Living with RSD: Inspiration from Amanda

By Mar 30, 2011May 12th, 2012155 Comments

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Joining us today is Amanda, the twenty-something blogger behind Life According to Amanda. Although she suffers from RSD, a chronic pain disorder, Amanda refuses to let her condition rule who she is or what she is able to accomplish.

chronic pain

Your blog is such a source of inspiration! What can you us about your RSD condition? What is it and how are you doing now?
RSD, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, is a chronic pain and neurological condition that causes a burning pain in the affected area. I was diagnosed with RSD when I was thirteen after a strep infection moved into my blood stream and settled into my hands. After putting RSD into remission the first time, I was then re-diagnosed at seventeen with the pain this time being in my right leg. I spent eighteen months on crutches and was put into medical remission with the implant of a spinal cord stimulator in 2007. Since then, I have been experiencing some occasional symptoms in my leg and I am currently in medical treatment for the third time, this time with internal pain in my kidney. I have spent a lot of time coming to terms with the fact that I will never be completely free of pain and I have learned the best ways to adapt in my day to day life. Most people, unless I am open to them about what is going on or I am having a particularly bad day, are completely unaware that I have this condition. It has made me such a stronger person.

We see that you’re moving from Ohio to Mississippi for graduate school soon. What do you anticipate living in the south will be like?
I think my first answer is hot! I’ve spent so much time living in the north in snow belts that I know it is going to be a culture shock to move. I’m also terrified with the fact that I am moving so far away from my family and the friends I have made over my years at school, without knowing anyone in Mississippi. Another big change that I am trying to prepare myself for is just the rural-ness of the school I’m moving to–I’m going from a city of nearly 200,000 to one of 24,000. And that is not even mentioning the fact that the closest Target store involves driving for an hour and a half and crossing state lines! I’m not sure what I would do if I lived there and was not able to do some online shopping.

chronic pain

Tell us about the month you lived in France.
I lived in France in August of 2005 when I was sixteen years old. I guess you could say that living there for only a month was my first big “failure”–I was supposed to live there for the entire year as a foreign exchange student. While the time that I did get to spend there was beautiful, I don’t think that it was right for me at the time and my match with my host family just wasn’t there. Living in France was the first time I was truly able to experience independence, but looking back, I would have done things a lot differently.

Describe your best {and worst} day as a nanny.
I really think it is hard to pinpoint one best day with the kids I nanny. Both kids present different challenges (the younger boy, A, has Fragile X Syndrome and is Autistic and the older girl, B, is a typical teenager) but I truly do love them both to death and will have an incredibly hard time leaving the family in August for graduate school. I think that one of my favorite parts of a typical night (I’m there from 5pm until 9am, as the mom is a night shift nurse) is after getting A ready for bed and the three of us laying on my bed in “snugglefest” as B refers to it as. We will spend time reading and relaxing from the day, and it really does warm my heart to see how B interacts with A. The worst day, however, is an easy one. After taking B to school (in my brand new car, no less), A and I got back to the house to see that he had made a mess is his diaper that involved me spending the next hour or so trying to get the mess and smell out of my car. From there on, I’ve made sure to have a towel down no matter where we are going.

A few posts from Amanda that you do not want to miss…
A Letter to RSD: Sometimes, the things we hate most in life really do make us stronger.
Comparing Blogging to Online Dating: There aren’t too many differences between the two activities after all.
Failing at Being a Perfectionist: Turns out Amanda is not perfect. But then again, none of us are. And that’s OK.

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.


  • Belinda Boscoe says:

    I have enjoyed your story very much. It is really nice to read something so inspirational especially when I also suffer from RSD and I also have stated that I will not let it rule my world. I have remained strong in the belief that I can beat this and I can use this to strengthen myself and my belief that you can do anything you let yourself take control of. With RSD I may have to do things a bit differently and it may take a little longer but I can still take control. RSD is new to me and I am 50 but I have been searching for ways to avoid letting it take control of my life. I can only hope to be as strong as you have been. Thank you again for your inspiration…. BBB

  • Sarah says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. I also have a chronic condition, PCOS, and it’s inspiring to read other people’s stories.

  • Wow – Before Amanda, I had never even heard of RSD. God Bless her.

  • What an inspirational blog 🙂

  • It’s always inspiring to read how people deal with challenges.