While we’re on the topic of CRPS, I thought I’d share a couple of little known facts about this little known disorder.
The first is that RSD/CRPS causes short term memory loss. It’s true. You see, your brain is used to routing messages a certain way. When, all of a sudden, those nerves are always sending the message, “Pain pain pain!”, your brain has to re-route those messages. Somehow, short term memory is affected.
Before CRPS, I was a very organized, on-top-of-things type of person, most of the time. Now, if I don’t write something down, I’ll likely forget about it, unless I make a very specific point of remembering. It’s sort of like setting a tape recorder (remember those?). If I know something will be important, but I don’t have a way to take notes, I’ll do my best to pay very close attention. Or sometimes, I’ll just remember things because they’re strange. Ironically, I can’t think of an example right now… Consequently, I am always writing things down, or typing them up. I am a notebook person.
The weird thing is, I can feel my brain acting differently. I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain it, but it really comes down to this: Before CRPS, I felt like my brain was structured. Others may disagree, as I never had any sense of logic, and I would randomly change topics at the drop of a hat, but there were steps to get from A to B. Once I was hurt and on meds, of course, I was in a medication induced fog. Once I got to where I was stable, though, there was definitely a difference.
The second is that my CRPS makes it difficult to drive long distances. Unless you’re a long-distance driver, you’ve probably never given much thought to how you have to sit when you drive. You have to sit pretty darn still in a pretty darn uncomfortable position for as long as it takes to get where you’re going. I can do 20-30 minute drives. But once you get to about an hour, the pain sets in. That’s why I don’t drive on long field trips, and why I work from home.
See? You learned something new today! (And in less than 500 words.)