Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Friday, February 22, 2002

Welcome to the Last Day of the ... no, wait

Okay. Some days you really wonder why you crawled out of bed. Especially when there's a doctor's appointment involved.

Yes, the Pooka has Fibromyalgia. It's a "minor concern" right now ...

Think and chew on THAT phrase for a minute.

Yes, I have confirmed Raynaud's Phenomenon, Primary -- severe. "Why in God's name do you not have socks on your feet, girl?" I got my butt chewed for Birks. Course, DG DID lie to me about how warm it was outside. I knew I had it, and knew it was pretty bad, but even she seemed impressed by the degree. My hands and feet performed their gold medal skate for the doc, doing the whole shebang.

Cuz, um, Raynaud's can cause gangrene and your fingers and toes can rot off if you don't keep them warm enough so the blood will circulate. I'm supposed to wear gloves and socks as long as it's below 70-75. Like, fingertip to elbow gloves to help with ...

This is where I sort of lose things.

The Pooka has RSD. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

It doesn't get any better than how it sounds right there.

This post gets really long after this, going into details about RSD.

RSD is often progressive. It's also incurable. It can be treated, but many patients (that don't kill themselves, I looooove how the notes point that out -- "Emotional depression developed to such a degree that suicide was the final outcome in many of the cases." -- yeah, nice) end up in wheelchairs, with implanted drug pumps just to make it day to day.

Burning Pain, aching pain, shooting pain, swelling, limited mobility, hyper-sensitivity to slightest touch, withdrawing from commotion, short term memory loss, depression, living on a tight rope between doing too much, causing pain, and doing too little, causing pain, these and many more are symptoms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.

As RSD progresses, the abnormal pain of the sympathetic nervous system has an effect on other areas of the body and can result in total disability as muscles, bones, skin and the autonomic immune system become involved.

The first indication of RSD is prolonged pain usually more severe than the injury. The symptoms are severe burning pain in a localized area, intense sensitivity to temperature and light touch, and a color change to the skin.

There are several stages to RSD, which progress at different rates in different people. Initially, there is swelling and redness in the affected area.

Next, the area becomes blue and cold, with increased pain and stiffness of ligaments and joints, and Osteoporosis may become evident.

Finally, there may be a wasting of affected muscles, contraction of tendons, and a definite withering of the affected limb. In all of the stages, severe chronic pain continues to be a major complaint.

Many patients who are not treated early will experience spread of the disease and this may become a lifelong problem. Even with early treatment this may become a chronic condition.

I wasn't caught early. I'm between Stage One and Stage Two of the syndrome.

Treatment can send RSD into remission. It may subside for years and then recur with a new injury.

There are many other symptoms that an RSD/CRPS patient may have, including movement disorders (difficulty starting movement, increased tone, increased reflexes, tremor, muscle spasms), weakness, fatigue, skin rashes, frequent infections, migraine headaches and others could be found as more data is accumulated.

(Remember my mystery flush and hives? I was going into a flare up. Now I know. And knowing is half the battle. Too bad I'm gonna lose the war.)


Pain is the first and primary complaint, described as extremely severe and burning & aching in nature
Swelling and joint tenderness
Loss or diminished motor function
Muscle spasms
Increased sweating
Changes in skin temperature and color
Bone softening - patchy osteoporosis

The disease causes constriction of vertebral arteries resulting in poor circulation to the brain stem, this in turn causes poor focusing of eye muscles, and poor balance, dizziness and migraines.

This constant pain in the limbic system (Frontal and Temporal lobes) causes poor memory, irritability as well as insomnia. Antidepressants such as Trazodone or desipramine and better control of the pain seem to improve these symptoms. This goes along with paravertebral and epidural blocks.

The person suffering may develop abnormal function of the sympathetic system causing constriction of the blood vessels to the brain. When the blood vessels are constricted in the distribution of vertebral arteries in the cervical spine and in the distribution of the blood vessels providing circulation for the brainstem, the person develops attacks of dizziness, white spots, migraines and difficulty focusing with the eyes. All of this is due to the brainstem dysfunction, which has the responsibility of coordinating our eye movements.

Many patients develop hostility towards any individual coming in close proximity, reflex from trying to protect affected hypersensitive limbs from contact.


I get to deal with fibro which is aggravated by the RSD. Mmm, double the symptoms, double the pain, double your FwordI'mstillnotusing fun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go indulge in a completely out-of-character screaming fit of hysterics.

.... appends.

NO, wait, there's more! I forgot the one bright point (other than an answer for so much unexplained and ignored symptoms that have been wrong with me for years).

I was told to .... NOT avoid caffeine. Yes, yes, brothers and sisters of the sacred bean. Coffee may actually HELP the Pooka, balancing out all the weirdness that makes me shake and shimmy like a big ole vat of Jello.

No, wait. That was just me trying to put on my jeans. Never mind, carry on.

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