Monday, October 29, 2012

There Was This One Time...

....when my doctor told me not to Google CRPS. He was quite adamant. 

So I didn't. And, I told other people now to (or at least not to tell me anything about it) You can read about that day here

I started physical therapy. I went to the pain doctor. I gathered my own information along the way. I read my body. I learned A TON from Jess, but I stayed away from the dreaded Internet.

Until....this one time.... about two weeks ago when I decided that it was alright. I could Google it, and I'd be just fine.

You know what I learned? Doc was right. He was so wise in telling me not to Google it right away. I was already freaked out enough with my diagnosis, and reading about long term care, support groups, and how to talk to your friends and family about chronic pain would have most likely put me over the edge.

I had no idea at the time what I was getting into--and in this particular case, I think that was best. I needed to have a fighting spirit. I needed to be positive. I needed to be encouraged. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. 

So, do I regret Googling CRPS? Nope. It's all about the timing. I feel like I've learned so much at this point, and I understand what's going on in my body so much more, so I was pretty sure that reading something on the internet would not freak me out.

I actually found it quite interesting. I read many different sites. And no, I didn't believe everything I read. I was able to read the information through the eyes of my physical therapist who studied CRPS extensively, my pain doc who just returned from an international convention on CRPS, and of course, through my own eyes and experience.

One thing that popped up on many different sites that I hadn't heard before is that CRPS can change the pattern of nail and hair growth in the affected area.


I had just noticed days before my Google-fest that the hair on my foot had started to grow in the opposite direction. I thought it quite strange at the time, but I figured it was CRPS-related, as most of my strange symptoms are. Strangeness confirmed. No big deal.

However, just last week, the area to the right of my big toenail started to hurt like crazy (more than normal) and turn a lovely shade of red/purple (more than normal). Ingrown toenail? Yup. Joy to the world. 

I went in to see the foot doc this morning--quite nervous I might add--completely unsure of how my foot would react to him "fixing" this little problem.

He "froze" the area--I felt like I had just stuck my foot in Antarctica. He put two extremely long shots into my toe--it stung and bled. He waited a bit and started cutting. Guess what? WACKO nerves were not numb! Another shot. More waiting. Slightly more freak out.

I closed my eyes and talked to him about my weekend. Fortunately it didn't take very long and I was ingrown-toenail-free.

I felt a bit woozy after (typical CRPS reaction), but I made it out to my car and eventually home.

I sat and waited for the numbness to wear off, hoping that the foot wouldn't completely freak out.

About an hour later, I was told to soak it in lukewarm water with Epsom salt. I knew the lukewarm part wasn't happening--this foot can't handle change in temperature--so I used room temp water. still freaked! Not surprising considering the trauma it endured earlier in the morning.

Poor little wacko footsy. 

I put it up and stayed away from it. I'm glad to say that it's much calmer now.

I just pray that this "change of nail growth" CRPS crap doesn't lead to another in-grown nail. But, at least I'd know now what to expect. Live and learn, right?

So, now if you're still interested in CRPS and you'd like to Google it, I give you my permission. :) Just don't believe everything you read--feel free to ask me whatever you'd like.

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