I am a 28 year old, high raw vegan, licensed social worker (MSW, LSW) healing from a "progressive" and "incurable" neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS). Join me as I reflect, learn, grow, HEAL, and conquer. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/happyhealing44, friend me on facebook: facebook.com/prefontaine44, or
ask me anonymous questions at http://www.formspring.me/HappyHealing44.
*****Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor nor do I claim to be. It is ALWAYS important to seek out assistance from a trusted health professional, traditional and/or holistic, when treating any medical issue. I am a licensed social worker (M.S.W., L.S.W.) with a concentration in mental health and a young woman reversing and healing Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS) sharing my experiences with an interested audience. The main points I would like to express to my readers are that it is IMPERATIVE that you become self-empowered as health care consumers by educating yourselves, and it is just as important to focus on prevention, maintenance, and healing through diet and lifestyle changes.*****
My name is Maria, and I am a 28 y/o, former athlete (long-distance running), high raw vegan clinical social worker, M.S.W. (Master's of Social Work), L.S.W. (Licensed Social Worker) and college sociology professor living with and healing from a progressive neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), characterized by the main symptom of chronic, widespread, burning neurological pain. With RSD/CRPS, the body takes normal stimuli, such as the touch from a loved one, as extremely painful. This illness can occur in anyone at any time, and usually presents itself after small or large traumas, such as a bump and bruise or a surgery, with pain developing out of proportion to the inciting event. The immune system becomes activated, looking to treat an injury that no longer exists by sending certain immune cells to activate pain and inflammatory responses. In many cases, the illness begins in one region of the body and spreads to all four limbs and beyond. It can also present itself in the internal organs, such as the heart and lungs.
I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Miami (GO CANES!) in Criminology, Psychology, and Religious Studies. I received my M.S.W. (Master's of Social Work) from Rutgers University in October of 2011, passed my licensing exam in July of 2011, L.S.W. (Licensed Social Worker). I just completed a clinical internship at a hospice where I provided support and counseling to the terminally ill and their families. Also, I work for the website and healing community, KrisCarr.com, which I adore, I teach sociology at the local community college, I'm a girls' basketball coach and boys' and girl's cross-country coach, and also a freelance writer.
Many individuals with RSD/CRPS are using devices to assist with mobility, are on disability, and can no longer participate in life. Through diet and lifestyle changes, a strong, loving support system (love you, mom and dad xoxo), physical therapy, and mental, emotional, and spiritual counseling, I have avoided them all and beaten the odds. Currently, I do not use any traditional treatments and am reversing the condition with a high raw vegan diet, coffee enemas for detoxification, and physical therapy. I take zero medications and am so thankful for the progress I have made. I am now able to train in the pool, pool running with an aqua jogger, and hope to be back to road/trail running someday soon.
My approach to treating chronic pain is unconventional. I focus a lot on holistic health (diet and lifestyle changes) and emotional and spiritual causes for the onset of chronic illness. Stress and trauma are stored in the body, and if you look closely, you will usually see a stressful life event, such as plaguing low self-esteem, sexual abuse, or a lack of a connection to a higher power, before the onset of the illness occurred. Also, the Standard American Diet (SAD) and its lack of high quality, nutritious, anti-inflammatory, whole, raw, and plant-based foods contributes to the onsets and progressions of many chronic and degnerative diseases.