I am an Undergraduate Student who has Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and embraces the Vegan lifestyle. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a Chronic Neurological Condition that I hope and pray there will be a cure to one day. Until then I live my life to the fullest, embrassing the life the Good Lord has given me.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Friends

It is always hard to find a good friend. A friend who will stick by you when you need them the most. For each of us we have at least one or two people we can turn to when we need to talk or vent.

For me friendship is a precious thing. Many people can say that they are friends but don't really let the other person in emotionally. It is simply hard to do that and if one of the people betray that trust than a part of the friendship is essentially gone.

This is an important topic for me because I believe I have many friends, but only a few good ones. Unfortunately when you have a disability or illness no one wants to be friends with the person who is in pain all the time, takes medicine, etc.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finally the Weekend is Here

The last few days have been very busy for me. My mom is coming up tomorrow to drop somethings off and we will be spending some time together. Im looking forward to seeing her and going to see Lovely Bones which Ive wanted to see even before I came back to school. It will be nice to take the day off from studying but will be back at it tomorrow night.
Even though I didnt have class today, I stopped in to see my Chemistry Professor, he helped explain about Orbital Diagrams (eww...lol) in which electrons exist. Seriously why can't Chemistry be a little bit easier? I ventured out back into the freezing cold this evening for my first trip to Whole Foods. I got myself a wonderful salad full of greens and spinach with Soybeans, Green Pepper, Cucumber, and Walnuts topped with Balsamic Vinegar. The Balsamic Vinegar troubled my stomach a little but it calmed down once I took my stomach relaxing med. Im looking forward to my next meal from there.

Hope you enjoy the pictures from the last couple days!
My green tea in a personalized cup

The salad from Whole Foods...yum!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What is Health?

As stated in my Monday / Wednesday 1:00 Nursing Anatomy and Physiology class, What is Health? While the person who has Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Fibromyalga may have a dysfunction of their nervous system aren't they considered healthy? No one can exactly define health. A person may have several disorders or syndromes and live out their lives without many real complications.

With a person with RSD I do consider myself healthy. I have had to have medical intervention to help control my pain and still continue to take medication. I am at the weight my height is suppose to be at, I eat tons of veggies and fruits making sure I get sure I get what my body needs to stay afloat especially living in a dorm. Since I have gone complete vegetarian and I am trying to keep my stress level low I feel much more energetic and "healthy". My stomach does bother me a little but not as much as last semester, the less stress is helping.

I wanted to bring the topic up because I thought it was an interesting one. What do you think the definition of Health is?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Respect; To take notice of; to regard with special attention; to regard as worthy of special consideration; hence, to care for; to heed.

Living with RSD has helped teach me a lot about life. The biggest lesson it has taught me is that you have to respect yourself before you can respect others. It took me a while to accept myself for who I was and respect myself because of it. I had to accept the fact that I had this unrelenting pain and most of the time no one would understand what I was going through. I took that fact started realizing that no one really knows what the other person is going through. Another RSDer maybe able to empathize with another RSDer but their situations are not going to be exactly the same.

Once you are able to accept yourself and fully respect yourself it is easier for you to respect others. This is true when it comes to relationships, it makes it easier to accept that person for who they really are.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stress and How it Relates to Life

Stress can be very potent in someone's life. A little bit of stress here and there can build up to be a lot of stress for some people. Especially if the person already has a chronic condition the stress can worsen their condition.

For me I tend to get very stressed out. I like knowing I have some kind of control over the situation that I am in. I believe that once I got RSD I realized that I didn't have control over the pain I was feeling, the RSD did. Since than I have been trying to be in control and get control over the pain by taking medication and getting a SCS. Still I am in the habit of wanting things to go a certain way and if they don't, getting very stressed out over it. This has caused extra pain and now issues with my digestive system. I have noticed lately that my stomach hurts more when my body is stressed from lack of sleep or from being stressed out. This is simply because the digestive system shuts down during times of stress. I have also been avoiding certain foods that cause me to get overly sick.

I am hoping that I will be able to control the amount of stress that my body is able to take. So far one week into the semester so good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Im In a Mini-Flair

The last few days have been going well. Getting back into school and clearing the cobwebs out of my head has been nice. The only thing that has been a little tough on me is conditioning my right arm to start writing more than it did over break. Due to my RSD it gets flaired up a bit when I don't use it for one activity for a little while and all of a sudden I'm back at it. Making it a little worse it the fact that I cut my finger nail on my right thumb last night. During my shower the stand that hangs on the shower head fell down. Instead of it falling on me, my gut reaction was to grab it resulting in a razor cutting my nail down the middle. It hurts pretty bad so I have been trying to move it so the RSD doesn't get any worse.

Before my shower incident I had my Chemistry Class. My Professor Commented on the fact that I look much healthier than I did last semester which I took as a huge compliment. I dont have any classes on Fridays so tomorrow Im looking forward to sleeping in a little bit and studying. Tomorrow is going to be a nice relaxing day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting Back to Reality

IMannozzi and I Its nice to be back at NDC. It is nice to see the familiar
surroundings and friends who I haven't been able to see in over a month. Yesterday my new roommate and I got things settled in our room and got to know each other. I spent the rest of the evening catching up with friends and getting ready for today. My first class was Intermediate Algebra, not my favorite at all. At least I do know someone who went to my High School in the class. Him and I actually were on swim team together until he graduated. I saw him again last year at a party when he informed me that he was coming to NDC. I have another class tonight at 6. It is a Chemistry lab. I'm not looking forward to that one either but I know that it will help me reach my ultimate goal.

Thankfully everyone in this suite likes to stay warm like me :-) so Ive been doing ok pain wise. Its hard to get use to walking building to building once again especially in the cold.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Last Couple Days

In the last couple days my mom and I have been doing last minute errands before I go back to school. On Friday we rode down to NDC to take care of a few things. I was given permission to look at my new room and to start moving things from my former dorm room in there. To make things easier mom and I started moving things. We were there from about 4 to about 11:15 at night with about a 1 1/2 dinner break at one of our favorite restaurants near the college. We were able to get 98% of the items done with only the major things needed to be done (bed placed, rug moved, fridge moved). During our dinner break mom and I went to California Pizza Kitchen, a delicious high end salad-pizza restaurant. I ended up getting a nice Cesar Salad and Vegetarian Spaghetti.

I will be going back to school in the next few days. School doesnt start until Tuesday but I have the option of going back tomorrow. Im looking forward to seeing my friends who I havent been able to see over Winter Break.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Becoming a Pain Survivor

I help co-run a RSD Group on Facebook, when I came across a plea from a sister who's brother has RSD my heart went out to their family. It mostly reminded me of the start of my journey with this condition. I was scared, nervous, and didn't know what to expect.

Ive always been able to express how I feel both emotionally and physically. Thanks to a great friend who also has RSD, I was able to accept my new life and embrace it. I had to see a pain psychologist due to getting a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted. She re-assured me that I could become a nurse I would just need a few accommodations in the work force.

Over the years these tips have helped me become a pain survivor:

1. Find someone you trust that you can talk to, it can be a family member, friend, or therapist

2. Find time to relax and decompress from your day, pain is often worse at night so let those muscles start to relax

3. Find a hobby or start volunteering

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Manage Chronic Pain with Food

Since I last saw my Primary Doctor I have become stricter on my vegetarian diet and I am feeling better because of it. The more fruits and veggies I eat the better I feel both with my RSD and with my stomach issues. I have been having a hard time because of the cold, so Ive been trying to stay as warm as I can so that my body doesn't over react.

Yesterday after Church I made my mom and I a great vegetarian and filling lunch. I steamed some cucumbers and carrots with some salt and pepper. I then wrapped the vegetables in a tortilla wrap with a tad of Italian dressing. It was great and it left me wanting more. I love discovering new recipes and craving veggies instead of food that isn't healthy.

I came across an article that connects food and how it affects chronic pain. The article as talks about other remedies that can help relieve pain. Please check the article out. I am hoping to get more Omega 3's, Omega 6, and Omega 9 into my diet so that I can get the best anti-inflammatory affect that I can.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Distraction and Life

With a pain as severe as RSD it is helpful to come up ways to help become distracted from the pain. Every person who has Chronic Pain has their own techniques to distract themselves during the day. Over the years I have came up with a good number of things that helps keep my mind distracted when I am experiencing a good amount of pain.

One of my main distractions is school. Due to studying my mind is distracted and I am focused on something else instead of my pain. I also stay distracted by spending time with my friends. They help in ways that they don't even know. Another good distraction is my dog. I'm not home much but when I love spending time with her when I am.

Of course life isn't perfect and these distractions are not going to work for everyone. They dont work for me every time I have a painflair either. I hope that you all have distrations that work for you.

Please check out http://fightingagainstrsd.tripod.com/id25.html for ways other RSDers survive living with RSD.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This Is Me

Ive always been an upfront person. I will not disrespect people's opinions but will tell them what I am thinking. I guess you can say that I have a bit of my mom in me.

When my RSD came back full force at the age of 17 I lost a part of myself. I wasn't the athletic girl that I once was. I had to quite swim team halfway through the season because my foot was acting up too much. I could barely make it through practice without wanting to scream. When I got the RSD in my right arm I had to give up driving, get home tutored, and lost many friends. It became to the point in my senior year of high school that no one wanted to be near the "sick kid". Once I got my SCS I was elated because for me it meant freedome. I wasnt painfree but able to function enough to go to college.

Once I got to College and was living in a dorm I was able to find the true me. I was able to take time to accept my pain and get to really know what I wanted to do with my life. I believe I will forever have chronic pain. At the same time though I believe that I can make a difference in the amount of pain I experience by what I eat and simply how I view my life.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Having A Bit of Courage

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face we must do that which we think we cannot.

Eleanor Roosevelt
At least once in a person's life, a person has to dig within them and find some courage. With and RSDer we have to dig down and find that courage more often than the average person.
I have had to find that courage since I was 12. Since my diagnosis I have had to endure 9 nerve blocks, 2 Tunnled Epidural Catheters, a stay in a Rehab Hospital, a trial Spinal Cord Stimulator, and a permanent Spinal Cord Stimulator. If it wasn't for God and my family and friends giving me the courage I need to go through all of this then I dont know what I would do.
Im simply blessed for the life I live. Im blessed that I have access to fresh vegteables and have a wonderful Pain Management Dr who believes in me.
Where do you get your courage from? Is it from your friends and family or from other people who support you?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Food and Health

I recently discovered Kris Carr's website Crazy Sexy Life (CSL). I have considered myself a polo vegetarian since October of 2008 when I stopped eating beef. After I stopped eating beef I lost 20-30 pounds within a year. I would still sneak pepperoni or eat sausage not realizing the effects it was having on my body. I stopped eating anything that have beef in it as well and limited the amount of meat I consumed. In the summer of 2008 I discovered my love for organic yogurt. I never liked yogurt until I tried it. Many times for breakfast I will cut up an apple and mix it with the french vanilla flavored yogurt.

I believe that food and health are connected. Kris Carr believes the same thing. She has taken a holistic approach to her health. I am hoping in this upcoming year that I will be able to follow by example. So far I am having fun finding recipes that I like and putting the food together. I love all the colors of the food and how I am feeling after I eat. I am hoping I can keep it up.