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Why I’m a Beotch to Nurses

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) spreads to different parts of the body in 70% of patients. This is a terrifying reality to those of us with CRPS. Surgery, needles, injury (sprains, broken bones), use of ice, any invasive procedure can trigger CRPS to spread to a different limb or body part. CRPS can also spontaneously spread in some cases.

CRPS spreading has become my biggest fear.

I get a needle poke, sometimes pokes, every week for my IV infusion. While the lidocaine infusions provide me with pain relief, the poke has me on edge. I’m not afraid of needles, but I’ve become so. If a nurse can’t get an IV started on their first try I adamantly request a new nurse. I am terrified of a rogue needle poke to cause a spread of my pain.

This past week it took 3 different nurses to get an IV started. It was difficult to see their frustration and disapproval when I requested a new nurse each time. Sometimes while advocating for my health I shrink into myself instead. I have to constantly remind myself that my health is more important than a doctor or nurses’ approval.

Chronic illness patients need to be their own health advocates. As a CRPS sufferer I request my IV fluids to be warmed, butterfly needles to be used, and a new nurse if they’re not able to start my IV on the first poke to proactively ward off a flare or CRPS spread.


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