When I was diagnosed with CRPS, I had no idea what it was. I actually started laughing in the doctor’s office, because I thought he was talking about some form of arthritis. The doctor immediately stopped me and said, “This is quite serious.” My fool’s relief slipped through my fingers, and was soon replaced with panic. The next several months would become a blur of pain, medications, physical therapy, nerve blocks, and appointments. But what I never expected to hit me was grief.
Before CRPS, I was an adventurous young writer that traveled abroad on a whim and published books. I was building the life I’d always wanted for myself. Then, in the span of a few short months, everything I’d worked for came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t hold a pen. I couldn’t type. I couldn’t even open a tea bag. Grief swallowed me whole, and with it came the question I couldn’t stop asking myself…what had I done to deserve this kind of punishment? This question would stay with me for quite some time.
I’ve contemplated the whys of CRPS. The endless wondering of what my life would be like if I had never been diagnosed. I’d like to think there is a purpose to all this, but sometimes in life, bad things happen. Simple as that. Sometimes life isn’t what you expect it to be, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a beautiful adventure. Being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition doesn’t have to spell out the end. There is more out there to be discovered and enjoyed, but it must be a choice. You have to choose to live, not just exist. Hope is a powerful thing. Hope for better treatments, medications, and maybe even one day a cure. Hope is what keeps me going, keeps me fighting, and keeps me determined to spread awareness. Because one day could be sooner than you think.
Rebekah Berge, Another CRPS Warrior and Author