Source of Featured Image:
Go Fund Me – Help Chantelle heal from CRPS
Dear Pain Matters blog readers,
Today I would like to write about a very brave and inspirational young woman named Chantelle Baxter, a 32-year old entrepreneur from Melbourne, Australia, who sadly developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) last year after twisting her left ankle during a hike in Portland, Oregon.
Chantelle is undergoing a 10-week pain treatment program at The Neurologic Relief Center, Arkansas, USA (headed by Dr. Katinka van der Merwe). Because of its expenses, Chantelle is grateful for any donations (via ‘Go Fund Me’) that may help finance her pain treatments:
Chantelle Baxter, before CRPS Source of image: The Age (17 April 2017). http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/someone-was-melting-the-bones-inside-my-legs-chantelle-baxter-battles-rare-disease-20170416-gvly65.html
CRPS is Not ‘Rare’ in Fracture Patients
Complex regional pain syndrome is often said to be ‘very rare’.
However, the next blog post highlights 4 medical papers that suggest otherwise. Specifically, these studies state that CRPS may arise in anywhere from 7% to 48.5% (ie almost half!) of all fracture patients following fracture and treatment.
I don’t know about you … but if the number of fracture patients who develop CRPS varies anywhere from 7% to almost half (!) of all fracture patients, this certainly does not sound like a ‘rare’ condition!
See next blog post for statistical details about CRPS in fracture patients.
Who is Chantelle Baxter?
Several years ago, Chantelle set a goal to educate one million (1,000,000!) girls in Africa by 2020. To help achieve this altruistic goal, Chantelle co-founded ‘One Girl’, one of Australia’s fastest growing non-profit organizations. So far, One Girl has already reached out to thousands of girls and women in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
Chantelle was recently selected as one of the ’30 Influential Aussie Women Under 30′ as well as ‘Melbourne’s Top 100 Most Influential People’ by Melbourne’s paper, The Age.
Wow! This is One Girl with One Big Heart!!
Chantelle’s Current Challenge: CRPS Caused by a Twisted Left Ankle During a Hike
Chantelle has painful CRPS caused by a twisted left ankle that occurred during a hike last year in Portland, Oregon. While Chantelle did not fracture her left ankle, her entire left foot started to burn with severe pain and it became ‘incredibly swollen’ with ‘a purple, red colour’.
Chantelle flew back to Australia from Portland, Oregon, the very next day after her hike. Sadly, by the time she landed, she could hardly put any weight on her left foot. Quoting Chantelle:
‘By that stage my foot was a strange purple, red colour and incredibly swollen … I knew something was very wrong — so I spent the next six weeks getting every test under the sun — MRI, ultrasound, bone scan, CT scan, blood work — I visited specialist after specialist and none of them could give me an answer about what was going on …’
‘… and eventually I gave up trying to find an answer and flew back to the US, where a doctor finally diagnosed me with CRPS [in January 2017].’
Chantelle describes CRPS as (quoting):
“someone is melting the bones inside my legs. Like I’m being burnt alive from head to toe. Or that my entire body was being dipped in acid.”
Despite nicknaming CRPS ‘The Suicide Disease’ (due to the extreme pain levels that she endured), Chantelle is not known as One Girl who gives up easily in the face of adversity and challenge.
As stated earlier, Chantelle is undergoing a 10-week treatment program at The Neurologic Relief Center, Arkansas, USA (headed by Dr. Katinka van der Merwe).
Chantelle’s treatments for CRPS include:
- ARP Wave therapy;
- Frequency Specific Microcurrent; and
- Daily chiropractic adjustments to release the pressure on her vagus nerve (see References on Dr. Kevin Tracey’s extensive research on the importance of the efferent vagus nerve including its role in inflammation and pain).
Source of image: Cunningham, Melissa. The Age (17 April 2017). http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/someone-was-melting-the-bones-inside-my-legs-chantelle-baxter-battles-rare-disease-20170416-gvly65.html (There is also a 2-minute video in this link.)
Source of image: https://www.gofundme.com/chantellebaxter
Here’s hoping for this One Girl’s speedy recovery from CRPS!
Pain Matters blogger
An Important Update
Please see my update on 29 April 2017 on Chantelle Baxter, who is finally starting to recover from CRPS!:
About Chantelle Baxter and One Girl
(1) Cunningham, Melissa. ‘Someone was melting the bones inside my legs’: Chantelle Baxter’s CRPS battle. The Age (17 April 2017).
(2) Mayoh, Lisa. Chantelle Baxter is battling the most painful condition on Earth. News (19 April 2017).
(3) Markwell, Lauren. Go Fund Me – Help Chantelle heal from CRPS (26 March 2017).
(4) One Girl
Dr. Kevin Tracey’s Research on the Efferent Vagus Nerve and its Role in Inflammation and Pain
(5) Behar, Michael. Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? The New York Times (Magazine) (23 May 2014).
(6) Vince, Gaia. Hacking The Nervous System. Mosaic Science (26 May 2015).
(7) Fox, Douglas. The Shock Tactics Set to Shake Up Immunology. Nature (04 May 2017); 545: 20–22.
(8) Koopman FA, Chavan SS, Miljko S, Grazio S, Sokolovic S, Schuurman PR, Mehta AD, Levine YA, Faltys M, Zitnik R, Tracey KJ, Tak PP. Vagus Nerve Stimulation Inhibits Cytokine Production And Attenuates Disease Severity In Rheumatoid Arthritis. PNAS (2016); 113(29): 8284-8289.