Why I'm Adjusting My New Year's Resolutions With CRPS

With complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), comes intense, burning, unpredictable pain. It has been rated as the most painful condition on the McGill pain scale and is often called the “suicide disease.” Managing day to day is a challenge in and of itself. So how, I wonder, can I manage New Year’s resolutions like I did in the past?

1.  Lose weight. Isn’t that a common one? So many of us feel the need to lose 10, 15 or more pounds to be healthier. In my case it isn’t so simple. The medications I was first put on for the CRPS pain caused immediate and significant weight gain. Immobility, because my affected area is my foot and leg, doesn’t help. So what can I do instead, since – due to my medications – I am simply unable to lose the weight? I can learn to accept my current weight. I can find clothing that makes me feel better about my size, and is comfortable to move in. I can stop fighting with myself mentally, look at myself in the mirror, and see the pain warrior that I am.

2.  Get fit. Many of us have this on our list. Before the injury that caused CRPS, I was going to start walking the dogs for long walks, build up my stamina and start doing 5K runs. I had plans. Since I can only walk slowly, and in pain using crutches, these races might not be for me right now. Still, I can still set goals for myself. I can set a walking goal. I can walk to the next house. I can walk four houses down. I can walk to the corner. All of this will strengthen my foot and ankle and leg. I may take all year to reach the corner, but that’s OK.

3. Continue to grow and move up the ladder at work.  I’m not working for a few reasons, one of which includes brain fog. However, I can try to work on the brain fog. I can try to read on a regular basis to give my mind some stimulation, instead of just binge-watching Netflix. I can play board games with my kids.

4.  Eat healthier. Yeah that one I can do, and should do to help take better care of myself. More fruits and veggies, less unhealthy comfort food, here I come. All of these goals will help me combat the depression that has hit me hard since getting the CRPS and dealing with the constant pain. It’s been a challenge, and I’ve had to make many adjustments. These resolutions are positive changes, and will hopefully help me keep a positive attitude. 2018, here I come!

What are your 2018 resolutions living with a chronic illness or pain?

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