My daughter, Hailey, has RSD/CRPS. She was diagnosed after removing a screw in her ankle from a fall while rock climbing. The screw was to stay in her ankle for a full year. After 7 months, it was unbearable for Hailey to keep it in. At this time the surgeons thought it was because the screw may have been rubbing against her bone every time her ankle moved. The decision was made to remove it.
When Hailey came home from her surgery that removed the screw, her ankle swelled larger then a grapefruit, the top of her foot and ankle had discoloring, and lesions formed. We chalked up the swelling from the surgery, the discoloration we thought were just bruising, but the lesions confused us. They looked like a scar from deep cuts. For three straight days, Hailey did not sleep because the pain was so severe. We were told that removing appliances is a lot more painful then placing them. The pain medication did not even come close to taking the pain away.
When she went in for a follow up appointment, everything looked good as to where the screw was concerned. The surgeon thought the discoloring was bruising, and the lesions can be caused from the swelling she incurred. She was released to play sports as soon as she felt she could.
A couple weeks after her follow up appointment, she started to have painful tingling in her ankle and on top of her foot. We thought that maybe when the screw was removed, a nerve may have been touched and may have needed more time to heal. Hailey continued to play soccer during this time.
The painful tingling continued and was getting worse each day. We returned to the surgeon’s office to have this checked. At that time, we were told Hailey had RSD. Up until that moment we had never heard of RSD. After he explained what it was, we knew we had a long road ahead of us.
Because RSD takes away mobility in the muscles, Hailey started physical therapy that week for a full month, three times a week. As the weeks went by, the pain and tingling were getting worse. Now sharp pains were starting, too.
The decision was made to switch to aqua therapy so she wouldn’t have to bare her body weight while doing the exercises. She did this for a few weeks. It helped keep her muscles mobile. That is it.
Back to the surgeons office we went again. This time Hailey was referred to a pain specialist and, of course, was given prescriptions for the pain. Which, since RSD patients can’t absorb medications, did not help with the pain she was having, but would knock her out cold for a bit.
By this time, Hailey was losing her functions. We homeschooled Hailey and had to stop doing school work half way through the year. She didn’t sleep any longer and if she was able to fall asleep, she would wake up from the pain. When we looked at her eyes, they were glazed over. At this time her pain level was 9-10 and Hailey has a very high pain threshold.
One day at the grocery store, I turned to go down the freezer aisle and Hailey stopped cold in her tracks. She told me the cold caused her pain to escalate.
She was to the point that she couldn’t wear socks or shoes because of the pain. This is when she had to stop playing soccer.
The pain med specialist thought Hailey should try blocks that are injected into your spine, in hopes it would calm her nervous system. We were told that it can work and last for a few hours, but the next time it would be longer and longer that the blocks would give her relief and hopefully in time get her into remission.
So, we started with the blocks. She did one block a week for four weeks. The first one did nothing. The second nothing, the third worked for 30 hours and gave Hailey enough relief for her join her soccer team at a tournament and even play. But during the middle of the game, the block wore off and almost instantly the pain returned and Hailey was on the sideline again. After the fourth block, Hailey woke up numb and tingling on her left side. They thought she had a stroke. That was the last block she had.
I noticed each time Hailey went to have her blocks done, all of the other patients that had blocks, would go in and as they were coming back to the recovery room were awake and talking and leave within 30 minutes after having their blocks. Not Hailey. It took her hours to recover and wake up after each block. Each time she had blocks done was an entire day. We would get there at 10:00 am and wouldn’t leave till after 4:00 pm. RSD does that to you. Your body can’t recover from anything at a normal pace.
This is where InterX and Janice come into the picture.
After they thought Hailey had a stroke, we refused to have anymore blocks done!
Our surgeon told us about Janice and the great outcomes she has had with RSD patients and other ailments. It was worth the try. Our hope was renewed!
We made an appointment and from the minute we met Janice, we knew Hailey would be in remission. Hailey started treatments. When Hailey started, her foot and ankle were at their worst. When she walked, her foot dragged behind her. She couldn’t have any weight on it. To go up or down the stairs, she would have to use the rails as a crutch. She hardly spoke because of the pain just took everything out of her. Sleep was now a thing of the past. She was constantly cold. And of course, nobody was allowed to touch her foot and ankle. The pain to have anything touch her was unbearable. Her pain level was now a constant 9-10.
After about a month of treatments, I noticed something that isn’t a big deal to most people, but for us was a huge milestone. Hailey went down the small flight of stairs outside of the office without holding onto the railing! And from that day on, our hope and faith were renewed over and over. Patients don’t notice the little changes. They are there, though. Look closely!
Eventually, Hailey’s foot and ankle were to the point that she could tolerate treatment directly on them. Her foot stopped dragging and her walking got better. Janice, Annette, and myself would watch her walk down the hallway, not perfectly, but it was quite obvious she was on her way to remission. Amazing, considering a couple of months before that, she couldn’t walk without limping and dragging that foot!
She started doing schoolwork again. She started off slowly, but ended the year ahead!!! Although she was still cold most of the time, she was able to walk down the freezer aisle again.
Eventually, all of her function returned. From the function that was the newest to the function that was the oldest. Unfortunately, that was sleep. But, as time passed, she became a sleeper again!!
Six months after starting InterX treatment, Hailey was released and ready to take on the world again. Her pain level was a 3. She was running, eating, studying, and yes, sleeping!
She continued to treat herself at home and within 4-6 weeks after being released, was in COMPLETE remission and playing soccer!
Hailey is a very aggressive player. We have to watch her all time and pray she doesn’t get hurt. It is always in the back of our minds all that she had to endure. Since she has been in remission, she has injured herself and her RSD showed its ugly face again, but we get her in to the office and she gets a few treatments and is on her way again, in full remission. She will always have these small setbacks, but will never have to be as bad off as she was before starting InterX treatments.
Before we met Janice, Annette and Julie, we had no hope for Hailey’s recovery. We ran out of options. I thank God everyday for these three wonderful people who He sent us to.
I’m not going to lie. It can be a long process. But you can be helped here!
During Hailey’s ordeal, I always thought three things….
- Hope – I always had hope she would get into remission
- Faith – I had faith in God and that this treatment would work
- Patience – I am not a very patient person, but trust me, you have to have patience! It can feel like forever, but you will get there!! I have Hope and Faith for you!