THIS IS MY STORY . . .

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Apr 3, 2012
The Lord is my strength and my shield;in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;my heart exults,and with my song I give thanks to Him.-Psalm 28:7About two weeks ago, I received a needed varicella vaccine in my right upper arm because I didn't really think it would cause a CRPS flare-up (usually, CRPS starts in a hand or foot).  Well, it did just what I thought wouldn't happen...from shoulder to elbow, my arm has now been hurting, aching, burning, and throbbing.  When I was first diagnosed with CRPS in my right foot back in March 2011, it never entered my mind that I would later have [...]
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Mar 27, 2012
Hey, friends! :)It's time for a new update!  About two weeks ago, I saw my pain management dr.  It went well.  I learned something new about him. ;)  He saw me reading Wuthering Heights, so he told me he read that when he took Advanced Placement English in the ol' days.  Haha! :D  He's the first guy I know who's read a book like that.  On a more a serious note, I'm to stay at 50 mg of nortriptyline and not increase for now because I've been experiencing something called orthostatic hypotension.  He also referred me to OHSU rheumatology because my hand [...]
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Mar 14, 2012
"Weeping may tarry for the night,but joy comes with the morning."Psalm 30:5There have been days when I would cry great tears on my pillow at night in the darkness, not wanting anyone to see.  From those past times, I would ask God, "Why is this happening?  Why me?  Why do I have to be the one with an uncommon disease?  Why is CRPS such a difficult condition to treat?"  And deep down inside, I would hear the Lord say to me, "You don't need to know 'why.'  Just trust Me."  It's been almost 2 years since this whole journey started.  And today is a [...]
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Mar 12, 2012
I just finished writing in my journal tonight and thought I'd share with you my entry because today was my "March 11th Day":Today marks the one year anniversary of the cortisone shot that I had in the bottom of my right foot.  Those were hard days after I had that procedure.  The unrelenting pain was horrible.  And yet...I see God's providence throughout it all.  If I didn't get that shot, I probably would still be tip-toeing on my right foot, wondering why I still have lingering foot pain 8 months after my hemangioma surgery.  So God brought me to two OHSU [...]
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Mar 1, 2012
It's been over two weeks since I last posted because life has been busy!  I'm still trying to get used to this new medication I've been taking.  It makes me sleepy, my mouth gets so dry, and if I get up too fast from sitting, I feel lightheaded.  But, it has been helping the burning pain in my arm which is a praise. :)  So I guess taking the med is a win-lose situation. ;)  I'm still going strong with therapy, and for the past month or so, it's been extra tough---1. because it's painful  2. because I realize just how weak I am strength-wise  3. [...]
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Feb 13, 2012
"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One holding his hand." ~Psalm 37:23-24After going through a pretty difficult week last week, one of my friends shared this section of Scripture with me.  Through her, God spoke to my heart.  After reading the passage, I knew right then that it was from the Lord.  Read these two verses again.  Ponder it.  Don't they fill you with peace? :)  As I thought about it deeply, one of the things I learned is that it's a [...]
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Feb 6, 2012
Wow!  I usually try to post once a week, but last week was just plain busy that I didn't get a chance to.  So, to update everyone on what's going on, here's what happened last week:On Monday, January 30th, I had my third stellate ganglion block.  When I arrived at the CPC, excitement was running through my veins!  My doctors told me they were going to try a new approach with this block (and the funny thing is, my pain dr. didn't tell me till after the procedure that he never did it this way before on anyone else!  He made this up himself, and I was their guinea [...]
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Jan 27, 2012
   I love to run. :)  Yes, I can't run long distances yet...  But whether it's running to the mailbox at the end of our driveway, running from a restaurant to our parked car, running up our long flight of stairs two steps at a time, or running to our couch to read my Bible or a good book, it fills me with PLEASURE! :)  You may think, "What's so fun about running a little?"  Well, it's because I was on crutches for 6+ months last year!   Before I had my SCS implanted, I went through grueling months of physical therapy, "learning" how to walk [...]
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Jan 19, 2012
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop failsand the fields produce no food,though there are no sheep in the penand no cattle in the stalls,yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will be joyful in God my Savior.The Sovereign Lord is my strength.~Habakkuk 3:17-19As I reflected on Habakkuk's words, I thought about how they relate to me.  Not in the sense of there being no grapes on the vines or sheep in the pen, but more like the following ways:Though it's almost been a year since I was diagnosed with CRPS in my footand I'm [...]
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Jan 11, 2012
Many people ask me what I do at OHSU occupational hand therapy, so I will tell you here. :)  Occupational therapists are very similar to physical therapists, but they also focus on fine-motor skills and desensitization.  Here are some examples:Usually at the beginning of my treatment appointment, I stick my affected left arm in this machine that blows out warm air and dried, ground corn husks as a way of desensitizing my nervous system.  Pretty cool. :)I'm a violinist, but I haven't been able to play for two months now.  So, one time, my OT spread thera-putty on this [...]
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