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|Art despite pain
The first Monday of November is CRPS Awareness Day, an appropriate way to begin National Pain Awareness Week here in Canada.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is best known for "excess and prolonged pain and inflammation that can occur following an injury or other medical event such as surgery, trauma, stroke, or heart attack.
Although CRPS can occur anywhere in the body, it usually affects an arm, leg, hand, or foot...
If you have CRPS you will have changing combinations of spontaneous pain or excess pain that is much greater than normal following something as mild as a touch.
Other symptoms include changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling on the arm or leg below the site of injury.
Although CRPS improves over time, eventually going away in most people, the severe or prolonged cases are profoundly disabling.
Because of the varied symptoms, the fact that symptoms may change over time, and the difficulty finding a positive cause in some cases, CRPS is hard to treat.
There is no treatment that rapidly cures CRPS."
There are also "associated cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms" with chronic CRPS, particularly after several years with this condition - including the CRPS-related mild cognitive impairment that ended my bioethics career in 2018.
This is why I began learning to paint in 2021, as a form of brain-plasticity training for my cognitive issues as well as movement-therapy for my severely-affected right hand and arm.
My Art Despite Pain initiative uses the resulting artworks raise awareness of CRPS and other chronic pain conditions.
The information quoted above is from the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
NINDS webpage for CRPS