Yes, as Laura said, and I to can confirm it, it does spread. Mine started in my right hand/wrist, and in 3+ years has sense spread up to my shoulder, a bit into my neck, my scapula (shoulder blade) and the front of my shoulder area, the clavical. I think I mentioned all this before. It seems to spread at different rates for different people. Like many things, it affects everyone a bit differently, though some things are consistant from case to case.
One of the big things to learn is to pace yourself. I don't know if you read the link I posted towards the bottom of the first page, but if you haven't read "The Spoon Theory", please do so. Though it's written about Lupus, even the author comments on how it can apply to anyone with any sort of chronic condition. It's a great way to explain why you shouldn't over do it on any given day, without realizing full well the consequences for your actions.
CRPS/RSD has been around for awhile now. A rare disease it seems in recent years to be occuring more and more. It doesn't always present the same in everyone, and it can affect any part of your body, as well as spread to your entire body. Because it affects the nerves I get a little touchy when people tell me my pain is "all in your head", as technically, yes, it is, but that doesn't make it any less real. It affects me physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's destroyed relationships, and at times, my will to go on. I try not to look back at how radically my life has changed in 3+ years. An exmample.
Yesterday I needed to buy a salt lick for my horse. I normally by the big blocks; size vs. cost it makes more sence. I forgot how heavy this compressed block was. Not much bigger then a tub of laundry detergent, it weighs in at 50 pounds. For some reason I thought it was only 25. I had looked for help, but had seen none; why is it when you need employee assistance in WalMart they disappear? So I figured, it's only 25, I can handle this. Right? I had my son hold the cart so it wouldn't move as I crouched down to lift it from the bottom shelf. As I stood up I could feel my arm giving way, my grip slipping, my arm screaming in protest and pain. I nearly dropped it into the cart, and then almost fell in on top of it as my knees buckled and my breathing labored to try to cope with the sensation overload I was experienceing. My son rushed around the side of the cart, "Momma, Momma! What's wrong? Are you okay?!" I quickly reassured him that I just hurt, but that I was okay; nothing like trying to hold it together infront of your 8 year old son. We finished our shopping. I was growing weaker by the moment; it was past time to take my next dose, and now I really needed what relief I could get. At check out my son told the clerk how his Momma would need help. The clerk looked at me (here we go again, I thought!) and looked at the salt lick. "I'm permanently disabled, Ma'am.". She paged for customer carry out and I headed out towards the waiting area. We waited. And waited. And waited. But no one came. My son was now grumbling about being hungery, but then so was I, as well as light headed, and weak from pain. I asked the greeter if he could help, and he shook his head. "Sorry, ma'am, they put me here because I tore the muscle in my shoulder." I could sympathize with him. We went back to waiting, I started to get impatient and upset; I was hurting to much, my son was hungery -- a bad combination for any CP mother. Still no one came. I finally headed out to the lot and told the greeter where my car was. I got my son and my bags into my car and then started down at the salt lick with disdain; oh this was gonna hurt. Just then I saw the clerk who assisted me come running across the lot to my car, "Ma'am, let me do that for you, please." I heaved a sigh of relief, "oh thank you! Thank you!" We talked for a brief second about how unuseful pageing for assistance can frequently be, and I gestured to across the road at the table full of 9 employees just sitting there on break, "Woulda been nice if one of them had bothered to come help instead of just being a spectator." The gal shot them a dirty look; technically she wasn't supposed to be away from her register, but she'd come to help me. I thanked her again, and got in to leave. For a moment I just wanted to bawl my eyes out. You see, there was a time when moving 100 pound items was no big deal for me, but now I am reduced to asking for help when I have anything heavy, and the fact that I can not do it myself still chafes at me to this day 3+ years later.
Learning acceptance is never easy. Learning how to pace yourself, is never easy. It is a battle constantly, and I am always balancing things I want to do; what gets sacraficed and shoved on the to-do list for tomorrow, or the day after. I am always haveing to prioritize things, even the little things like do I do some knitting, or do I deal with some email.
Yesterday was a bad today, today will not be better, not when I have a couple tons of sand to help my family move; I can not leave my father to do it all by himself, and like me my disabled mother is already having a bad day. But now with her thickening heart valve, I'd rather not over-strain her.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Have seen several specialists; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Oxycodone and Celexa.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
May 2011 SCSU implant surgery