FIVE GOOD READS FOR PATIENTS WITH RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/ Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome)

January 18, 2013

In the course of my work with RSD clients, I have come across some excellent books providing education and inspiration to those afflicted. Five of them are listed below with a brief description of each along with a short biography of the author. Four of the authors are also RSD patients. These can all be purchased on amazon.com, and are available in paperback for a lower cost if you are on a budget, as most of us are.

1. Positive Options for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy: Self-Help and Treatment, by Elena Juris. Herself a recovering RSD patient, Elena has put together this valuable reference book for patients and their families. Over the course of a year she became afflicted with RSD in both arms, lost all independence, and was forced to move back home with her parents. She began to use Acupuncture and other holistic therapies to manage the pain, and struggled with accepting the disease as a part of her life and finding a way to break out of the negative cycle of anger and grief over who she once was and who she had become. This book detailing her journey has been described by readers as "highly practical", "very informative", and "action-oriented". Reviews also mention that Ms. Juris does a good job of showing how combinations of therapies are very important and tend to be more effective than singular therapies in the treatment of RSD.

This book receives 5 out of 5 stars on amazon.com

2. No, It is NOT In My Head: the Journey of a Chronic Pain Survivor from Wheelchair to Marathon, by Nicole Hemmenway. Nicole was diagnosed with RSD when she was a senior in high school, after sustaining an injury in which she pulled two tendons in her right hand. This was the beginning of a 9 year ordeal. She lost all use of her right hand and most use of her right arm, and endured great daily pain. At times she was confined to bed and had to use a wheelchair. Nicole made a conscious choice to be proactive in dealing with her disease. In 2002 her doctors told her that her RSD was "untreatable and incurable". This book is a compilation of her journals over those years. Readers' comments included... "is a book that can be read and re-read for inspiration...", "stresses the importance of a positive mental attitude...", "she took her pain and turned it into something inspirational.", "she persevered and never accepted the limitations of her disability". In addition to stressing the importance of a positive mental attitude, the book also chronicles her struggle to be heard by her healthcare providers, the frustration of which RSD sufferers are all too familiar with. For more information on Nicole, you can visit her website at: http://www.nicolehemmenway.com.


This book receives 4.7 out of 5 stars on amazon.com.

3. In the Blink of an Eye, by Mary Jane Gonzales. Mary Jane paints a portrait for the reader of what it's like to live with RSD as it slowly encompasses more and more aspects of your life. She has been living with RSD for 25 years and shares how she has learned to live and cope with it. Her goal in writing the book was to increase RSD awareness, thus generating more research. On page 58 of her book, she says "I want this book to be one of hope, rather than of despair. I want people in the early stages of RSD to know they can be healed with early diagnosis. I also want them to know that, even without healing, they can live a full life."

Mary Jane lives in Houston, Texas, is a mother and a grandmother, and has a passion for writing poetry. She has also written a sequel to her book entitled A Growing Faith - Stories From Bed, which will be published in March of 2013.

This book receives 3.8 out of 5 stars on amazon.com.

4. RSD in Me!: A Patient and Caretaker Guide to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy And Other Chronic Pain Conditions, by Barby Ingle. In 2002 Barby Ingle was diagnosed with RSD after a car accident. Before her accident she was very athletic, loved hiking and biking, and had a physically demanding job as head coach for the spirit program at Washington State University for eight years. After her accident and diagnosis, she was no longer able to work in this capacity. Her book discusses the new life skills she had to develop to deal with her condition and shares her tips for dealing with the daily challenges RSD sufferers face. One goal of the book is to educate patients and their families on treatment options so that they can make more informed choices. It also covers such things as how the condition affects the entire family, changes in family dynamics, and the frustrations of dealing with the health care industry.

This is a good book for anyone just learning about RSD, as it answers most of the questions asked by family and friends. Patients have said they refer to this book again and again for inspiration. Several patients also said they have bought copies of this book for their doctors.

Read more about Barby at: http://barbyingle.com/

This book is highly recommended by readers, and receives 4.5 out of 5 stars on amazon.com.

5. Medifocus Guidebook on Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, by Jacob Elliott, PhD. The primary goal of this book is to "educate patients and families about their treatment options so they can make informed healthcare decisions and become active participants in the medical decision making process." With RSD it is crucial to have the latest information, because some treatments, once thought to be beneficial, such as treatment with ice, have been shown over time to actually cause more harm and exacerbate the condition. That is what makes this book valuable as it is continuously updated when new information becomes available. It is the most comprehensive and up to date source of information available on RSD. The material includes a Directory of Resources for RSD and Pain Management, a section on choosing the right doctor, and a directory of healthcare providers, research centers, and medical centers with a specialized interest and expertise in RSD. This book is for the RSD patient who wants more advanced and in-depth information than what is normally available through books and on the web. Since 1996 Medifocus has been the largest provider of medical information reports to consumers in North America and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of their publications. Read more at medifocus.com/.

This book received 4 out of 5 stars on amazon.com.

If you have been diagnosed with RSD/CRPS as the result of a traumatic injury or accident and feel that you may need an attorney, contact us at the Tyrone Law Firm located in Atlanta, Georgia, and talk to us about your specific situation. Our number is 404-377-0017. We will sit down with you free of charge and discuss what we can do for you.

Nelson Tyrone handles Brain Injury, Spine Injury and RSD/CRPS cases throughout the United States. He involves only the top medical, rehabilitation and life-care plan experts in the field. His results on behalf of clients include several of the largest settlements and verdicts on records.

If we can't help you, we will do our best to put you in the hands of lawyers who can.