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My name is Theresa Galvano and I am 25 years old living with a neurological disease called RSD. My friends and family call me Tess. I was diagnosed in 2000 when I injured my right pinky. Over the past nine years the disease has spread throughout my entire right side of the body, the most severe being my right arm and right leg.
The most common symptom is burning pain. The pain is so bad that it hurts touch, wind hurts when it hits me, and it hurts to shower. I also experience muscle spasms, swelling, increased sweating, bone softening, joint tenderness, stiffness, restricted and painful movement, changes in the nails and skin and discoloration on my right limbs. I take many drugs on a daily basis. These drugs include: Percocet, baclofin, Demerol, Zofran, Zanex, oxycodin, and Cymbalta. None of these drugs ever completely rid me of my pain. My pain level is always in the range of 8 to 10. I am constantly in and out of the hospital for periods of 5 to 12 days in order to receive higher doses of medication.
I have been to both Germany and France for unsuccessful experimental medical treatment. I have been up and down the east coast trying anything to find a cure. These hospitals include John Hopkins, The Mensana Clinic, Green Springs Maryland, and New York Presbyterian. I also have had five separate brain surgeries in 2007. I understand that the ketamine coma procedure is not a treatment but a study. I also understand that it is a dangerous procedure that can result in permanent brain and nerve damage, even death.
As of now my quality of life has come to a halt. I am depressed, its hard to get out of bed, I am confused. I no longer have the same zest for life as I once did. In conclusion, I feel that I am a good candidate for the study because I want to get better and I want you and other people to prosper for my willingness to partake in the study.
January 3, 2010
The International Research Foundation for RSD / CRPS is a