CRPS UK - Living With Pain

Emma Kirby

Hello World,

I would just like to take a moment to introduce myself, my name is Emma and I have been invited by the lovely Admins of this page to write a guest blog for you all! I’m extremely honoured to be asked and hope you all enjoy reading it!

So, back to introducing myself: as I said before my name is Emma, I am a twenty-something year old woman, I have diagnosed myself as being a Disney addict and have been all my life, I have a massive sweet-tooth and I have had CRPS for over 10 years… It is that last little fact about me that has brought me here talking to you today. Over 10 years ago I broke my right foot at school, in my Maths class of all places (and they say education is good for you!), and since then have been struck down with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy as it was still known as then. I was very lucky, I had periods of remission in those first nine years, and spread to, and up into my right knee and left foot following another injury (I’m an extremely clumsy person as it so happens).

Sadly, in 2014 my legs flared up and have been relentless ever since, meaning I had to give up a job that I loved, and gained two extra legs in the form of my crutches. As you can imagine this made me very sad, I was in a lot of pain, I was confined to the house a lot of the time, I didn’t see my friends often and money, well let’s not go there! It wasn’t all so tragic though, I reignited my passion for art and I have drawn endless numbers of Disney characters (remember that addiction I spoke about?) and animals, I found a perfect distraction to my pain, it didn’t take it away in the slightest but my mind was diverted, even if only for a little while away to something else.

I thankfully have a very supportive family, who go out of their way to help me when I am struggling. I have also managed to find myself a Prince Charming! We met online in March of this year and haven’t looked back since! Mr B, as I call him on my blog, is an absolute star! I, as I am sure like a lot of other disabled people will agree with me, felt like ever obtaining a relationship was going to be extremely difficult, if not nigh on impossible, given all of the baggage that comes along with disability. Much to my own delight there were no such issues! He asked questions on what my disability was, how it affected me, but he wasn’t being nosey it was different, he was genuinely interested! I cannot thank him enough for all his support though, he holds me when I’m hurting, and wipes away my tears at 4am in the morning when I can’t sleep for the pain. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be my boyfriend, best friend, love of my life and rock!! I am blessed to be surrounded by people who whole heartedly support me, who understand the bad times and appreciate the good just as much as I do!

Back to why I’m here, I wanted to share a little something with you (with the exception of my life story above), that I’ve been mulling over in my mind for a little while. I saw a quote that said the following: “ The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination”, these words really resonated with me because I think they are very true, yet seems equally unfair because sometimes all the determination in the world doesn’t make a task or thing possible. Stick with me now, we are getting into deep thought waters here but I’ll try and wade back into the shallow end of the pool soon haha!! For instance, at the moment an impossible task for me would be to RUN in a race or even just walk completely unaided for extended periods of time. I am determined to do these things, and try my best everyday, but my determination alone will not make these things possible, which is where my point of it being unfair comes in. A person can have all the determination, but the task remains impossible. It takes a lot more than determination to make something happen, hard work and effort, time and patience, support, and acceptance all play a part in it to. I mention acceptance because we need to accept where we are at with our ability now, to enable us to move forward. What about you? Do you think that determination alone can make the impossible possible? Or do you think it takes a little more than that? As I said before I do think that the statement is true, but only to a degree, for instance because I was determined to attend my college Leaver’s Ball without crutches, I worked really hard, put a lot of effort into physiotherapy, I had support from friends and family, and I achieved what seemed impossible, I walked into my Leaver’s Ball unaided!

The dictionary defines determination as ‘firmness of purpose’, in my own words I would say it is how much you want to achieve something, and that will get you a long way to achieving it, but without all of those other factors then things remain just as a want.

How does this relate to CRPS you ask? We each face impossible tasks everyday, between us we overcome these things they say are impossible, if you want to define determination and achievement of the impossible in physical terms then look at somebody with CRPS!!! We get told each and everyday what it is we cannot do, what is impossible but not how to make it possible, that we achieve ourselves! So, if you’re ever having a bad day then take a minute to look at yourself in the mirror and look at how much that seemed impossible you have achieved. The impossible doesn’t always mean the big things in life either, it can just be getting out bed or having a shower. Be proud of yourself, and everything you do!

Thank you!

Emma Kirby November 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.