The Mental Side-Effects of Chronic Pain

For those also diagnosed with Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome, do you ever find yourself bummed out that you can’t partake in activities you once enjoyed, actively avoiding anything that will bring on the pain, or being constantly overcome with extreme exhaustion from the lack of sleep and constant ache?

Yeah, sounds like an infomercial for my current life. Welcome.

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The pain you experience during activity is one thing, but the mental effects of constant pain are a whole other ballgame. I wasn’t familiar with these effects, and if you’re like me, you may be overlooking some side-effects that have developed due to this sneaky neurological nightmare.

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I’m Alive! Progress Post-Botox

Good news. It didn’t hurt as much as I had anticipated and I also still have a functional leg attached to my body.

CT Scan

My apologies that this progress post is a little delayed! In all honesty, after flying back home from Casper, the only thing I wanted to do for the rest of my 3-day weekend was absolutely nothing – and it felt great. Although I’m still waiting for my magic moment of no-pain, the trip was 100% worth it, and I figure it could be helpful to list out what I expected from the procedure vs. the reality.

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Pre-Botox Jitters

Here we are! I made it to Casper! Minus a few delays out of SFO and a connecting flight later, it has been a smooth first day.

I’ve never been to Wyoming before, and I have to say that the views are beautiful. It’s that vastness that is difficult to capture with the only way to take it all in is to just enjoy the moment.IMG_1114

Snapping back to reality, though, tomorrow is the big day, and I’m experiencing all sorts of feelings and anxiety about Dr. McGinley’s Vascular Pressure Treatment. In order to combat the nerves, I think it’ll be helpful to list the reasons behind why I decided to move forward with the procedure in the first place.

 

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Botox, a Miracle Drug? Countdown to my last resort…

The most mentally debilitating part of dealing with chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) and popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES) is the constant struggle of finding the right doctor with a solution that actually works. I can’t even begin to share the state of frustration and plain exhaustion I’ve been suffering through for the past 2.5 years.

In other words, I am desperate to try anything to relieve my pain and get me moving like a normal human again.

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What is PAES?

PAES = Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome

According to the Cleveland Clinic, PAES is a rare vascular disease that affects the legs of some young athletes. The muscle and tendons near the knee are positioned so that they compress the popliteal artery – the main artery that runs through and behind the knee. Compression of the artery restricts blood flow to the lower leg and can damage the artery.

BOOM! Sounds intense, right?

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