Jillian Challinor, of Tenterfield, suffers from complex regional pain syndrome.
Jillian Challinor, of Tenterfield, suffers from complex regional pain syndrome. Marc Stapelberg

'I just wanted to die': Alstonville woman's pain nightmare

FOR five long months after being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Jillian Challinor said she wanted to die.

Affecting one in 18 Australians every day, CRPS - formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) - is a debilitating chronic condition which causes pain beginning in one part of the body, then usually leads to sensory, motor, autonomic, skin and bone abnormalities in the affected area.

The Alstonville local was diagnosed with CRPS in November last year, nearly a year after injuring her foot at work in October 2017.

 

The world of pain: FOR five long months after being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Jillian Challinor said she wanted to die.
The world of pain: FOR five long months after being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Jillian Challinor said she wanted to die.

She said the pain in her foot had slowly spread to different parts of her body, forcing her to give up exercise, and riding her beloved motorbike and work.

"Everything hurts... my nervous system, my bones," she said.

"One day my feet can be burning hot and sometimes they are so cold the bone feels like it is being crushed.

"I get nerve pain around my neck like little electric shocks and sometimes I get it in my throat - and I have days where I choke. I couldn't sleep and it affects your limbic systems so it affects your emotions.

"It can be so painful you can feel like you should be in hospital."

After consistent multi-disciplinary support the 51-year-old has since changed her grim outlook.

"I feel like my foot symptoms have eased off now but the rest of me hurts... it's a systemic thing for me now and there is no cure," she said.

"Psychologically I'm getting better. I've gone through all of the stages of grief and just wanting to die, then I thought if this is going to be my life how can I best manage it."

Jillian said she wanted to raise more awareness about CRPS because it was so misdiagnosed and underfunded.

"Early intervention is key," she said.

"If you get it within three to six months you can go into remission and get rid of it. We have also started a petition to gain some more support for sufferers."

For more info head to: www.crpsnetworkaustralia.org.au or to sign the petition head to change.org CRPS petition