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.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Being an Optomist

There are many factors that affect how a person responds to treatment when they have a chronic condition. Attitude is one of the major factors that comes up. With RSD it is hard to exactly be "positive" but having a glass half full type of attitude is going to be more helpful then a glass half empty type of attitude.

When my RSD came back at 17, I had to get home tutored because my pain was so bad. I literally thought my life was over especially since I hardly had a social life and I was in the most horrific pain. I knew if I wanted to turn my life around I need to do it myself. My friend and I would try to find one thing that entertained us everyday. We would make sure that these things were positive and would put a smile on our faces. I started developing a different attitude about life and about my RSD. I actually didn't hate my RSD, I accepted it. When I would go in for treatments I would make sure I had my sister paint my toenails a hot pink, my signature color. The Dr's and nurses loved the fact the my toenails were pink and could always identify me by that. I would go into procedures or surgery smiling knowing that this could be the procedure or surgery that could be the one that provided me with the relief I needed, thankfully my SCS did it.

Now that I am in college and around a diverse group of people I can see how being an optimist helps with not only chronic illnesses but also life in general. I help co-run a group on Facebook called RSD aka Really Sucks Dystrophy. I love helping co-run the group. I have actually made some of my best RSDer friends from the group. Ive noticed though that people's attitude's about their RSD are reflected on how others feel about their disease. This was actually mentioned in a NY Times article that if the group's attitude is negative then the members attitudes in the group is most likely going to be negative the same goes for the positive side.

I know RSD isnt the easiest disease to live with but we can have a say if it is going to control our lives. I refuse to have a negative attitude and let my RSD affect me like that.

NY Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/technology/25disable.html?WT.mc_id=TE-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-OSN-032410-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

My friend Haley and I, Summer 2009

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