Living with RSD Part I

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Shannon Baldwin, originally uploaded by rsdscrpsnews.

Living with RSD Part I

Chronic, burning, pain, muscle spasms, insomnia and depression–all symptoms of the disease known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, or RSD for short. It’s a disease marked by constant chronic pain, usually striking middle-aged women. Newschannel Six’s Jennifer Kim takes us into the life of one woman who has lived with RSD for nearly a decade In this special report.

At Pleasant Acres Apartments, life has been anything but pleasant for Shannon Baldwin. For 9 years, she’s lived with an intrusive and uninvited guest.

“It’s the third person and the controlling dominant person in the household,” she says.

Shannon suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome–a disease that attacks your nervous system. One out of 5,000 people get it, usually following a sprain or fracture. Shannon’s life changed forever in December 1997 when she collided with a stranger while leaving a restaurant.

“It was just our kneecaps crashed,” she says. The pain started soon after that. “White, hot, burning pain. Stabbing, tingling, and kindof crushing sometimes.”

Shannon says she often can’t sleep at night. She takes over 8 types of medication just to numb the pain.

“It’s a huge amount…they call it a lethal dose. I take more than terminal cancer patients take.”

Because of the high level of medication, Shannon has lost most of her teeth. She breaks out in rashes, has developed a heart murmer, and is often rocked with muscle spasms.

Her mother, Janice Alsup says, “it affects the whole family because you never know what you might be doing to trigger the nerves.”

Shannon’s daughter and caretaker, Peyton says she would do anything “just to take my mother’s pain away. Just a week. Half the pain, a quarter of the pain. Just not to have to see that look in her eyes when she wakes up in the morning.”

Shannon’s world now consists of constant doctor’s visits, endless amounts of medication, and of course, the pain that never goes away.

Doctors say RSD usually stays in one part of the body, like in an arm or a leg. But in 11% of all cases, like Shannon’s, the disease spreads to your entire body. Tomorrow we’ll follow Shannon as she visits the doctor, and we’ll look at treatment options for people living this life of pain.

Click Here For The Video From This Story

For the Original Airticle Online Click Here

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