SPECIFIC PURPOSE: To inform my audience about my experience with CRPS.

CENTRAL IDEA: My experience of CRPS before and after I was diagnosed.





Attention: I can stand up here and say the phrase 'chronic illness' or 'mental illness' and I know at least one person's name that you know or love will pop into your head. We all know someone who is fighting this familiar battle. I am still fighting this battle as I speak. I live with a chronic illness.

(Transition: 'to be more specific..' )


Reveal Topic: I live with CRPS, which is an acronym for "complex regional pain syndrome".


Preview: Today, I am going to share my experience with CRPS.


A.    It will be split into two phases.


1.     The first phase is before diagnosis.


2.     The second phase is after diagnosis.


(Transition: "I am going to start with..")




      I.         The first half of my experience with CRPS, which is "before diagnosis"


A.    In August of 2014, I started to feel the symptoms.


1.     I had pain in my neck and hands.


a)     My pinkies curled up and couldn't move.


B.    In October of 2014, my symptoms started to worsen so I seeked medical attention.


1.     I started experiencing full body pain and fell into a deep depression.


2.     I was referred to the UCSF "pain team" to seek answers.


a)     I had to do a full body pain test, where I was officially diagnosed with CRPS.


(1)  My central nervous system is damaged.


(Transition: "that brings me to..")


    II.         The second half of my experience with CRPS, which is "after diagnosis"


A.    In May of 2015, I started to receive treatment.


1.     I decided I would not use "hard" over the counter pain medication.


("I also knew that my mental health could not be ignored, so..")

B.    In July of 2015, I started seeing a psychologist.


1.     He helped me find methods to manage my depression and cope with everyday pain.


C.    In present day, I am getting by the best that I can.


1.     I struggle to stay mentally healthy every single day, but I am no longer depressed.


2.     I manage my pain everyday through a healthy lifestyle.


a)     I eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, and get good sleep.


b)     I know my physical and mental limits.


(1)  I know what my body can and cannot do.


3.     I give back to those who are also dealing with chronic pain.


a)     I used my last 3 birthday parties to run a toy drive for the UCSF children's hospital.




SIGNAL: Now that you know me on a level that's more than visual, let me end by saying:


REVIEW: My experience with CRPS is easy to identify through two phases: before and after my diagnosis.


KICKER: and like I said, if no one's name popped up in your head at the beginning of this speech, mine now will.