Nobody Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

Shiri Sandler was diagnosed with RSD, (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), after surgery on a broken bone in her foot at the age of 20. Years later she faces severe chronic pain that has spread throughout her body and requires regular treatment with powerful painkilling drugs to control.

In this segment, she discusses the challenge of coping and how she use uses ReliefInsite, an online pain diary, to help manage her condition. She also talks about the stigma those with chronic pain can face when they seek treatment.

“I went to a GP in my neighborhood. And I said I have RSD. And he said. ‘Well, what does that mean?’ Well I have a lot of burning pain in my foot. And he looked down at my foot and said. You wear the wrong shoes. You’re making this up. And He kept going. You’re too young for this. You’re a hypochondriac. These drugs are going to kill you. That was my personal favorite. And he yelled at me for an hour and a half. And I sat there crying. Because you never feel you have to yell back at a doctor. Being told that what you’re feeling is in your head is terrible … ”

3 replies »

  1. Nancy,

    I’m only seeing this now, years later, but if you get this alert somehow, please email me at my name above in the article at gmail.com.


  2. Dear Shiri, I thought I was reading my story. I broke my foot and then had surgery to remove the broken piece. Four years later and my pain and burning has taken over my whole leg. I pray you read this and talk to me. I feel so alone with such a devastating disease. You feel know one believes you. I am on my way to the doctor today, my knee on my good leg was injured a week ago. Needless to say, I am a bit paranoid. Please be in touch.

  3. It is so good to see a patient so satisfied and comfortable living with a mysterious condition and its treatment!
    As a side note: I do not at all condone the first doctor’s attitude, but you cannot criticize him for cutting short on his counselling … 90 minutes of yelling … wow.