Hi everybody, I am new to this forum and would just like to ask a few questions.
I am a 53 year old female and in July I broke my leg/ankle in 3 places and had surgery to insert plates and screws to put everything back in its rightful place! The healing process was going exceptionally well....until I was recently diagnosed with CRPS. I have spent many hours researching this insidious condition and (I've got to admit) am now absolutely terrified. No wonder my GP didn't take my ignorant "I will adopt a great Positive Mental Attitude to overcome my pain" seriously.
So far I am fortunate that my only symptoms are a change of colour/temperature of my foot, edema and mild to moderate pain along both sides of my feet, most toes and the ball of my foot making walking a challenge.
My questions are just how quickly and by how much is my pain likely to worsen? Does everyone suffer the same continuous and most horrendous/worse pain they have ever, ever experienced? Do you find yourselves screaming out loud with the pain most of the time? That is the impression I am getting from the vast majority of posters on CRPS forums. I am now (selfishly) scared for me as I'm a real 'woose' when I am in pain. 10 years ago I broke my back in three places and spent 9 months with chronic pain which was only just managed by the use of Fentanyl patches. Days were spent in bed just letting wave upon wave of pain wash over me. Without meaning to be condescending, I truly admire how brave and stoic you all are in your very long term battle. Now that I am about to join your 'club', I am going to have to learn to live with this condition (as do you) for the rest of my life.
Matters are further complicated by the fact I am just about to return to the Middle East (UAE) at the end of next week in time for the start of the new school term (my hubby is a teacher there) and will have to endure an 8 hour flight in economy class. Like many, travelling business class is not an option for us. My orthopaedic surgeon tells me I am fit to fly but, in the same breath, declares that I will be in the most agonising pain....ever. WTH? How come I'm 'fit to fly' then? THEN he refuses to write me an 'unfit' to fly letter.... argggh!
I absolutely have to fly back as we don't have a home in the UK and I really need the support of my hubby. Leaving the UAE to return to live in the UK is not an option for us because he is tied into a (cannot be broken) 3 year contract with another 18 months to go so basically we're stuck over there until then. Does anybody know of anyone one who lives in the UAE or other regions of the Middle East who is either living with CRPS or else has to endure chronic pain? The UAE is a country where even codeine is illegal and other opiates are strictly limited to inpatients only so you can imagine my anxiety about returning. Neither do there appear to be any CRPS specialists let alone the 3 disipline approach i.e. pain management/physio/psychotherapy.
Does anybody have any experience of flying long-haul with CRPS? Was it as painful as my orthopaedic surgeon stated? What measures did to take to ensure the journey was as comfortable as possible?
Please excuse the 'essay' but I really have a lot to ask and just want to give as much info as possible. Thank you for your patience and for hearing me out!