Tim’s story

Story · 2 min read · 21 Jan 2023

Tim’s pain story

Hear about Tim’s experience of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, the impact on his well-being, and the skills he developed on his pathway to recovery.

By Prof Helen Slater

Tim’s CRPS impacted every aspect of his life, especially his mental health. He encountered challenges in making sense of CRPS, what it meant for him and his future, and how he found a way through with the right help and support.

Tim’s an avid sports fan, playing grade hockey and coaching. He developed really invasive pain in his right foot and a loss of sensation below his right knee.

“I couldn’t clearly think my brain is so focused on this really invasive hot knife-like pain all the time…like someone is just stabbing my foot constantly with really, really hot metal…I was incredibly suicidal.”

When Tim was diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), there was a sense of relief. That relief quickly turned into a lot of anxiety. “I was told I would never play hockey again…run again. This is me now, what does that mean for me, what can I do with the rest of my life…”?

Tim was desperate for help. He talks about how he sought that help, and how his family and close personal relationships provided critical support both then and now.

Tim talks about how he found a team he trusted, who listened without being judgemental or stigmatising and who worked with him to come up with a solution that put his needs and life at the centre of his care.

“I nailed down what I could control, and that was day by day."


“I now go to the gym 3 times a week and play hockey”. Tim is currently the happiest and most sustainable version of Tim that he has been.