Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Would you really want to know?

I smashed my knee in a hard tackle over two weeks ago. I was on crutches for over a week and couldn't drive for nearly two weeks. For me, the main thing is I won the tackle and consequently, my team won the game.

A fracture has been ruled out but with continuing pain, I went to see my physio. He has been a physio for the Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams so I trust him implicitly. He also mistook me for my mum a few months ago. Last time he saw my mum, she was around my age so that's how long he's been tending to the muscles and joints of my family.

Well I saw my physio today and I explained my injury. He asked some questions, as they do and I mentioned that while my knee is sore and has been slow to improve, my foot on the same limb has been really cold. I told him it actually turned purple on the first night after the injury occurred. He seemed a bit taken aback by that and reached down to touch my feet. I was telling him about this as I was taking my Converse sneakers off - that's what reminded me to mention my foot. He pulled back. I assumed they didn't feel any different as both feet had literally just come out of shoes. He told me my right foot was definitely much more cold than the other foot. But he offered no explanation.

As I was lying on the table and my physio was massaging my leg, I asked if he had any theories as to why my foot would be so damn cold. I asked because at the time, my right foot was so cold that it was hurting. He seemed reluctant to answer and started talking about  my sympathetic nervous system. None of this made much sense to me.

Suddenly I thought I was cottoning on to what he was saying and my heart sank like a stone. "Are you telling me this is all in my head?" He insisted he wasn't and upon deciding he hadn't convinced me he told me he thinks it is "Complex regional pain syndrome". He provided a brief explanation about nerves and laughed when he told me it is very rare and he said as soon as he thought of it and how rare it was, he thought if someone was going to have this syndrome, it would be me. Thanks(!).

But then my physio did something I didn't expect. He explicitly stated that I was not to google it. He repeated his direction many times, insisting reading about CRPS would scare me. He told me I could tell my medical profession based friend about it because she wasn't aware of any possible cause but I absolutely was not to google it myself. But his explanation did not offer my any real reason why my foot is cold. And he told me that if I read about it I would become worried. Worried about what?

So what would you do?



Put yourself in my position.


Decided what you would do yet?


I think I did what most everyone would do. I burned the words into my mind and googled the heck out of the condition the second I sat in the car.
Chronic regional pain syndrome
It's not good. Nothing about what I've read is good. The article opened with "...is a chronic progressive disease characterized by severe pain, swelling and changes in the skin." and didn't get much better from there. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry and then drive home like a zombie. Obviously I haven't been formally diagnosed and even if I do have the disease, there is a small chance the syndrome can cease it's progression and go into remission. But since as I type this, my right foot is again so cold it's hurting, I'm still afraid.

But what would you do? Would you really want to know?

Miss SAMawdsley xx

  • What would you do in my position?
  • How and how long would it take for you to make your decision?
  • Have you ever been in the position to decide if you wanted to know something bad?
  • What did you do?


  1. like it. once again, extremely well written and thought provoking Sam x

  2. I would want to find out all I can — inform the crap out of me. Something one has to keep in mind however is that not everything one comes across is going to be beneficial data. Try not to freak yourself out too much.

  3. Sexy Starchild2 May 2012 at 09:38

    *big hugs* Samantha! I won't say I know what you're dealing with, but my condition has also never been formally diagnosed as all tests show as normal. But that doesn't explain the physical symptoms.

    Progressive/degenerative diseases are scary. So incredibly scary. I do know that feeling of Googling and discovering the worst case scenario. I would want to know, as Jason said. Knowledge is power. If you do get a formal diagnosis, you can't change that, but it's better than not knowing what's wrong. There may be things you can do, steps you can take to slow the progression, or make it easier to manage. You will only learn this stuff by researching.

    That being said, don't jump to conclusions. Don't assume your case is at the OMG end of the spectrum. Deal with new symptoms as they arise, don't pre-empt them. Most of all, keep your friends & family around you. You will need their support while you get to the bottom of things.

    Remember to breathe! x

  4. Thanks guys. After the initial shock wore off, I reassessed my situation. These are the things I have.
    1. One cold foot.
    2. A disease that has been mentioned to me by my physio.
    Seriously, what am I worried about?
    But all that wasn't the point of my post. I wanted to know what you would do. It's kind of the same as if you saw your friend's boyfriend with another girl. If you were your friend, would you want to know? That's what I was getting at.
    Thanks so much for al the love and support guys, but how about we save it until I have more of a need for it. :) Makes it easier to deal with anything life throws at me knowing I have all you lovely people ready to help to hold me up!
    Miss SAMawdsley xx

  5. Living with CRPS is a fight that never stops. Accepting things for what they are and being happy with what you can do will certainly make a difference in your life Samantha. It's okay to be angry, but then you must build the strength to cope and move on... because that's what you have to do.