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About this cause:"Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), as it was previously known, is an excruciating chronic, and complex multi-system disease of the autonomic nervous system (dysautonomia), and central nervous system (CNS). CRPS causes constant pain that is recorded as being as severe as finger amputation without anesthetic."
This chronic pain disorder is not uncommon, but it is grossly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Many who suffer from CRPS/RSD go years before receiving a correct diagnosis.
CRPS/RSD is almost always the result of physical trauma or injury. My case is quite different.
In 2007, I contracted a severe and rare blood infection. Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, misdiagnosed and provided the wrong medication for this infection, causing it and my 105+ fever to rage for weeks. It was not until the Department of Health stepped in that we were informed of the severity of the infection. But the damage was done; the infection put too much of a strain on my immune system and caused it to turn on itself. It was not until 2009, after organs had shut down and I had been reduced to barely 100 pounds that I was diagnosed with Lupus and several other autoimmune diseases. Less than a year later, the pain in my leg began. Once again, misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis caused the problem to spiral out of control, until Lupus's attack on the nerves in my leg resulted in a form of permanent nerve damage known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. CRPS/RSD was not diagnosed until mid-2010, after I had been resigned to the couch and a wheelchair.
Today, I rely on a cane. Compared to some with this disease, I am lucky. But I cannot walk in the grass. I cannot drive more than 20 minutes, and I cannot stand long enough to cook a meal without extreme pain and exhaustion. And, despite my diagnosis, most people I meet think that my cane is just an accessory and that my pain is faked for attention. Worse yet, most medical professionals think that I'm "just depressed," "just out for drugs," or "are just afraid it will hurt."
A cure would be miraculous. But today, what the sufferers of CRPS/RSD and their families need is respect. The first step is awareness.
My family and I are proud supporters of the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA), an international 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide support, education, and hope to all affected by the pain and disability of CRPS/RSD, while driving research to develop better treatments and a cure.
10% from every item purchased will be donated to RSDSA. Thank you for helping us put out the flames of RSD!