Search

‘Spilling a glass of water on my leg causes unbearable pain’: Highbury teenager speaks out on rare condition

15:27 20 September 2016

Helena Stone: raising awareness of complex regional pain syndrome

Helena Stone: raising awareness of complex regional pain syndrome

Archant

Imagine having a condition that leaves you in constant pain. It’s time to talk complex regional pain syndrome, Helena Stone tells James Morris.

“Brave” is one of those words lazily over-used by local papers to describe someone in plight.

But the Gazette has no such problem using it for Highbury teenager Helena Stone.

She suffers complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in her right leg.

It means if someone spills a glass of water on it, or gives it the slightest knock, Helena is left in agonising pain.

Diagnosed two years ago, this debilitating illness has caused untold heartbreak.

Helena was one of the best young kayakers in the country, but has been forced to quit. She was at Loughborough University, but had to pause her studies as she was left wheelchair-bound.

Little is known about CRPS, which is why Helena, 19, of Calabria Road, is speaking out.

“I loved kayaking,” she says. “I was 16 and training for a national rankings race – I was in the third tier. I capsized and sprained my knee. A year later, it was still swollen. That was when I was diagnosed. They didn’t know what caused it, and that is the big issue.

“I am constantly in pain, but it varies from day to day. Some days, spilling water or the slightest knock can cause me unbearable pain. It can leave me in tears.

“I got through my A-levels but this year my condition got worse. I was at Loughborough but had to pull out. I was a really active 16-year-old. Now I’m reliant on a wheelchair and dealing with doctor appointments.

“I have an uncertain future because there’s a big lack of understanding on CRPS. Treatments are very hit and miss. I have had 11 but my body responds differently to each one. I can only hope they find something that works.”

Which is why Helena, who returns to university in February, is blogging about her experiences.

“CRPS is an invisible disability. My blog is not about finding a cure, but about raising awareness that not every disability is visible. And hopefully I can support those going through the same as me.”

Read Helena’s blog at syndromepainregionalcomplex.blogspot.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:23

A year ago, Jeremy Corbyn promised Islington North ‘won’t be forgotten’ after he was elected Labour leader. Twelve months on, James Morris asks community leaders across his constituency whether he has kept his word.

Yesterday, 13:34

A music producer told the Islington councillor who shut down Farringdon superclub Fabric: “Your decision has made me come over all rapey.”

Yesterday, 12:39

A radical report that recommends moving all council tenants with health issues caused by their damp, mouldy homes will go before cabinet.

Yesterday, 07:00

The grieving mother of a young man shot dead in a King’s Cross nightclub is today pleading for the community to name her son’s killer after a decade of silence.

Wed, 19:00

Islington’s archives team were all smiles after winning their bid to bring home a piece of the borough’s creative history.

Wed, 17:35

Think you’ve had an interesting life? Meet Carlos Lopez-Barillas. He’s an award-winning Guatemalan war photographer, champion skateboarder and water polo player and runs his own newspaper. And comes from a family of political activists.

Wed, 17:33

The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Islington. This week we speak to the guys behind the borough’s first honey.

Wed, 15:57

Drum’n’bass fans were left fuming after being refused entry to a Finsbury Park festival because they “turned up too late”.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now