Here is a pile of cuteness I snapped last weekend, I cant believe how fast my baby has growed up!

And also a snap of one pair of shoes I got her...

Here is a little poem thing I thought up today when I was sick of study...

Bright as the day she dances into the room
Instantly the air is lightened with a sweet fragrance I cannot name
She floats past me though I do not catch her shadow
I wonder who sent her and how long she will stay.

Gazing through half open eyes, I catch a glimpse
The sparkle of her smile and the rosy glow of her cheeks warm me
She is a happy thing without a care in the world
How my spirit welcomes her gift of hope in life

As I lay here, her warmth slowly increases
I bask in this happiness she is showering so generously
Her power to awaken me is fascinating
I hope she will whisper the secret to me.

Is she calling my name? I start to get restless
I question out loud, yearning to know, but her words are softer than wind
Though I cannot hear, I feel in my heart uplifted
I promise to her that her gift will be treasured.
Its the best thing in the world to be told that someone is really pleased with your makes all your hard work worth it and sometimes in this journey that is crps, hard work seems like a waste of time.

My Mum drove me out for physio the other day, every time we say that we went to Kaiapoi for physio people look at us strangely and my auntie commented that it was rather a long way to go from Dunedin hehe-at least my Mum didn't have to drive all that way! But it is worth it, I haven't found anyone else who works the way she does and she has a totally different approach from the sports/rehab/manual physio's who are the norm.

She totally understands people in chronic pain, never makes you feel like you somehow brought it on yourself and makes you feel more in control of everything.

I am coping much better overall on the new med combination and combined with the tens and mirroring I get through most days. I have my days (as you all know) when despite all this I do not cope well but this is no miracle cure, just a management plan. I am getting out and about more and have a bit more confidence in myself though I still have a long way to go on this.

She has tweaked my balance program a bit so that I am able to do it without constant flaring (I have been very slack in doing it because of the immediate painflare) so hopefully that means I start progressing with this too.

She seemed a bit concerned about the fact that I still have quite prominent swelling from my hip surgery (last surgery was June 07), I asked her about the pain along my incision and she thinks some will be due to all the swelling. So now I have to see if I can wear some fitting leggings and see if the light pressure helps at all and go ahead and get a steroid injection but to get my pain doc to do it rather than my ortho surgeon.

I also have weak hip external rotators probably also left over from surgery and the fact I never make this leg do anything. And you know she said it was pointless to specifically try and strengthen them, that it is functional movements that will help this muscle so I need to concentrate on standing up better initially and I am doing mirror movements-apparently it is proven that mirror movements will strengthen a muscle on the other side by 30%!

When I come back home after exams in November she is going to take me to the pool and give me a hydrotherapy program!
So all in all, a very productive visit.
I can't think, its way past my bedtime and I should have completed the written notes for a presentation I am helping give tomorrow...

My head is shouting pain pain PAIN and I need it to be unraveling the complexities of MS...

What on earth did I do to create this flare? and all I can think is-what will I do tomorrow if I'm still like this and I am supposed to be presenting my part of the talk? how can I stand up in front of my class and not cry because it hurts that much...

But I'm forever looking on the bright more day till mid-semester break! and one day more till I get to play dress up and photo shoot with my god daughter and her family before I head home to my own family!
It was such a beautiful day today, the hard frost fulfilled her promise of a clear blue sky and warm sunshine...

I enjoyed walking about today (despite the fact that I am paying for my actions) between lectures etc and labs, I went and did a spot of shoe shopping and I had a load of fun!
I didn't get shoes for me ;) but I got some pretty little things for my god Daughter (she is 5! I really cant believe how quickly she has grown up) and if her Mother says yes, I will put a picture up of her in her pretty little new shoes...I am a dotting god mother and love having someone to spoil and buy pretty things for.
We have fun playing tea parties and I love playing with her soft hair. When its nice weather I go round and play with her and her brothers outside in the sun, and in summer we go to the beach and have loads of fun in the sea. She is lovely and asked me to dinner tonight-how cute is that!
I think I am slowly coming out of my funk. Its taking me a few days as I had really wound myself up in that time. Its amazing how much pain flares when you start stressing yourself out with stuff that ultimately doesn't matter...
I think I just needed to get this assignment over with to start to feel better, as soon as I printed it off I felt such a relief. Why do I do this to myself? I had so much time to get that assignment done but there aways seemed to be something even more important to do so it just got forgotten.
A HUGH thank you to Maria for offering to help me! We are on opposite sides of the world but she offered to lend a hand and I was not too proud to accept. She proof read and changed some composition for me so that everything flowed better, and just knowing that someone had gone over it for me helped me calm down enough to complete the rest in reasonable time.

I think I am ready for a break, thank goodness I just have one week left before my week off! I am going home and I cant wait for my little bit of breathing space! (even though I have yet 2 more assignments I have to do in that time, at least I don't have classes as well)

Lets just hope I get through this week relatively quietly without any mishaps or accidents...
I am tired, I hurt, I am way behind in my uni work, I have 3 assignments on the go (though I actually got another one finished and handed in a day early) and am supposed to be studying for a mid-term. I also have to research some stuff for a lab presentation we have to do next week.

As well as "reflect" on each days learning...what do they think we are? machines? Everyone was a bit surprised at the speech we got about being adults and not needing to be told what to do and that we are supposed to be putting x number of hours in a week, we are, honestly and that work will be done, just not necessarily the night of the same day-there is that little thing called priority!

All I want to do is sleep, I mucked up an appointment slot so badly we couldn't even find it for any time and so now the next available time is next Wednesday. I really need to see this person like a month ago but there is no point seeing someone else cos she knows all about me so I just have to wait. It was me who put it off in the first place though so I only have myself to blame.

I knew this was going to be hard, everyone told me it wasn't going to be easy but I sure didn't think I would ever be saying it was too hard...
I'm barely holding on, I'm not sinking just yet, but I'm not sure how long I can hold on. And I hate having to admit that I need help, all I want to be is normal like the rest of my class and able to get through the day...Is that too much to ask?

...oh make that-I am in pain (not just I hurt) this sucks.

So, sorry this was such a sucky post...I'm going to put my sorry self to bed and hopefully wake up a happier person tomorrow, or maybe not waking up at all would solve all my problems...
Once again I find myself being reminded to be patient. Why is nothing ever a simple fix?
I so very want to be steady on my feet, to not need to watch every step I take...that I forget how much hard work it will take to get me there.

My appointment at the balance clinic went well, I have 4 exercises to do but according to very detailed instructions from my rsd physio, I am to start by only doing them once a week till we know they don't cause pain flare ups. I was supposed to say as soon as my foot pain increased substantially but I wasn't totally truthful-if I had, I would never have got past standing with my shoes off.
Because this is to challenge both my proprioception and vestibular system it is best to do them in bare feet but as soon as I stand with no shoes on the pain gets really worse so I just pretended as best I could that I was fine.
I got 4 things to work on, they are all really quite easy things but its amazing how hard I found them to do, I was really frustrated with myself at points, with just how difficult I found it to comply!

After my appointment I started feeling really weird and dizzy and shaky and my head was pounding, I don't know why-whether it was the balance stuff or just random but I ended up fainting in my class that was after the appointment. I am so disappointed with myself over this...I have been trying so hard not to have anything happen during classes, in fact I was half out the classroom door when it happened (so rather embarrassing as well). If only I had got to the bathroom before keeling over, then no-one would ever have known. As it is, the undergrad dean came in and found out (she would have anyway since the class and lab tutor saw) and I felt so bad, I really don't need to give them any more reason to tell me I may not be well enough to carry on.
I've finally got to the point where my CRPS pain is more under control, well thats how I like to think of it anyway. I take my meds like clockwork, throw in another one when I need it, use the tens and do a bit of mirroring. Providing I dont do too much pretending (that I dont have crps...) things are much more bearable mostly and I'm so thankful for that.

So now I am hopefully going to start work on my balance, tomorrow afternoon-between anatomy and a cardio lab on chest markings I have an appointment at the balance clinic and is it ok to say I'm excited about it?

I have been feeling rather down lately about the whole lack of balance issue, I had a meeting with the undergrad dean and she brought it important it is that I don't do certain things, how important it is that all my supervisors know...especially because of the consequences if anything were to happen. I see that now, it is more than just my safety issue, it is the fact that ultimately my supervisor is responsible and can be held accountable. I dont want to put anybody in messy situations just because I was to proud to let them know I am a hazard. But at the same time I feel like I am going to be left out and not allowed to do some things just because it makes it easier for everyone else, I don't want to be treated differently because I think it will turn into a disadvantage and I will miss out on important things.

I'm hoping that the physio will give me a really good rehab program to get me back on my feet in a much more stable position and stop me falling all the time.

I even have a little list of 'patient centered goals' like we talk about so much in class.

I really want to be able to feel safe on my feet without my shoes on
I want to be able to go down stairs without having to totally concentrate on what I am doing
and stop falling over nothing and ending up on my face!

At the moment I can compete with the children over how many bruises I have all over the place-my poor knees are covered!
I'm sure I wasn't quite that bad as a 5 year old...though I do know I was a very messy child and drove my Mum mad.

I spent all of yesterday afternoon cleaning one of my cousins children's bedrooms up. She sent me a message in the morning asking if I would like to go and give miss 5 a hand as "it was turning into a headache for her", I don't blame her wanting to get out of it-it took me hours and by the end I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was collect up all the junk and throw it out but it wasn't my place so instead it is all sorted out.

I felt too mean to say no so instead of putting me and my nearly due (not nearly close to being done) assignment first, I said yes and now my assignment is giving me a headache - only problem is I cant call on anybody to do it for me lol.

After a lot of hard work and 'boom and bust' (against the advice of my OT) my anatomy assignment is almost done, just the last section to do and to write up the reference list and I'll be on to the next one but now I'm both physically and mentally fatigued.

Why wont I ever learn?
I went to an aqua fitness class the other night! (and I do not hurt extra anywhere)

Our public pool was having an open night, you could get in for a gold coin donation and take part in a fitness or spin class. I have been wanting to start doing something physically active for ages but really hadn't found anything that sounded like it was do-able, this sounded like something to actually try out.

I went with a couple of my cousins and my Aunt and we had a great time, I was so excited to be going and I had so much fun and even though I was so tired beforehand and didn't know if it was a good idea I felt so much better afterwards! I was so proud of myself-I kept up with the tempo and was able to do almost everything.
I'm really hoping that we are able to make this a regular outing, just need to work out if we can go to any of the time slots they have the classes normally-I really hope we can!

And today I am going to try out a dance group, I am part of an International folk dancing group back home and I really miss not going through the semester. Well last week I found out about a similar group I think, so this morning I am going to go and say hi-wish me luck!
So, we have been doing 'hips' in classes the last 2 weeks, anatomy is fine-I knew quite a lot already lol. Lectures are interesting, I was especially happy to hear labral tears were big enough to be mentioned as possible hip pathology-no FAI but at least its a start right?
But when it came to practical labs I started having problems...
Last week I let my partner have my left (supposedly good un-operated hip) hip to practice on, it wasn't too happy and the quadrant test was the last straw. It still hurts a week later.
So this week I thought I would give it a rest and let my partner use my right (surgically now 'good' hip) hip instead. First comes me being embarrassed over how little ROM I have, both passive and active (um like not even 90 degrees active flexion...) so I mutter something about having to get back to work on it. Then she does some lateral transverse glide accessory movements and I begin to wonder on the wisdom of letting anybody touch it after all. Trade-in anyone?

This probably sounds trivial, but for a while now I've been getting really stiff as the day goes on, and start getting pain round my right hip joint and down my anterior/medial thigh to my knee. This seems different from the hyperalgesic patch but I've haven't really taken much notice. It is also slightly different from the FAI pain-well at least that is what I'm telling myself.

Is this the osteoarthritis that was noted, coming to catch me already? Or just a case of paranoid physio student diagnosing self with the pathology of the day syndrome-lol!