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As you may know, I have a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This is something that I have been dealing with for over eleven years and on January 13, 2014 I had spinal cord stimulator implanted for the second time. This second stimulator was a last chance of sorts for any lasting pain relief. The first implantation occurred January of last year and after just two weeks it had to be removed due to an infection acquired during surgery. This time around, I was healing well and the device was working great until February 9th, 2014, just days short of a month after the implantation. That day, I woke up with severe swelling, tenderness, pain at incision that had not been there before. On the 10th, I was admitted into the hospital because doctors feared another infection. I am writing this from my hospital bed. While the doctors have ruled out infection they cannot seem to find the explanation for the swelling and are having trouble getting the pain under the control. Also, since being admitted, I have started having full body muscle spasms that last up to an hour and occur eight to nine times a day. So far there are no real answers but the doctors are working on it. Hopefully, within a couple of days I will be discharged. Then, I will be under orders to spend a couple weeks relaxing to see if pain and swelling subsides before the doctors and I make a decision about removing the device.

Before I ended up in this hospital bed, I was a full time student at Roxbury Community College. I was only a semester away from finishing all of prerequisites to enter the nursing program and two years from completing my dream of becoming a registered nurse. My father is a disabled veteran and Veterans' Affairs gives me money every month as long as I am a full-time student and attending classes. This is what I lived on and paid for my education with. Today, I had to drop out of school. I have missed too many classes during this prolonged hospital stay and am looking at an unknown amount of recovery time at home. Since I am no longer a student the V.A. Office is stopping all payments and I am with out any kind of income.

I hate asking for help. I am stubborn and independent but this situation has made me realize that I need to put my health first. I am the one who often puts others before myself but this time I have to let others take care of me. My mother is amazing and supportive but does not really have the ability to help out much and it is more expensive to break my lease and move than it is to bite the bullet and ask for help until I start school again this summer. I may not be able to pay whoever helps me back monetarily but I have so much gratitude for those who help no matter how much you have to give. 

The amount I have quoted is the amount of money for, rent, utilities, food, transportation, and other incidentals, to cover part of February and the rest of the months that I will not be in school. I plan to go back to school full time in the summer semester provided I am healthy. In the worst case scenario, things have not cleared up, I will be on my way to figuring out disability. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my page. I understand if you are unable to give at this time but please take the time to share it with your friends.

The Cyborgicorn known as Chelsea
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Chelsea Helene 
Jamaica Plain, MA
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