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Coping with constant pain


TRURO – Ellen Swan is in pain every hour of every day.

The Truro woman is affected by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which causes her to experience a sensation of burning pain when she touches most things. She cannot travel far by car because the vibrations cause pain; she's unable to sit in a regular chair or sleep in one position for long because of pain on pressure points; and she can't bear the feeling of many materials against her skin. She has been living like this for six years, since a fall triggered CRPS.

In an effort to do something constructive and to distract herself from the constant pain, Swan started making earrings.

"This is part of my physio," she said. "I use it to try and override the pain signals and I sell the earrings as a way to raise money for a flotation room."

She has travelled to Halifax to use a flotation room and found it extremely helpful.

"There are no pressure points. I would like to float more often but I can't drive to the city myself and the trip was difficult because of the vibrations."

She has drawn up plans for a flotation room at her home. The total cost is $7,000 and whatever she raises through earring sales goes toward this.

Swan used to draw and paint but CRPS left her unable to make more than three pen strokes without stopping to rest.

"I have to have a creative outlet so the earrings are a godsend. They give me the joy of creating amongst the pain. I can't work now so they're also a way to add value to our family.

"Because of CRPS I can't solder so I glue pieces together. My aim is to make unique pieces that people will love."

Although she creates some items with beads her favourites are the steampunk, which include tiny gears and other eye-catching pieces. Most of her sales result from word or mouth or the Earrings by Ellen Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EarringsByEllen?fref=ts ). She rarely attends craft fairs because she is unable to sit for long but has decided to set up a table for Christmas at the RECC on Dec. 5.

CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the nervous systems. It is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSDS).

Swan doesn't go out much because if someone bumps into her it can take a couple of days for the pain to settle down.

"I want a life," she added. "I want to be able to do simple things again. I just want to be able to do things like walk downtown and back home."

CRPS Facts

- CRPS is usually triggered by an injury.

- It is usually seen in one or more extremities but can affect any part of the body.

- Symptoms include pain, swelling, changes to skin colour or temperature and a limited range of motion.

- The condition responds to treatment best during the first six months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Truro woman is affected by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which causes her to experience a sensation of burning pain when she touches most things. She cannot travel far by car because the vibrations cause pain; she's unable to sit in a regular chair or sleep in one position for long because of pain on pressure points; and she can't bear the feeling of many materials against her skin. She has been living like this for six years, since a fall triggered CRPS.

In an effort to do something constructive and to distract herself from the constant pain, Swan started making earrings.

"This is part of my physio," she said. "I use it to try and override the pain signals and I sell the earrings as a way to raise money for a flotation room."

She has travelled to Halifax to use a flotation room and found it extremely helpful.

"There are no pressure points. I would like to float more often but I can't drive to the city myself and the trip was difficult because of the vibrations."

She has drawn up plans for a flotation room at her home. The total cost is $7,000 and whatever she raises through earring sales goes toward this.

Swan used to draw and paint but CRPS left her unable to make more than three pen strokes without stopping to rest.

"I have to have a creative outlet so the earrings are a godsend. They give me the joy of creating amongst the pain. I can't work now so they're also a way to add value to our family.

"Because of CRPS I can't solder so I glue pieces together. My aim is to make unique pieces that people will love."

Although she creates some items with beads her favourites are the steampunk, which include tiny gears and other eye-catching pieces. Most of her sales result from word or mouth or the Earrings by Ellen Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EarringsByEllen?fref=ts ). She rarely attends craft fairs because she is unable to sit for long but has decided to set up a table for Christmas at the RECC on Dec. 5.

CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the nervous systems. It is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSDS).

Swan doesn't go out much because if someone bumps into her it can take a couple of days for the pain to settle down.

"I want a life," she added. "I want to be able to do simple things again. I just want to be able to do things like walk downtown and back home."

CRPS Facts

- CRPS is usually triggered by an injury.

- It is usually seen in one or more extremities but can affect any part of the body.

- Symptoms include pain, swelling, changes to skin colour or temperature and a limited range of motion.

- The condition responds to treatment best during the first six months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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