Help Me Stop The Pain and Fight The Flame!

Pain is a bitch.

There is a chronic pain condition that’s more painful than un-prepared childbirth:

I imagine this is what childbirth feels like.

I imagine that this is what childbirth feels like.

More painful than the amputation of a digit:

Google image search does not always help.

Google image search does not always help.

This disease is called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD. And it hurts. A lot. My wife was diagnosed with the disease almost a decade ago. It started in her left wrist, and spread from there. She can’t work, but does the best she can, when she can. The pain flare-ups are unpredictable and last from a few minutes to several hours. The pain sensation ranges from feeling like a hot iron, to the sensation that your arm is being run over by an 18-wheeler, to frostbite in lava.

Yes, freezing, flaming skin, and grinding bones.

As an outsider, it’s impossible to imagine what it’s like. But I can give you a quick quasi-medical description.

Because I am a doctor as much as this guy is a doctor.

Because I am a doctor as much as this guy is a doctor.

You know that game Telephone? Imagine that game between your skin, your nerves, and your brain:

  • Your skin feels something as faint as a feather or even goosebumps from change in temperature.
  • Your nerves send the message to your brain
  • Somehow the nerves assume your brain didn’t get the message.
  • So they repeat the message.
  • Over and over.

Pretty soon, your brain has a stack of missed messages, and instead of saying “Okay I got it nerves, thanks, shut up now,” it combines all of these messages and freaks out.

This is what phone messages used to look like kids.

This is what phone messages used to look like kids.

The brain goes into panic mode: it hits the “OUCH!” alarm so you feel the pain, and sometimes it can try to protect the limb by swelling that area to prevent further damage, or even slowing blood flow to ensure you don’t leak anymore blood.

In my opinion, the worst thing your brain can do is, over time, kill your self-worth.

Sort of like a drug intervention for somebody who’s not taking drugs: “Hey, we’re all here because we think you’re throwing your life away, you’ve become worthless because you keep doing this destructive behavior, and let’s be honest, you’ll never get better. You should give up if you’re not going to stop this nonsense.”

Googled "Intervention" got "How bout a pretty bird?"

Googled “Intervention” got “How bout a pretty bird?” instead.

IT IS A DEADLY DISEASE.

The number one cause of death for people with this disease? Suicide.

WE NEED A CURE.

There is no cure. There are a wide array of treatments, and like most chronic pain conditions, results SERIOUSLY vary from person to person, because we’re all bright unique snowflakes.

Monday, November 2nd is COLOR THE WORLD ORANGE DAY. Major cities are proclaiming 11/2 “Color The World Orange Day.” Niagara Falls is going to shine orange lights on the waterfall, buildings in NYC are going to light up with orange lights, all to help raise awareness.

And that’s incredible. But it’s not enough.

We Need Money.

On 11/1, my wife and I are participating in a 5K run/walk, called FIGHT THE FLAME.

You can help by donating on behalf of our team. (Clicky click click). Select your donation amount, and BE SURE to select TEAM DIANNA from the drop down menu, and that’s it.

Any amount helps, (although it appears that $20 is the minimum. That’s one ticket to a 3D movie. That’s a KFC dinner. It’s a step towards a cure.)

I rarely ask for much. But this is important to me, and 200,000 Americans who need relief.

I could go on and on about this horrible condition, but I try to keep it light here.

Next week, I’ll talk about clowns. OH I WILL YOU JUST BELIEVE ME.