Thursday, August 11, 2011

The results from the pain specialist.....

These are the questions ACC wanted to know.....

1) What is the diagnosis?
There is no doubt we are talking about CRPS, that has affected her left upper limb. This is at the moment localised but does not show the tendency to a quick disappearance. 

2) What is the prognosis?
CRPS can burn out in many patients between 2-6 months. However we are now at the 3+ month mark with the pain getting worse and the function not improving rapidly. As such I do not believe that a miracle is waiting around the next corner. Her prognosis is guarded. 

3) In your opinion what would the timeframe be for a return to work?
The timeframe for a full recovery is impossible to determine. It is vey unlikely that Jackie will retain 100% of her pre injury function. The only way that this would be possible is that her CRPS indeed burns out, something that is regrettably unlikely in her case. I believe it to be important to supply Jackie with the appropriate management options, both pharmacologically and non-pharmacologically to be able to manage the CRPS over the months and years to come. To be very clear , we are way beyond a simple pain caused by the healing of the fracture.  The fracture as a direct result of the injury has resulted in the development of CRPS and the treatment efforts need to be focussed on managing this new medical problem. The surgeon's opinion with regards to an expected speedy recovery was based on the underlying orthopedic problem but the development of CRPS has completely changed the outlook in Jackie's case.

That is only a small part of the letter..... but the important part for ACC. What knocked me was the part where he says about managing it over the MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME. That hit me like a ton of bricks that I am going to be living with it for a very long time if not the rest of my life. As I do know that if it does not go into remission in the first 6 months then you have it forever..... Many people end up on crutches and wheelchairs from CRPS.

I have just listed my bike on Trade Me, as it is not worth the risk with another injury, as I know any injury from now on can make things worse......

ACC are paying me to go to the gym, so tomorrow I am meeting the Physio there, I was hoping to go to Contours, but because I need a pool they are sending me to GOLDS GYM where I was before. At this stage it is for 1 month but we are sure it will be for many months. As movement is the best thing I can do to stop it spreading to my entire body. 

As for work have no idea what will happen there, but we know it is a long way down the line..... if at all. 

Right now I am trying to stay positive, but I also have to be realistic and know that my life will never be the same again. 

And on that note I better have a shower and get to my Hand Therapist and Occupational Therapist. 


  1. As much as it sucks, at least you have some answers & ACC have to come to the party now.

    Fingers crossed it goes into remission.

    Big Hugs :-)

  2. that sounds awful and the time frames unimaginable, AT the very least ACC has had to swallow humble pie.

  3. I had never heard of CRPS before it happened to you. It really does sound awful.
    I hope you don't have it forever mate.