It’s been three years since a local woman began noticing unexplained symptoms that caused her to eventually need constant cold packs, but she’s no closer to finding answers.
Paula Corey has a disorder called Erythromelalgia, a medical term that comes from the Greek word for “red burning limb.”
“They've got unexplained burning pain... they have redness... and the pain feels better when they cool the area,” Dr. Anne Oaklander from Mass. General Hospital said.
At first, the episodes, or "flares” Corey experienced, were only occasional.
“Sometimes it would be just my feet. Would be maybe once or twice a month,” she said.
Now, it's something she can't ignore, because the burning almost never goes away.
“Literally, your foot, is on top of a flame... that you can't put out,” Corey said. “I had a full-time career. I was a paralegal, spent all my time outside, worked out at the gym five days a week.”
Now, she is a virtual prisoner to a cold room. But "giving up" is not on her agenda and she offers this advice for others with the disorder.
“Keep looking for that answer, keep searching for that doctor,” she said.
Until then, Corey has a freezer full of ice packs, an air-conditioned room and something that does not run hot and cold - the support of her family.
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