As I write this, I am in the midst of what I refer to as a full blown CRPS flare. Right now, the pain is so intense that I can barely concentrate and function at the most basic level. I usually watch a lot of Netflix during my flares, but I can’t even focus enough to follow the episode of Grey’s Anatomy I am currently watching.

For some reason, it doesn’t get any easier watching yourself slide down the hill time and time again. In the days before the inevitable hospitalization, I fight. Hard. It wears me down. I may go days without being able to keep some food and water down. My muscle twist and my body shakes, but I hate how my treatments at the hospital make me feel so much that I do everything in my power to keep myself from going. Eventually, the sleep deprivation gets to me and I give in.

There is a difference between living and being alive. For me, living means going to work, practicing my taekwondo, skiing, and being with my family and friends. Being alive is watching life pass me by in excruciating pain. Laying in bed trying so hard not to move. Crying in pain and praying for the end of the pain to come.

Before my treatments, I am lifeless and debilitated by pain and dystonia. Afterwards, I am a new person and able to live life to the fullest until the never-ending cycle repeats.

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