Photo Challenge for CRPS Awareness, Day 18

A Day In My Life Photo Challenge for 30 Days Of RSD/CRPS Awareness, June 2013

Day 18 – A picture of your CRPS

This is the sort of challenge that would end up with many patients posting pictures of their CRPS-affected limbs during flare, but I find that just wouldn’t even begin to cover my CRPS issues. There is not much about me physically which would suggest a depiction of chronic ill-health. I could grimace at the camera though I suppose! 😉

A picture of my CRPS would mean many different aspects of the condition and its/my co-morbidities,.. the effects on me personally and my life practically, the losses, the insights… oh yes, insights… don’t for a moment think that having CRPS means that nothing good comes out of it. I mean, sure, it’s horrific. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy, (even if I had an enemy!), but if there’s one thing that living with a chronic illness gets you to do, it’s to appreciate the little things in life. To learn more about myself than perhaps I would have been forced to otherwise. Just how strong am I? Well, I’ve got a much better idea these days. How determined am I? Can I ever regain that childlike love of the little things? What is truly important in life? These things are paramount when living with a chronic illness.

So a ‘picture’ of my CRPS is not just darkness and loss, and it’s not some amazing epiphany either, it’s a balance of all things. A precarious balance at times, but a balance nonetheless. CRPS is part of my life in a foundational way, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is. A foundation is to be built upon. Admittedly this brings to my mind the snippet from Monty Python and the Holy Grail….

When I first came here, this was aaaall swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp…. So I built a second one…. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third…. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.”

Yeah. There’s something about having to build on a naff foundation that makes us strong! 😉

So here’s another creation of mine… my picture of my CRPS.

Yin and Yang representaion

Good ole Publisher helped me with this creation, plus my christmas pressie of the Xara photo and graphic designer program which allowed me to cut circles out of a couple of my photo’s and add them in too. I am disproportionately proud of the little circles of tablet and Tai Chi medal as a result, hehe.