“When I was 9 I was diagnosed with CRPS. I had a lot of chronic injuries to my feet and ankles, which caused me to be in pain a lot of the time. My most serious injury was a torn tendon in my foot. This is what launched my CRPS, and left me disabled for three months, which felt like forever. The pain was so severe, I had to leave my school and give up my sport of martial arts, Shaolin Kung Fu. That was very difficult. I was very lonely and isolated. Besides the pain from the actual injury, the pain from the CRPS was so intense, I could not walk without having severe shooting pains in both of my feet and ankles. Being in a wheelchair gave me a whole new perspective on life. After many, many doctors, not being able to help me, thankfully we found Dr. Paul and Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer and Whole Child LA clinic. They helped me so much!! They listened to me, understood me, and gave me a path forward to focus on my healing. I was in rehabilitation for several months. I worked really hard in physical therapy. I also used art therapy, drawing, crafts, music, singing, swimming, video games, and relied on a lot of prayer. Many people prayed for me, and I was so grateful. I set a goal to be able to run for my 10th birthday. Sometimes I felt like it was impossible, but I never gave up, and I did run for my birthday. After many more months, I completely healed. I have finally been able to return to martial arts and I am now studying Krav Maga, an Israeli form of self-defense. It is intense, challenging and fun. If I could help anyone dealing with CRPS, I would tell them to never give up hope. Never give up on yourself and when you are feeling discouraged or lonely, dig deep and find your inner strength. Stay strong and turn your pain into power!”

Laura shares her extraordinary journey from a young girl searching for answers to her upcoming graduation (pre-med!). As our next generation of doctors are finding their way, Laura is going to use her unique perspective to prioritize patients and help them find their voices. This is a must-watch for anyone who has ever dealt with CRPS, chronic pain, or life in general!

Matt wrote the song “Civil War” about his journey with chronic pain and depression. *LYRICS BELOW* talk about fear and doubt stemming from feeling like his “thoughts can’t navigate this maze.”

———————————————————————————————————

Home sweet home the saying goes

Then why do I feel so alone

Better off than I’ve been in years

But I’m still in tears

It cuts on through like a winter breeze

Taking me down with ease

Clouds my mind in a haze

My thoughts can’t navigate this maze

*It’s eating me up inside

This civil war inside my mind

I don’t know what to do

It’s beating me to submission

Oh this war of attrition

Has brought me to my knees*

A photograph on the windowsill

When we were young and full of cheer

Dressed in red at the game

Man I hope we win

Cuz thats all I was about

Before all this fear and doubt

Swallowed up my head

Suffocating me dead

*Chorus*

I lay on down and close my eyes

But I ain’t getting any sleep tonight

It’s leering down over me

Haunting my dreams

When daylight comes I walk outside

I see the people; I fake a smile

Can’t let them see the devil in me

Contain my thoughts from spilling free

*Chorus*

But I see you

And my mind cools

Yeah that sweet face

Clears my headspace

I’ll give myself to you

Cuz I’m kinda through

With being Me

Matt wrote this song about his experience with chronic pain and using sound for healing. *LYRICS BELOW* about his “rough chapter,” but also about his realization that his “story’s not over.” In this song, he makes the decision to start “writing [his] own life.”

——————————————————————————————————————–

I’m walking down this old road

My friends passing me to and fro

Don’t wait up

Keep my eyes lookin straight

Trying to avoid the crowds of Broken dreams, killing me

And up ahead I see my fate

But I worry I’ll be too late

This monster of mine holding my line

holding me back I find momentum but I fall flat

Find the monster at my back

Claws in deeper I’ve tried to fight and tried to run

But he’s always two steps along

Stopping me from the life I wanna lead

I’ve been broken I’ve been beat

But it’s time I get back on my feet

Naw you can’t hold me can’t slow me down

*It might seem I’m on the ground

But I swear I won’t be kept down

You know I’ll be back up for the rebound

Imma fight imma fight with this mending sound*

There comes a time when you can’t wait

Yeah me and pain we’ve got a date

Show it I can give as well as take

True it was a rough chapter

But the story’s not over

Yeah I’ve made up my mind I’m writing my own life

Yeah I feel liberated, validated like my parking pass

Start my engine Imma hit the road fast

*Chorus*

Bridge – I’m alive

*It might seem I’m on the ground

But I swear I won’t be kept down

You know I’ll be back up for the rebound

Imma fight imma fight

Imma fight for me

Imma fight imma fight imma fight for me

Imma fight imma fight imma fight with this mending sound*