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Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Rare disease | 0 comments

Fun with CRPS? (13.11.2017)

Fun with CRPS? (13.11.2017)

I had some fun in the waiting area of my physiotherapy (PT) clinic tonight, with one of the youngsters who was sitting there. His dad got into the act as well, as did one of the clinic employees who happened to be walking by  ‘-)

As usual, while waiting for my PT session, I was wearing my odd-looking dynamic splint on my hand & arm. For more information about this made-to-order creation – suggested by my physiotherapist & then prescribed by a physician at the hospital – read the post Movie character claw.

Photo of a woman's hand with a 4-finger metal & elastic splint

Photo: Sandra Woods

How did I have fun? I tried to convince the little guy that this contraption’s for an injured superhero hand! He was sitting with his dad on one of the long (comfortable) benches in the waiting area, but kept looking over at my hand after I came in and took off my coat.

By this point I’ve gotten fairly used to folks staring at this dynamic splint, so I asked if he wanted to come take a closer look at it. He looked up at his dad, who nodded his permission. As his son was getting up, he told him: “This is like when we go shopping with mom – you can look, but you can’t touch. So don’t touch her hand, okay!”

I could tell his dad had a sense of humour, so as the little boy was walking over to me I replied to his dad: “Thanks for warning him. I wouldn’t want him to set off the electric pulse, because it’s really difficult to control the super-powers now that I’m injured.” The man’s face broke into a wide grin, and he nodded back to show me that I had a co-conspirator in my plan…

Apparently getting nervous, the boy turned around and ran back to his dad! So I asked if they both wanted to see my hand, so over they came. The man sat down next to me, with his son on his lap. At this point, a clinic employee who’d heard the exchange walked by, saying to the boy:”Be careful! If you touch any of the metal parts of her hand, you’ll get a bad zap and it’ll really hurt! She doesn’t mean to do it, but sometimes it goes haywire because of her injury.”

A story emerged; that I’d broken my arm and ended up with a rare disease, and that it was causing some really strange super-powers. That my physiotherapist had to wear special gloves when he was treating me, so he wouldn’t get electrocuted. His dad asked about the special shoes my therapist had to wear, to be grounded against electricity.

Photo: Sandra Woods


When he seemed skeptical about this whole story, I surreptitiously used my other hand to slip my car keys – with my remote car starter – into the pocket of my sweater. My regular car key, without the remote starter, was already there.


Then I brought him and his dad over the front door of the clinic, and pointed out my car; I’d found a parking spot right in front of the clinic that evening. I told the little guy that I could even start my car using my new superpowers, and started it using the remote in my pocket – with my other hand. He was so focused on the dynamic splint that he didn’t even notice that I’d slipped my other hand into my pocket; he just saw the headlights of my car go on, and then off again when I stopped it.

I made a big show of pulling the key chain out of my pocket – without the remote! His dad had already caught on, so pointed out his car, and asked if I could start it. So I pointed my superhero splint at it, and he used his remote to start it up. The resulting squeals from the little guy were just priceless: “Start another one, start another one!”

His dad saved the day, telling his son: “I bet she’ll only start a car when someone tells her it’s okay. Otherwise she’d be wasting their gas.”, as he led him back into the waiting area.

But I didn’t want this kid to be made fun of, if he told anyone about meeting a “superhero” at the PT clinic, so I told him the truth after we all sat back down; that his dad and I had pulled a prank on him. I think he was even more excited about the idea of being pranked than he was about meeting a superhero! He kept giggling to his dad: “I can’t wait to tell mom that you played a joke on me! She’s never going to believe it!”

I never asked what the little boy & his dad were at the PT clinic for, but was glad that I’d been able to add some excitement and humour to their day. So today I had some fun with my CRPS… and those are some words I never expected to write in the same sentence; fun and CRPS!

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