Saturday, July 22, 2006

Living with RSD Part II

Shannon Baldwin II, originally uploaded by rsdscrpsnews.

Living with RSD Part II

Imagine living in a constant state of pain, 24 hours a day. That is the reality for those living with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. Last night, we introduced you to an Archer City woman who's lived with this condition for nine years. Tonight, we take a look at treatment options for the disease. Newschannel Six's Jennifer Kim concludes part two of her Special Report: RSD, a life of pain.

This was Shannon Baldwin 10 years ago--active and full of energy. This is Shannon today--bound to a wheelchair, unable to do even the simplest task without help.

"You get depressed because you feel bad, and you know you look bad compared to what you used to," she says.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome took hold of Shannon's life after she sustained a knee injury. Her days are now marked by countless doctor visits, and endless amounts of medication. Her nights are marked with insomnia. And always, there is a searing, burning pain that never goes away.

Wichita Falls Neurologist Danny Bartel says "the pain will deplete you. It'll deplete your mind, your body, your soul and spirit." Ini fact, the pain is so bad, oftentimes, patients feel suicide is the only option...especially because doctors say there is no cure.

Shannon's mother, Janice Alsup says, "if tears could have cured it, it would have been cured a long time ago."

But there are options. In some cases, clipping the sympathetic nerve in the lower back will diminish the pain. Certain types of medication can help control the pain.

The disease has advanced so far in Shannon's body, clipping her sympathetic nerve didn't help. Even so, Shannon says this disease has taught her an extremely valuable lesson.

"You learn so much about humility. Things that were once so important fall by the wayside. You think of yourself and kick yourself for worrying about those things in the past. They are so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things."

Doctors say Shannon's positive attitude has helped her cope with the disease.

"You don't want your life to be in a chair, dependent on pain medication, but you have to cope with it. And you do your best, which she's doing and I'm glad she's doing her best," says Shannon's doctor, Dr. Fazel.

If you or someone you know suffers from RSD, there are resources to help with the pain.

For more information, go to:,, and Those websites should be able to hook you up with support groups, and connect you to others in the area living with RSD.

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