Why don’t I wear shoes?
In 1995, my family and I were in a car accident. As a result of the injuries I sustained from that accident, I had ankle surgery two years later. Eventually, I developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
For those of you who don’t know, RSDS/CRPS is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by the following:
- severe burning pain
- pathological changes in bone and skin
- excessive sweating
- tissue swelling
- extreme sensitivity to touch
Clients often comment on the fact that my shoes are untied or that I am not wearing any at all — it’s not something that easily goes unnoticed. But I am not being lazy or sloppy. I only take off my shoes in the office at times because of my pain levels. Socks and shoes are extremely irritating to my left foot. There’s only one type of shoe I will wear, and cashmere or all cotton socks are a must. My pain levels tend to vary, but for over 20 years, I have rarely lived without pain.
Right now, researchers are working on understanding the causes of 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.
So, in addition to being a CPA, 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 afflicted with RSDS/CRPS, as well as 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. I am on the Executive Board and Board of Directors of the national organization, RSDSA, who fund further research and are committed to bringing awareness of the condition.
If you ever stop by our office, or choose to work with me in the future, you’ll likely see my socks for yourself. But hopefully now you know that this comfort isn’t for my own leisure, but in fact the opposite — to help me focus on the job I love and serve my clients in the best way I can.
Please check out the following website if you are interested in learning more about RSDS/CRPS