Smart Pup for Penny

Smart Pup for Penny

My name is Penny, and I have had CRPS for over 5 years. It began in my left foot and quickly spread to both feet and legs, and now I suffer with it whole body. CRPS is a multi-system disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system, the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a debilitating condition that is characterized by continuous pain, that begins in one region of the body and has a predominance of sensory, motor, autonomic, skin and bone abnormalities in the affected region/s. The pain is disproportionate, in time or degree, to the inciting event. There is variable progression in the signs and symptoms over time.
21.10% Raised
$4,219.40 donated of $20,000.00 goal
30 Donors

The mechanism of CRPS is unknown, however, it is believed that CRPS occurs as a result of damage to, or a malfunction of the nervous system and the immune system.

Common symptoms include:

• Severe pain, lasting longer than expected and being disproportionate to the original condition/injury
• Hypersensitivity to touch and/or pain from non-painful stimuli (such as from breezes, sheets, the shower etc)
• Inflammation
• Colour and/or Temperature changes (eg. mottled, red/blue skin; hot/cold)
• Pain/Sensitivity to changes in the weather
• Increased or Decreased sweating
• Skin, Nail or Hair Growth changes
• Limb Weakness, Numbness, Spasms or Tremors
• Contractions of the hand or foot, abnormal muscle postures or clumsiness

I have been successful with my application for a ‘Smart Pup’, assistance dog. This will be life changing for me, as the dog will be trained specifically to notify someone if I have a debilitating flare up, and it will be able to push a chair to me when this happens, along with bring me vital items that are needed such as a phone to call for help, water etc…. The dog will also be able to open doors for me, support me emotionally through the challenging times, and many other helpful things.

CRPS has affected every aspect of my life. Prior to CRPS I was a healthy, active mum, self employed professional that also loved hiking and the outdoors.

CRPS has effected me in many ways, here are just some:

• My mobility is greatly affected. I use a range of mobility tools, from crutches to wheelchairs.
• I am unable to lift or carry anything with weight or that is a reasonable size, which very limiting as a mother.
• I cannot walk on uneven ground at all, and I struggle greatly with slopes and inclines.
• impaired balance and dizziness.
• Stairs are impossible for me to navigate.
• Any situation can cause a flare up. Having a flare up means that I am then unable to place any pressure or touch or even a light breeze or sheet/clothing onto the effected area, at all, without extreme pain. These flare ups can last for weeks/months, where I am completely immobilized
• Allodynia – central pain sensitization (increased response of neurons) following normally non-painful, often repetitive, stimulation. Allodynia can lead to the triggering of a pain response from stimuli which do not normally provoke pain. Temperature or physical stimuli can provoke allodynia, which may feel like a burning sensation.
• Dystonia – a neurological movement disorder that makes it difficult for people to control their muscles. It can cause abnormal twisting or positions in part(s) of the body along with spasms or tremors. Dystonia can affect almost any part of the body.
• Sensory changes – touching my body (particularly lower body) even lightly, moving through water, a change in temperature, a breeze, a sheet/blanket etc is unbearable and all cause extreme pain. At night I have to sleep with my lower body raised, with no blankets or sheets on my lower body at all.
• Inability to regulate body temperature

I rely greatly on the assistance of my husband daily to help me dress, shower, transfer into bed, getting my medicines, shopping, cooking, washing, cleaning and general house duties along with parental duties that I cannot do. Our family home has had to be completely modified to accomodate my condition, along with my car.

Having an assistance dog would mean the absolute world to me and my family. It would provide a huge measure of comfort to James, (my husband) and myself as we would both know that I will be safe with the help of the dog, when I am alone. The mental repercussions of not being able to look after myself will be helped tremendously by having an assistance dog close by every day. The emotional support that a trained dog can give, along with the physical assistance, is indescribably life changing for our family, as it would help to ease the tremendous amount of stress that our whole family experiences due to this extremely limiting condition.

I would never ask unless I needed to. This assistance dog is so vital to allowing me to get more from life, for both my family and I. Please pass this on to anyone you feel would be interested in helping. Thank you in anticipation of your
support.

Please contact me if you want to find out more about my condition or just to chat. I would love to hear from you.

Sincerest of Thanks,

Penny McCullagh

Smart Pups
Smart Pups Team
enquiries@smartpups.org.au

Every donation adds up to make a big difference! Your ongoing support goes towards training each Assistance Dog for a child with special needs. You are part of an incredible community of loyal supporters, who together help to make great things possible from what are often small beginnings. Thank you for your donation! All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Thank you for your suppawt.

31 Comments
  • Dianne Faulkner
    Posted at 11:51h, 16 August Reply

    Wishing you all the best and may your smartpup be wonderful for you and your family!

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:22h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Dianne for your support, we cant wait to meet my pup!

  • Sue Kings
    Posted at 13:02h, 16 August Reply

    I hope my contribution is of some help to you honey , your a very brave soul , and I pray you have your puppy very soon love Sue & Biggen

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:21h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Sue & Biggen for your support, it really means a lot!

  • Rhonda Wilkie
    Posted at 16:56h, 16 August Reply

    Best wishes with getting your smart pup Penny

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:20h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Rhonda x

  • Amanda Hicks
    Posted at 15:10h, 20 August Reply

    Good Luck Penny. We hope our contribution helps a little. Thinking of you and sending you lots of love,,,,,regards Michael & Amanda

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:20h, 28 August Reply

      Hey Michael and Amanda, thank you guys for your support, it really means a lot to me! X

  • Louise Nardi
    Posted at 05:53h, 21 August Reply

    Best wishes Penny x

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:19h, 28 August Reply

      Louise, thank you so much for your support. You are so beautiful and kind. I really appreciate your support. Much love, Penny xxx

  • Kate Munro
    Posted at 13:16h, 21 August Reply

    My daughter was diagnosed with CRPS when she was 16. Thankfully a doctor picked it up straight away and made her exercise her wrist/hand non stop. It took about a week and half but thankfully the symptoms disappeared and hasn’t returned. She is 19 now, so our fingers are crossed it doesn’t raise its ugly head again. I lived at Drummond with Monique and Pep. Best of luck with your mission to raise the funds needed for an assistance dog and best of luck with managing the condition.

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:18h, 28 August Reply

      Thank Kate for your support, I really appreciate it. I am so pleased to hear that your daughters diagnosis was so quick! Thats wonderful news!!! I’m so pleased she is leaving life to the fullest now. My diagnoses was 2 years in… and unfortunately the chance of remission now is very low. Its rare to hear such a wonderful story as is your daughters. I’m so happy for her.

  • Kerri Muller
    Posted at 14:19h, 21 August Reply

    Wishing you all the best with getting your Smart Pup Penny.

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:16h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Kerri, i appreciate your support.

  • Sheree Millen
    Posted at 19:45h, 22 August Reply

    Good luck with your fundraising. I’m Hayley’s sister and have heard so much about you.

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:16h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Sheree! I really appreciate your support. Xxx

  • Toni Martin
    Posted at 14:54h, 23 August Reply

    Penny
    You are a great friend and inspiration to many. I truly admire your inner strength.
    Together we can make life better for you.
    A pup for Pen ❤

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:15h, 28 August Reply

      Thankyou beautiful Toni, i am blessed to have friends like you. Xx

  • Loni Pocock
    Posted at 07:07h, 24 August Reply

    These lovely doggies can give so much freedom and independence to some amazing souls😀

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:14h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Loni xx

  • Leanne Collyer (nee Mitchell)
    Posted at 16:47h, 25 August Reply

    Hi Penny,
    I have only just stumbled across this link.
    I am so sorry to hear of your condition.
    I can in a very tiny way relate as I have RA and the flair ups can be so debilitating.
    Sending you love and positive thoughts
    Leanne & Family

    • Avatar
      Penny
      Posted at 11:13h, 28 August Reply

      Thank you Leanne, i am sorry to hear of your health condition. I hope you are getting the help you need.
      Love Penny

  • Kelly Quinn
    Posted at 12:39h, 01 September Reply

    An amazing young woman, struck down with a rare crippling disease & yet through her pain she still gives unconditionally to others.. Time for you to be blessed beautiful friend.. I cant wait for you to reach this goal and meet your new Support dog ❤💞❤

  • Mandy Coates
    Posted at 10:52h, 13 September Reply

    Hope you get your puppy soon Penny!

  • Bronwyn Blagoev
    Posted at 19:20h, 04 October Reply

    As a fellow mum i cant even begin to imagine your journey. All the best Penny.

  • Rhiannon Lawson
    Posted at 19:52h, 04 October Reply

    Good luck Pen, I hope you get a dog quickly. Sending so much love, strength and courage to you and yours. A small donation is the least I can do for all your family did for us three girls as little ones xxxx

  • Penny Mccullagh
    Posted at 10:46h, 10 November Reply

    Animal Feeding Fundraiser

  • Penny Mccullagh
    Posted at 11:46h, 10 November Reply

    Donations from the Animal feeding day

  • Kylie McCormack-Anthony
    Posted at 13:31h, 12 November Reply

    Hi Penny, I wish you & your family all the very best.

  • Vicki Rayner
    Posted at 16:24h, 21 November Reply

    Trivia Night!

  • Penny McCullagh
    Posted at 14:50h, 23 November Reply

    stall, 2 raffles

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