Why don’t I wear shoes?
My family and I were in a car accident in 1995. As a result of injuries sustained in that accident I had ankle surgery in 1997 and I developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS). RSDS is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
RSDS/CRPS is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by:
- severe burning pain
- pathological changes in bone and skin
- excessive sweating
- tissue swelling
- extreme sensitivity to touch
Clients often comment that my shoes are untied or that I am not wearing any. I am not being lazy or sloppy, but rather I often take off my shoes in the office because of my pain levels. Socks and shoes are extremely irritating to my left foot. I only wear cashmere or all cotton socks and one type of shoe. My pain levels vary but for over 20 years, I have rarely lived without pain.
Right now researchers are working what causes RSDS/CRPS with an eye on possible cures. Over the years, I have tried various medications, outpatient lumbar blocks, inpatient intravenous drips, physical therapy, acupuncture and biofeedback. Unlike so many others who become permanently disabled, I manage my pain without medication and continue to work.
I am a founding member of the board of trustees for Living with RSDS Inc., a non-profit support group whose goal is to support, educate, and inform, those persons afflicted with RSDS/CRPS, their families, friends, co-workers, and the medical community treating RSDS, about the importance of early diagnosis and the suffering this syndrome brings to all involved. I am on the Executive Board and Board of Directors of the national organization, RSDSA, who fund research and are committed to bringing awareness of the condition.
Please check out the following website if you are interesting in learning more about RSDS/CRPS