Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Systemic Complications of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome": What You Always Wanted to Know...

courtesy of YouTube channel TheDrexelInterview

Robert J. Schwartzman, M.D -- recently retired from his post as Chair of Neurology at Drexel -- published an article last July that will be a gift, I think, to most CRPS patients who deal primarily with an internist as their Primary Care Physician, or whose care is spread out among local specialists.

While I have known for several years that many physical and mental problems seemingly unrelated to CRPS, in its most restricted and precise understanding, were indeed related, I don't have the knowledge base to explain what I know intuitively.  I've known there was a link between CRPS and the way my adrenal insufficiency presents itself.  Indeed, and without hubris (over such as this?!), I think the fact that I "contracted" CRPS while literally in ICU with an Addisonian Crisis had a profound impact on the eventual severity of my disease -- and the almost complete failure of the HPA axis.  There have been recent really bizarre changes in my red blood cells that I could theorize were due to tissue hypoxia but could never find the words or bravery to vocalize.

Well, please, if you have CRPS and an understanding and willing PCP -- like my fabulous go-to-guy -- send them the link to this article, published in its entirety in the research library maintained by  Most of this stuff applies to those of us with longstanding CRPS -- you know, the sexy "intractable" sorts.  It goes a long way to explaining the systemic extensions of the syndrome's influence.

Circulating the article also quells an annoying tendency that I've begun to notice, which is the pronouncement by health care professionals who personify "idiots" -- in lieu of investigating systemic aberrations, related to CRPS or not, they wave their hands and say, "It's probably due to that CRPS thing." Yes, the law allows you to sucker punch these purported professionals and to not be charged with assault.

Really.  It does.

Unless you've decided to not overly investigate health changes that aren't life-threatening, a stance I adopted last December/January, it may be helpful to your overall health to understand the mechanisms of change at work in your body.  And then there is that possibility that all changes are not magically subsumed under the rubrique of CRPS!.  Me, I am getting a DNR tattoo, have the POLST paperwork being prepared, and no longer pray for any reason beyond the intercessionary.

Really.  But that's just my usual cheerful way!

So long as CRPS remains an orphan disease, the data that is collected will simply be part of an imaginary perverse Library of Babel à la Borges.  But perhaps there will be a systematized collection of chart data one day -- certainly, Dr. Schwartzman could not have written this article without such hard work going on in his environs, at least.  You could be a part of that important project and help change the rather grim trajectory of long-term CRPS that now exists.

Really.  It could happen.

Enough of my silly stuff, then.  What's important is that you get this article into the hands of any generalist who is treating your CRPS, as well as into the hands of anyone highly (overly?) specialized, as well, so that from their tree they may view your forest.

TITLE: Systemic Complications of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 
AUTHOR:  Robert J. Schwartzman, M.D
Department of Neurology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
JOURNAL:  Neuroscience & Medicine, 2012,  doi:10.4236/nm.2012.
***** Published Online *** 2012 (

Available for .pdf download at  CLICK HERE

© 2013 L. Ryan

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