve truth about all else.
I’ll be sharing this story in it’s entirety, there’s so much more than this. My records, PRIUM, tox screen, etc are being sent to the International Pain Foundation. Via iPain someone gets the exclusive. I’ll decide free or fee. Oh and I got on the inside in all of it, now I know what goes on behind those scenes and those doors. I supposedly blew a high alcohol level. But here’s the deal. The bottle is still the same bottle it can’t magically become something else. The amount my body took in wasn’t more than that, I’m 200 pounds, so go figure. I’ve saved that little bottle as a souvenir. Excuses? Not at all. I’m not proud, but nor am I ashamed. My transparency will bring me back up, enough to prove, I haven’t lied, fabricated and I wasn’t on any illicit or illegal drugs which no one believed either.
On the contrary, the truth I’ve told and will tell
Will become me
(This is my #FightSong
… Take back my life song)
If I gave anything that night, I gave 2 things.
1. On command I removed my hands from my mama’s jacket pockets and complied without incident to place my hands behind my back. #SacramentoSheriffsDepartment. Everyone should do the same in all situations.
2. I’ve given all of you the rest of my life; the one I can’t go back on.
My name is now associated with defiance and lock down.
Nothing else was considered
Sleep disorders, narcoleptic episodes
CSA (my brain doesn’t send the signals to my body to breathe)
Withdrawal (probably over that by now, but the effects I’m still dealing with)
CRPS (Flare) + and an altered brain from the last 13 months of continuous WC hell.
CRPS (secondary depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD x 2 (diagnosed)
(excluded are internal diagnosis’)
My medication list has been updated each and every time I’m seen by my physicians. Yet, my discharge shows I’m on 11 meds, including Butrans, 5 and 10, a benzo and others. I’m on Lisinopril 1 x a.m, Atorvastatin 1 x p.m, Hydralazine as needed only, BP 180/+, Nuvigil daily, and BuTrans Patch/wk. #DignityHealth is linked to all my doctors. The hospital is part of Dignity Health. What’s the point of the EMR, PMP, PDMP or even a computer if it’s not properly used?
Understand why I kept saying “I’m fucking done” I’m done doesn’t equal I’m going to kill myself. I’m over it, doesn’t mean it either. I don’t want to be here doesn’t either. What they all are is some else’s perception and reality I could fart and my son would throw up his hands and say “I’m done!”
Check it out.. My voice will carry, I have the guts to say it, open eyes and touch hearts, contribute to change, maybe not for me, but hopefully for someone else
If I killed myself, I wouldn’t get to say it, now would I?
I’m sure they gave me Cymbalta, Zonegran and Hydralazine in the lockdown. I wasn’t suppose to be given any of those. Only Lisinopril and the Statin. No wonder my head hurts.
On the 29th of January, I put in for my Cymbalta (30, 1x) and Zonegran (100, 2 x). I went to my grandson’s 10th birthday party yesterday (sick) but I played it like it was something else, I played it off so good and to the point of… shrugs. Yah, slam dunk withdrawal again. Pharmacy kept telling me my doc hadn’t refilled. (A lie) If you didn’t know the truth, say you don’t know. Today I get a letter in the mail from PRIUM. Cymbalta and Zonegran denied. Last January, 13 months ago, I was removed from 2 other medications entirely (one of which was Lidoderm) and reduced from 90 to 30 Cymbalta. I tried. I faked it to make it and I prayed it and played it. but was slipping harder than anyone could ever see, . There’s 1 med left and I know it’s next. Nearly every month I’m delayed, the months I’m not delayed by days, I am by weeks. I’m sure my brain is fried by now. I’m sick all the time from abrupt discontinuation, to trying to re stabilize after getting back on, to slam dunked again. Over and over and over. Those medications aren’t suppose to be slam dunked off of. They aren’t suppose to be abruptly discontinued. They are suppose to be weaned off to prevent seizures and adverse affects that can in some cases include death. Their letter is a lie, it contradicted 12 months ago where it did indicate Cymbalta and Zonegran and now says the CA MTUS doesn’t indicate for the treatment of neuropathic pain. (wrong). It also said because I’ve been treating with a dentist and was ON Norco 5/325 that the Cymbalta and Zonegran didn’t keep me OFF OPIOIDS. A fucking lie. As of the date of that letter. I had 3 dentist appointments. And I suffered and declined med, even tho I took some. I also got permission from my PMD prior to ever getting an RX , filling it or taking it. I have not asked for 1 single extra pill and I didn’t even fill the Rx I had for days later. But know what? It’s a done deal now. TOWER ENERGY GROUP – SCOTT CORNWELL ADJUSTER ARROWPOINT CAPITAL. You might want to get your facts right. You expect us to have ours accurate, yes? Let me see here in 1 year approximately $15,000 a year in medication management times 81 years of age. I’m still only 47. I got your game, you better get mine, too.
This letter said that I failed Lyrica and Neurontin (the reason it now says NO to Zonegran, but that I didn’t fail Carbamazepine or Lamotrigine. You got me stuck on stupid. For real? drugscom says make sure to tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides;
liver or kidney disease; ALL OF THE ABOVE. I get it, compromise one side for the other right? Which really means lower your spending. Sorry idiots, I settled for lifetime medical and didn’t take your money. Go on keep punishing me. Neither of these are NOT indicated for me. I didn’t appeal your last denials (January 2015) and I’m not appealing these either. Oh and by the way, next time you put bull shit in my letters, CA fail first/step therapy REFER TO AB 374 and know that if you’re going to quote taking and failing, you better also note all else that goes with it.
Because I think you failed something else…
The Travesty of Delays- California Workers’ Compensation SB 863 and AB 1124
I would like to offer that in conversation this last week with Dr. Kolodny and others who advocate against the use of opioid pain care that I attempted to stress the importance of responsibility and education in stating that ”
“So much time proving how bad opioids are when we could have been educating, teaching personal responsibility.” (Twitter only allows so many characters)
A direct reply and quote from Dr. Kolodny
“Education & “teaching personal responsibility” will not make opioids less addictive or more effective.”
Already in today’s call responsibility has been spoken of as well as education several times. He came on and mentioned Guiding physicians. Isn’t guiding educating?
Other therapies can potentially be more harmful, anti depressants, anti seizure medications for the treatment of chronic pain, such as Cymbalta,
Neurontin, Nortriptyline, Amtriptolyne and similar medications also have misuse and abuse potential. When there is misuse, abuse and Overdose is already likely. Surgical intervention is contraindicated in patients with nerve damage, neuropathies, CRPS/RSD. Some of these opioid overdoses were in part due to other medications, mixtures and alcohol, not solely opioid. Integrated and functional restoration programs are important, but few insurances at all, cover them.
Can we try not to stress the decline in white people falling to addiction, when we didn’t seem to be as concerned about blacks, or minorities. many were like, oh well, let them kill themselves, calling them stupid. We’re your kids stupid? I think not. I find it disheartening.
People were people all along. Also personal responsibility is directly related to opioid overdoses. If these children or adults didn’t understand the risk, or what the medication may cause, then education was absolutely necessary by parents, family and spouses first and foremost before the medical community. It becomes a mutual responsibility. Not only the doctor who prescribed it.
If they can’t stop, it’s our responsibility to intervene on their behalf. and attempt to save their lives before it’s too late.
Pain is physical, and pain is emotional. Physical pain seeks quality of life, the emotional pain, those against opioid’s seek comfort for
their loss. Pain doesn’t discriminate.
Physiology also plays a major role in this topic. Lets not sacrifice people for people. Otherwise unintended consequences become intended
consequences. Responsibility in prescribing isn’t a one way street. We seek out the doctor, they don’t seek us out.
~Twinkle V. / Advocacy Director, International Pain Foundation #iPain
The Body, Mind, and Spirit; Humanizing the Soul
By Twinkle VanFleet
I often refer to Quality of Life (QOL) when supporting or opposing legislation and/or certain topics aimed at the chronically ill or intractable pain patient . Quality of life is important! What is it though? I knew what I meant, but did others? Did those people I spent time with exchanging bits and pieces of personal belief and philosophies understand what it really was that I was referring to, or was it simply 3 words that had been tossed around in the vast world of healthcare and patients alike that had just become a more familiar reference term over time?
Somebody understood, someone had already knew precisely what I meant and what I had attempted to relay to others for decades. I didn’t know until after I returned home from being honored with The Bakken Invitation Award which recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees earn a $20,000 grant from Medtronic Philanthropy to direct to a charity of their choice. I didn’t realize until I opened one of the books that had been gifted to me as a 2015 Bakken Invitation Honoree by the man who most likely didn’t choose me solely, but who presented it to me at one of my weakest and most vulnerable public moments ever. As I began to read through “One Man’s Full Life” by Earl E. Bakken, co founder of Medtronic, I knew.
I knew that the man who had invented the world’s first wearable battery operated external pacemaker in a garage in northeast Minneapolis while everyone else was recovering from WW2, knew also. There was 46 years between his birth and mine, but someone else understood long before I ever could.
Health Related Quality of Life is the meaningful intent and purpose of giving a part of the self to another. A warm smile, soft caress, compassion. Anyone can want, need or desire quality of life. This quality is based on what we do with our lives, where we want to take it, and if we can sustain that quality we want or crave by what we’ve utilized from all that we have and that which we don’t. It’s really dependent not on the self, but the ego. Upbringing, teachings, education, competition, and lacking commitment to anything or anyone else.
Health Related Quality of Life is what we need to survive. There is no quality of life without a health related quality of life. Health related quality of life had become technology, pills, and sending a person on their way. The real intent of health related quality of life is the human experience. Humanizing patients will help their mind and spirit overcome challenges in the body.
Shrug someone off, remove their dignity, you also remove the very reason for fighting against disease and pain that our own minds already know how to achieve. Our mind is part of our brain it isn’t the brain itself. It’s our conscious, and sometimes unconscious being, yet never the less our higher being, our spirit. Break the spirit, you will break the body. Liven the mind and the spirit, you induce a will to “be“.
All these years, all the doctors and medical professionals, some my own physicians, others colleagues, above me in degrees, educational establishments, influence, and knowledge. I knew I knew, but now it was validated by a man who’s invented, done and given more in his lifetime than anyone else I could ever come to know.
It doesn’t take a degree to “get it“. All it’s ever taken is an understanding and belief in the human spirit and what it’s truly capable of, if not thrown away. I think I’m finally proud enough to say with my head held high, instead of my eyes lowered, that I don’t have a degree, I didn’t attend any fancy universities, I’m certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am brighter than the average bear. This is all I was ever suppose to be. All I was meant to do is validate those who came before me for those who come after me.
We’ve become a world that belittles at the first opportunity and blames others for what’s in our own power to change or make better. Instead, a people who hold back because they think they lack worth. You’re worth it, I promise! Some are still trying to teach it, still trying to proffer care in kindness and mercy above and beyond themselves, opening eyes and fluttering hearts, enlightening those who haven’t quite seen the light yet.
It doesn’t take a degree to be enlightened above the self and know a little better than the one‘s who tell you, you don‘t..
One of our original RSDS Advocates, Mary LaBree, passed away on October 15, 2015 due to complications from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Mary exemplified commitment to the RSD community for over 3 decades. As the Director of the New England RSDS Coalition since 1990, Mary sought to educate and bring awareness to the public and private sectors for the disease that was virtually unheard of back then. Originally from Leicester, Massachusetts, she was formally educated at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Mary secured the JULY Proclamation for RSDS To urge all of the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, the twenty-fourth of June in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty forth.” Massachusetts Bill # 5938
She worked both locally in Massachusetts and Nationally.
Mary formed and lead seminars, attended others, developed awareness events, distributed information and educational materials. She spoke with patients, caregivers, physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, fellow educators, universities, other peer groups, and those with an interest to learn about Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. She was involved with grants, research and fundraising.
When Mary LaBree began advocating for RSD in the 1980’s the term Complex Regional Pain Syndrome hadn’t been created. While other names had been used previously to describe Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Syndrome) it was most often referred to as RSDS.
In 2012, she reached out to me and a friendship formed. We shared phone calls, messages and correspondence by snail mail. Mary sent me a copy of the photo of she and other’s of the original signing of her proclamation and a copy of the verbiage used to secure her proclamations. I’m privileged to know what Mary looks like. For now, I’ll not share those, nor have I ever. She shared with me 30+ years of everything. How she started, how she educated, how other RSD organizations began, her children, grandchildren, colleagues, the strength it takes to endure; not just in living with pain, but being a part of it.
If you pray, why worry… If you worry, why pray?
I had plans to meet her in person twice. The first time she had to return home early. I was supposed to meet her again toward the end of October or into mid-November. I had just spoken to her less than a week before her passing.
I was in the hospital yesterday, I had an accident with my wheelchair when I tried to back it up ( standing in front of it. ) (Stupid me )when I pushed the button to back it up.. I pushed it the wrong way..And ran over my LEDs from the ankles to the knees. I was really blessed when the ER Dr. Asked what other problems did I have, & when I explained CRPS He said oh Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome , I said yes. He treated me with kindness & care. I’m going to send him a thank you card. He was really kind. You don’t always find a kind caring Dr..pls pray for me to recover. I have a lot of CRPS work to do. I will be leaving for CA in a few weeks. Ty.M
I’m sorry I had a mistake that I didn’t want to have a group pls forgive me, as I pressed the wrong thing, & didn’t realize it until someone told me.
The next message on Oct 12, I missed due to being away and my IM being flooded and then she was gone. I was on the road to and from the Stanford Transplant Clinic for our daughter on the 15th and in the Emergency Department on the 16th due to my cervical spine. Trying to save the puppies life all in between.
The last message was in reference to an accidental group IM.
I had been wondering if she would want to make the plans to meet at the NERVEmber, West Coast Pain Forum for Power of Pain Foundation on November 14th. All I knew for certain is she planned to be here in Northern California on the 23rd of October and would call me.
Permission granted and sent from the Power of Pain Foundation to share in Mary’s memory. Melanie McDowell Awareness and Advocacy Award Nomination 2015
I wish she would have received more nominations, but mine was the only one for her. She was most deserving.
We never know for certain where our conversations go even when we chit-chat on the phone or when we think they are in confidence. I don’t know what Mary ever spoke of me to others, but I know that she must have believed in me enough with what she did share with me to know I would keep it to me and if she didn’t know for sure when she told me she knew as time went on because I’ve never told it.
She asked me sometime in 2013 to consider being trained by her for her Coalition and new endeavors. While I was most honored, I respectfully declined as I was already committed to Power of Pain.
Our conversations also consisted of but weren’t limited to life, color, ethnicity, race, the olden days, differences, equality, change and today. She shared with me uncertainties about people, places and things, and I eased her in certain fear and prejudices. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not at all implying Mary was prejudice, in fact, she’s not, though conversations were simply sometimes deep. Mary listened and she learned. She watched, listened to gossip, dismissed it, listened more, read, picked it apart, put it together, and ultimately decided for herself. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind or share a maybe, what if, what do you think or did you know.
I’m humbled to have been accepted, acknowledged, taught and even loved by her.
Mary was so proud of the New England RSDS Coalition, she was thrilled that the healthcare community was finally beginning to know what RSD (CRPS) is. She was pleased that patients had informational materials to seek out and be provided. She was happy that educational events were provided free to the public.
She told me the story behind July and why her proclamations are for the month of independence and not November. As I stated Mary began educating RSD over 30 years ago. July was chosen for freedom, freedom from pain. It wasn’t until many years later that a national color evolved, and then our month of recognition. Mary was grateful for her closest friends. I know she loved her beautiful friend, advocate and poet, Jane (Gonzales).
I prayed for her health and I prayed for her to achieve her life’s work, her mission to create awareness and educate on RSD, her purpose to continue doing so, and her hope for our future.
You did Mary! You really did! You achieved them all to the last breath.
I have the nerve to be heard, do you have the nerve to be heard? POP for PAIN with hashtag #painPOP by the Power of Pain Foundation. We invite you to take the challenge or donate to either spread continued awareness and advocacy efforts or assist in educational funding for nerve pain diseases, syndromes and conditions.
Our balloons are safe for both you and the environment. Instead of a balloon release, our #painPOP offers you the opportunity to be involved even with physical limitations. We considered the noise in the pop, we considered those whose hands are not well and we considered the air.
We have taken into account those with PTSD from wartime. We would not wish you harm in any way, nor would we have you pop to startle you. No one is forced to do either. This is meant for fun, a distraction from our own pain; enlighten pain in others, and to promote understanding, compassion and hope. I participated in the ice bucket challenge last year and my body had a fit, but for ALS sufferers, I did it. I don’t have ALS, I have CRPS, CSA, OSA, other sleep disorders, Cheyne Stokes, Hypertension, Anxiety disorder, DDD, Arthritis (Juvenile Arthritis), PTSD and various extras. Pain is hard, not being able to breathe evenly is hard, having a brain that doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing is hard, not being able to stay awake is hard and not being able to sleep is hard, being on my legs is hard, but we don’t always have to be hard on ourselves.
I was challenged in the #painPOP by Power of Pain’s Executive Director Ken Taylor. Of course, I accepted, even though I’ve been quite unwell for weeks now.
If we tell ourselves we can’t participate in anything due to the setbacks in pain then we never will.
Here’s how it works:
If your balloon has a POP (Power of Pain) logo, be sure to have it facing the camera.
To the camera say: I have the NERVE to be HEARD! (pop the balloon) do YOU have the NERVE to be HEARD! hashtag #painPOP participate or donate to powerofpain.org
Or if you want to challenge someone:
I have the NERVE to be HEARD! (pop the balloon) I challenge (state their name’s) to Have the NERVE to be HEARD! hashtag #painPOP participate or donate to www.powerofpain.org
You can have fun with it. Be creative. We also want you to be safe and content.
We look forward to sharing your submissions and celebrating with you.
Power of Pain Foundation recognizes the value of every person who makes up the chronic pain community. We are guided by our commitment to excellence, leadership and patient empowerment. We demonstrate this by:
* Providing educational resources for physical and emotional care * Advancing excellence in pain awareness of the over 150 conditions involving chronic pain and what patients are faced with on a daily basis * Strengthening our relationships with hospitals, pain clinics, pharmaceuticals, support groups and our chronic pain community * Demonstrating social responsibility through the use of our pain resources. The commitment of volunteers, physicians, community partners and friends to the Power of Pain mission, permits us to maintain a quality presence and tradition of caring, which are the hallmarks of the Power of Pain Foundation.
We hope that you participate in our #NERVEmber projects and if you are unable due to any restrictions that instead you share someone who has so that together we can fulfill the mission of the Power of Pain Foundation to give a voice to the communities that need it most.
#NERVEmber is International Nerve Pain Awareness Month (including RSD, CRPS, Diabetes, and more). Each day during the month of NERVEmber the @PowerofPain Foundation will present an awareness task that we can all perform!
This year we are also giving away over $1000 in prizes available for everyone who registers to participate and use the hashtags, complete tasks, host or attend an event. The more you participate in OFFICIAL #NERVEmber events, the more chances you have to win! Check out all events going on in our NERVEmber Event Calendar.
A list of diseases, syndromes and conditions that involve nerve pain as a symptom.
The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response and its role is mediated by two different components.
Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in autoimmune thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture’s disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney).
Other types of neuropathy conditions include; toxic, metabolic, trauma, compression entrapment, infectious, and congenital hereditary. These conditions are typically treated by multiple types of medical professionals. The goal of treatments should be to understand the physiological system of the condition and then working to prevent permanent painful neurological transformations.