Part 2 - "The Doctors" - What is RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) ?

 What is RSD? According to E.R. Physician Dr. Travis Stark, any time you suffer an injury, pain signals are sent to your central nervous system and your brain saying "this hurts", but with RSD, the pain signal never stops and the pain can actually get worse over time. The injured area experiences inflammation and over time the pain moves past the limb where the original injury was. Not only can it cause severe pain and swelling, RSD can also cause spasms throughout your body, not only in your extremities but also in things like your bladder.

Kathy says that there are moments when she cannot handle the pain. "The pain and the burning at times feels very similar to being burned on a hot stove, but intensified by 10," she says.

Would amputation be an option? Kathy's pain management specialist, Dr. Stephen Barkow says "It's a disease of the central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord are also involved. So typically, if you were to amputate the limb, the disease gets worse and spreads to other limbs. Dr. Barkow says "Kathy has a particularly aggressive form of RSD, and she should be in a medical textbook, because it's so aggressive despite being in treatment for 10 years."


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