Who wants to return back from vacation in a wheelchair? In August of 2013, I was scheduled to fly to Fiji to spend 8 days abroad. On the day of arrival, I was injured crossing an intersection where I simply fell off a curb. The pain in my foot was so severe that I was screaming & swearing non-stop until someone came & picked me up off the ground. At the local clinic, I was told I had a sprained ankle. That ligaments had been torn. My foot was unrecognizable, and I wondered if the change in appearance was permanent. The diagnosis was wrong.
In the US, I spent 8 hours with a podiatrist & in the radiology department at the hospital. The podiatrist wrote a script of my assumed diagnosis, and sent me off to Radiology. The director of the department came out to meet me and told me that he believed that the diagnosis was wrong. He recommended a 2nd set of images. We determined my ligaments were not torn. I was given a script for crutches, and was happy to protect my foot & have freedom from the wheelchair.
While my doctor & I both thought crutches were a good idea, the crutches caused pain. I had to interrupt focusing on my foot to focus on being able to use crutches. I moved back to the wheelchair, and the pain, coldness, discoloration & atrophy were settling in. My physical therapist believed that I had Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). He was right.
I was sent to Dr. Gungor at Hospital for Special Surgery. I was at this point disabled & in the wheelchair. Dr. Gungor recognized CRPS in our first office appointment. Dr. Gungor became the man with the plan. Dr. Gungor said that we would need to do 3 lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks 3 weeks apart. He told me to stop reading my 2 credible health information sources which said that CRPS had no cure. Within 4 months of being released from work being 100% disabled, I was able to meet my goals. To be pain-free when walking, standing and running. You really can recover even when you absolutely cannot see the path that you are on for most of the way. Thank you Dr. Gungor!