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Why Don’t I Wear Shoes?

By Stephen Brilliant


My family and I were in a car accident in 1995. As a result of injuries

sustained in that accident I had ankle surgery in 1997 and I developed

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS) as a result.  RSDS is

also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).


RSDS/CRPS  is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by:

  1. severe burning pain

  2. pathological changes in bone and skin

  3. excessive sweating

  4. tissue swelling

  5. extreme sensitivity to touch


Clients often comment that my shoes are untied or that I am not wearing

any. I am not being lazy or sloppy, but rather I often take off my shoes in

the office because of my pain levels.  Socks and shoes are extremely

irritating to my left foot.  I can only wear cashmere or all cotton socks

and one type of shoe. My pain levels vary but for over 12 years I have

rarely lived without pain.


Right now researchers are working what causes RSDS/CRPS with an

eye on possible cures.  Over the years, I have tried various medications,

outpatient lumbar blocks, inpatient intravenous drips, physical therapy,

acupuncture and biofeedback. Unlike so many others who become

permanently disabled, I manage my pain without medication and continue

to work.


I am a founding member of the board of trustees for Living with RSDS

Inc., a non-profit support group whose goal is to support, educate, and

inform, those persons afflicted with reflex sympathetic dystrophy

syndrome (RSDS)/chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), their families,

friends, co-workers, and the medical community treating RSDS, about

the importance of early diagnosis and the suffering this syndrome brings

to all involved.


Please check out the following website if you are interesting in learning

more about RSDS/CRPS:  


  1. http://rsdsa.org/2/what_is_rsd_crps/index.html

  2. http://livingwithrsds.com


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