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My New Year's Resolution as a CRPS Patient

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Not long ago, I went on a short trip to visit a dear friend in the D.C. area, and this was part of a pact to myself which I am planning on continuing into the new year. This resolution is to take more risks, and to have no fear! You see, traveling, like many other activities I used to do before a spinal cord injury and subsequent diagnosis of CRPS/RSD (among other chronic illnesses), changed my life forever, is very difficult and exacerbating for my medical situation. These extra “flare-inducing” activities I rarely do or simply don’t do at all.

When it comes right down to it, those of us who live with chronic illnesses and pain have to plan our lives around our medical situations. In fact, every decision must be made with our medical situations in mind – considerations such as:

What is the weather going to be? What do I need to bring? How long will I be away from home, including travel time? Who is driving? How far is it? Where is the nearest exit when I’m there? Who will I have to burden if I need to leave early or lie down? What is the distance I will have to walk? Honestly, it never ends…

When I do any activity, large or small, it requires preparation beforehand and rest/recuperation afterwards. Just a simple trip to the grocery store or putting on makeup can send my pain and symptoms into a tailspin! Since everywhere I go and everything I do has a physical cost, why am I holding myself back from doing things I enjoy, just because of the fear of them causing me extra difficulty, flares or exacerbation?

So there it is – my New Year’s resolution is to take more risks, to have no fear! No, I’m not talking about climbing Mt. Everest or jumping out of an airplane (although the latter sounds quite fun)! I’m just simply talking about having more fun – saying yes more than no and not worrying so much about the repercussions of my actions. If I incur more pain or exacerbation of symptoms, which I’m sure I sometimes will, at least I had fun while doing it! My medical situation has stolen enough from me, and I’m tired of letting it steal my fun too. Happy New Year!

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Photo via phive2015 on Getty Images

Originally published: December 28, 2017
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