While I’ve not been formally diagnosed by a pain specialist, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has come up in conversations with my surgeon, physiotherapists and an anaesthetist. It’s pretty well accepted that I’ve got a history of CRPS. Twice now I’ve been hospitalised for 10 days at a time with off the charts pain, swelling and a purple leg. Luckily I’ve recovered from these flare ups with a lot of rest, intensive rehabilitation and the right medication.
I am still working closely with my local pain clinic and I still take the medication, but I’ve learnt a lot about how to manage my pain levels and doubt I’ll have a third episode. These days my pain levels are manageable 90% of the time but I still have issues with noise, vibrations and bright lights on a daily basis. But I am relatively functional and doing very well. There are many other CRPS sufferers that are not as lucky as me and it can be a very debilitating disease. I think I recovered so well due to the prompt action of my doctors and intensive multidisciplinary approach that was taken after each flare up.
Here is a link with more info about CRPS (Kiwi CRPS). And a beautiful photo of my lovely purple, swollen leg from 2012. My leg was discoloured from hip to toe for about 3-4 months, and then it returned to normal.