KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) - Lauren Bridges sits on her couch with her two children in her lap. It is something she could not do months ago – not without extreme pain.
"It was too much," she says.
Bridges has CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It is a rare disorder causing severe pain, triggered by even the smallest touches or sounds.
"If the wind was just blowing, if a blade of grass would touch my foot," she explains.
There is no cure for CRPS, which Bridges has had for 13 years after a soccer injury. For most, the only thing to do is treat the pain with medication.
"You're 32, you don't want to live off medicine," she says.
Bridges tried everything – including one drug, that made her feel thoughts of suicide.
"It got really dark," she says. "If it wasn't for [my family], I probably wouldn't be here."
A doctor then recommended a pain pump, containing Fentanyl. It is a type of opioid, known to be very addicting. Bridges remembered an experience she had with the drug, after one of her many surgeries.
"That withdraw feeling was absolutely nuts," she recalls. "I don't think I've ever been sicker."
After hearing other stories of addiction, she refused to try it long term.
"I didn't want to mess with it," she says.
She then decided, rather than mess with it, she would take extreme measures – amputation.
"To me, it's a leg," she says. "It's no big deal. I rather not be in pain, than have my leg."
Now, the sound of playtime fills her house, with her two young children.
"It was kind of like a miracle," she says.
Bridges is able again to bare those touches and sounds that used to cause her such pain, after 13 years, not once regretting her choice of life over medication.
"If I 'm not going to be here, there's no point."
Bridges knows different medicines can affect people in different ways, but she says she wants there to be more accountability for doctors to check in on their patients if they are taking drugs that could cause suicidal thoughts or addiction.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help the Bridges family. You can find it here.