CRPS and the Springtime Blues

Dear Audy,

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in coping with life that it takes me a while to realise that I’ve been neglecting some pretty important parts of living.

I’ve forgotten to be interesting, I’ve forgotten to be interested.

I let the daily struggles get in the way of inspiration. I let boring seep into my life again. I even read all of An Abundance of Katherines because I’d accepted that stories are just boring sometimes. And, you guys, it was so boring. Nobody gets things wrong like Kindle recommendation bot.

I’ve had a lot to deal with, sure, but I can always improve how I cope with stress. I don’t want to sit by and watch my mind turn stale.

Backyard chillin' with buddies is a wonderful antidepressant.

Backyard chillin’ with buddies is a wonderful antidepressant.

The physical side of managing CRPS is most intense for me in Spring. It’s the most difficult of the four difficult season changes that happen every year. There is just too much rainshine (humid, cloudy days that switch from rainy to sunny to glarey and back, all usually within the hour because I live in Melbourne) and rainshine hurts.

The ketamine/lignocaine infusion that I had at the beginning of the month has been helping with a lot of symptoms, however drugs can’t fight the sky any more than I can.

Spring pain involves aching on waking. Such severe, burny aching. This pain isn’t region specific in my body. It’s all the joints, every bone, every muscle. It hurts a lot. Unlike a burning CRPS limb, my generalised pain symptoms will respond to painkillers, however I only like to take them sparingly because that pain relief costs too much of my mental clarity.

Mornings are tough, I have to wake up, acknowledge that pain, accept that pain, refuse to get upset and then go about my business of trying to bring the pain level down. I generally do feel a bit better post breakfast (bacon and eggs every damn day), but getting through that routine can take until early afternoon. That’s half a day, every day, that I spend just dealing with symptoms and keeping my head on straight.

What I can get done with the rest of the day depends on the weather. Somedays, the weather clears and I can move about, go for a walk or ride my exercise bike. Somedays, I can sit outside in the sun and stock up on vitamin D. Somedays, I can’t quite stay upright without the dizzies kicking in and am confined to bed or the couch. All of the days are smothered in brain fog right now, so if I’m going through any of those motions, I’m doing it without much more thought power than I’d use to explore a dream.

I think that’s the crux of my uninspired problem, really. It’s hard to feel inspired when I can’t think.

The elbow trouble that I mentioned in my last post was eased by a visit to the osteopath. Apparently, the joint was “locked up”, most likely from holding the iPad too long to read during my infusion, that’s the only stress that I can remember putting on that joint in the manner that could have caused the injury. The pain is eased, but not gone. I’m still dealing with a lot of weakness and have to be very careful not to lean on the arm, keep it in the same position for too long or pick up anything heavier than a glass of water (even that takes two hands if it’s a big glass or the end of the day).

I’ve spent a lot of time feeling like I was going backwards lately, but I guess that considering the brain fog and added weather pain, I’m still going forward. I just have to move forward at a slower pace this time of year.

I’ve achieved some things in the past topsy turvy month that I’m proud of. I haven’t stopped exercising, despite the extra pain. I’ve had to have more rest days between workouts, but I’ve been maintaining the muscle strength that I worked so hard for all Winter. I’ve added more jogging into my walks. I finally got to try Zombies, Run! – an app that pretends you are jogging through the zombie apocalypse. Years ago, I heard about it and thought it sounded like fun, but then got very sad that I’d never know because I couldn’t run. Suck it, past Caf, you were wrong and I’m going to run over all of your assumptions. Literally.

Oh gosh. Oh, the sun has just come blaring out from behind the clouds and damn, it hurts. Enough writing and realising for today. Must rest now.

Love & Springtime Blues,

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  • 2 thoughts on “CRPS and the Springtime Blues

    1. Lyza

      Oh love, get the hell out of my head.
      Exact same story, different person but close enough to melbourne to still be a prisoner.
      I’m going to show Boofhead your magical words of wisdom because it just seems easier for him to digest if it doesn’t come from me. Thank you Caf, you’ve no idea what this means. Thank you..

      1. Hayley Cafarella Post author

        Thanks for your kind words, Lyza! It’s amazing how similar experiences can be when you have CRPS. I’m about ready to punch the sky today…can hardly hold my damn head up. *shakes fist* xx

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