January 24th of 2010 was the day that changed my life, the day everything stopped and nothing made any sense to me; January 24th is that I now call my painiversary. My story started when I fell off toy stilts, I landed on my left foot and the pain was unbearable. I’d had many, many, many sprains and strains at this point but I knew that something was different, the ice hurt more than having nothing. After a month and a half of wearing a walking boot that I couldn’t even walk in, and with the pain only getting worse, we were given an answer. The answer was simple: CRPS. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (previously known as RSD) is a dysfunction of the immune system and nervous system that occurs after a trauma, like and injury. CRPS rewires your nervous system, nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the person. Part of my physical therapy after the injury was desensitization, like gently touching my leg with a stuffed animal, which was torture to me. suddenly my PT had an idea, he wanted me to wear a knee high sock on my left leg. I was not at all happy to do this but I made it very clear to everyone that I would not be wearing one knee-high white sock, I was going to wear both socks and they were going to be cute, colorful, crazy socks. My parents and I looked everywhere for crazy socks, but 2010 was long before the sock craze began. Finally after looking high and low we were able to find socks with hot pink polka dots and a pair with hot pink stripes. The socks hurt like hell to put on and take off; but it turned out that they actually helped protect me from the wind, rain, and other elements that would kill me otherwise. As 2011 got closer and closer, I was having a hard time coping with the fact it would soon be an entire year of my life that RSD had taken from me. My parents came up with an idea to have my family and close friends all wear crazy socks on the anniversary. Each year more people joined us, the second year we had tons of people in support groups post their crazy socks. once we got to the third year there were people all over the world joining us, I handed out cookies at school, trying to raise awareness!
Now I have many ailments, Gastroparesis, Mito, EDS, Syncope, Dysautonomia, the list goes on and on. This year will be the third Crazy Sock Walk, which is taking place on the 28th at a park that caters to any disbility, we have a new goal: raise awareness for Invisible Illness. We have a walk, raffles, silent auctions, all sorts of fun things! By teaming up with US Pain Foundation and RSDSA we hope to help many people who just want others to understand what it’s like to live in our shoes.
I never wanted any of this to happen to me, nobody would. But My family and I have taken a painful, haunting day and brought new meaning to it. I know how important awareness is, I know that everyone needs to know they aren’t alone, and I know that I’ve grown up so much in this time. It was premature, I had to get into some scary adult situations long before I should have but look what has come from it! I hate the saying “everything happens for a reason” because there is no reason a child should go through what Molly and I have, but I do believe that everyone does what they need to do. People message me all the time saying that crazy sock day helped them, or they love what I have done, and every time I’m so happy for January 24th, 2010. That sounds odd because it’s the starting point for my personal hell, but if what I went through helps others I want to do it. If I had been diagnosed with CRPS and then I saw an event where you show your support for everyone who lives with pain, to show unity, it would’ve meant the world with me.
I live with some seriously unfortunate circumstances, but it has made me me. If I have endured all that I have to help make the journey a little easier for someone else, then tomorrow on January 24th, 2017, I’ll be proud to say “I have had chronic pain for 7 years”
I truly hope you join us, it’s simple! Just take a picture of you and your socks then post it on the Crazy Sock Day event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1324307820933666/
Please share the event page with your friends
You can also post your socks on Instagram
and don’t forget to use the official hashtags:
Year round FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/CrazySockDay/