August 8, 2022
In this episode, Lyndsay Soprano kicks off the first episode of The Pain Game Podcast by explaining the heart-felt purpose behind creating this show. She wanted to create a safe space where she could be 100% vulnerable and share personal stories of chronic pain and trauma of all shapes and sizes, as well as bring others into the conversation to share their stories. Some of the topics that will be covered in future episodes include pain, disease, PTSD, as well as sexual, emotional, and physical abuse.
Lyndsay was diagnosed with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) about six and a half years ago. CRPS is nicknamed “the suicide disease” because it is so incredibly painful. On the McGill pain scale, CRPS is ranked higher than unprepared childbirth.
CRPS was previously named Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RDS), notably affecting singer and former American Idol judge, Paula Abdul, leading the public to think that she was struggling with a drinking and/or drug problem, when she was really trying to treat her symptoms with opiates prescribed by her doctors.
Symptoms of CRPS include severe burning pain most often affecting one or more extremities, (arms, legs, hands, or feet). There can be pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and excessive sensitivity to touch, (known as Allodynia).
CRPS is incredibly unusual because it affects the nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels, and bones at the same time. It is typically caused by an injury or surgery, but can also manifest for unknown reasons, which is what happened in Lyndsay’s case.
Her symptoms began shortly after years of infertility drugs, beginning with her right big toe going numb, progressing from her right foot to her left foot, and then eventually throughout her entire body. This has caused mobility issues, GI challenges, and hair loss.
She describes the pain like walking on Legos, hot coals, broken glass, and gravel–just to name a few. Her legs feeling like hot, lava worms are squirming through her veins and that her whole body, starting at her feet, are like a Salem witch trial–and she’s on trial.
Doctors haven’t been able to provide many answers to her, apart from pushing opiates. To combat these symptoms, she has turned to more natural treatments, such as THC and CBD, meditation, biofeedback, stem cell injections, breast implant removal, and a surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator, (which was quickly removed because of near death complications).
The overarching theme of Lyndsay’s battle with CRPS has been that she has CRPS, but CRPS doesn’t define her. She fights every day to show up and do the best that she can in the body she has. She finds additional strength from her circle of friends and family but acknowledges that not everyone can handle the tumultuous dynamic that chronic pain can introduce into relationships and that some ties have been severed as a result. She is working hard towards acceptance so that she can make the most out of the life and body that she has been given and adapting to be able to participate in the activities and experiences that she previously wouldn’t have been able to.
Alas…the Pain Game Podcast begins!
Let’s get to the heart of how to heal. With you by her side.
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To learn more about CRPS, visit and donate to the crpswarriorsfoundation.org.