Life as an Extreme Sport

CRPS Update

And finally, the last in my spate of early morning/can’t sleep updates: I apologize for not updating as frequently as normal. I typically try to update once a day, for two reasons: to dust off the cobwebs in my brain and become more comfortable writing daily, in preparation for writing my thesis, and because I actually enjoy having a written record of life/school (the two are so much the same at this point). (There is also the side reason that Kanna suggested a while back, in that I use this to work out my feelings on life, specific people, and the idea of leaving Seattle for graduate work.) Given all that, then, my lack of updating is a bit disappointing, but justified.

For those just tuning in, I have a chronic pain problem called chronic regional pain syndrome (descriptive, that). Do you know that feeling you get when you hit your elbow/funny bone really hard? That sharp, shooting pain that races up and down your arm for a moment before the tingling sets in? That sharp pain is what it feels like, 24/7, in my right arm, from fingertips to shoulder, unless I control it with medicine. The tingling feeling is often thrown in on top of it, just to mix it all up.

Sadly, and somewhat frustratingly, CRPS can spread when you injure yourself in other parts of your body, and it did just that, moving in to my left wrist and hand post-December badness. This was not entirely unexpected, but it still sucks.

Anyhow, I stopped being stubborn and changed and upped my medications, and I’m doing much better. But one of the side effects I sort of forgot about, a side effect of the CRPS and not the medications, is that sometimes my arms don’t feel like they belong to my body. It’s the oddest dissociated feeling; I’ll be sitting on the couch or in class with my hands folded in front of me, and it will occur to me that I can’t really feel them, or that I feel my fingers touching my thumb through a very long distance, which is the best way I have to describe it. Like there is miles of saran wrap between my fingers, or that there are simply these odd and sort of fleshy appendages attached to me.

It comes and goes, sometimes worse and other times barely noticable. Like, right now, I feel like they mostly belong to me, but there is this odd numbness from the elbows down on both sides, as if someone had injected lidocaine into me without my noticing. It’s a vaguely unpleasant thing, to feel like bits of my body aren’t really mine – body dismorphism in its mildest form.

I’m having a surgical procedure done on March 14th, something called a stellate ganglion nerve block, and I hope that one of the effects of it will be the return of my arms to me.


  1. Thanks. 🙂 Right now it looks like I’m okay for staying here, but I want to keep you open as a back-up til the last possible minute, just because…I have a hard time trusting, I suppose.

  2. I just (8weeks ago today) had my ganglion removed from my left wrist, I had been ignoring it for 20yrs. It would come and go. I had one on right wrist but it went away. But the left this year got worse and worse, and it was time to do something when could hardley bend my wrist and it pained all the time.
    It is still hurting after 8 weeks , and I can’t load my wrist at all, but the movement is better.
    You can see my story at

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