Last night I stayed up until 3 in the morning finishing my blog on “2001: A Space Oddysey” It was good (I think) and I had just found this cool photo to accompany it……..I fell asleep. Rats! I hit the wrong key as I struggled to waken myself and I lost the whole thing somehow. I was really happy with it too….Oh well, something else has come up anyway. I got my first comment (yay!) on my blog and this person was very much interested in the fact that I was dealing “Peripheral Neuropathy” and so I think i’ll talk a little more about that. One of the strange things about dealing with this condition is that other people can’t see it. I know this sounds a little odd but when you’re on the inside looking out you can see the struggle that other people have comprehending the severity of your situation so, allow me to give you a glimpse. First of all I have to deal with the fact that my feet must be elevated for at least 6 hours a day and if I don’t adhere to that as the “golden rule” then walking is out of the question. Something about the blood flow to your feet, while elevated, does give some relief to the constant pain you’re trying to deal with. Just the fact that you’re off of your feet at all, is a relief, but elevating them is better. I wear compressions socks most of the time to keep squeezing more blood down to my feet. PAIN, is a really “trippy” thing! It supercedes everything else in your mind and forces you deal with it. It is immediate. And incredibly frustrating. So, the first thing you do is look for relief from the pain. Enter,,,,,,,,,,. the doctors……..Most Doctors don’t have a clue about handling Peripheral Neuropathy when Diabetes is not in play. There just isn’t enough documented case histories. So when you’re dealing with symptoms you’re pretty much on your own. It’s up to you to help the doctor understand what you’re experiencing and this is a huge chore because PAIN becomes your focus and not the underlying symptoms. So, you begin by masking your symptoms, which doctors are very happy to do. Right now, I take Neurontin, Hydrocodone, Mirtazapine, Xanax, Furosemide (and Hydrochlorothiazide because keeping swelling down is a job by itself) Pravastatin and 50,000 mg of Vitamin D, twice a month because I don’t get enough sunshine, all of the others I take daily and every 8 hours for pain. It’s a little project just keeping your pills regulated. I have a nurse that comes once a week to check on me and 2 doctors that visit once every two months. I have my apartment laid out so that there are things to hold onto everywhere I need to go, which frees me up from using a cane indoors. I have a shower chair because the shower is extremely dangerous for me. I have fallen 4 times in the shower and don’t even attempt doing it standing anymore…..So now you’ve got your symptoms masked, to the point where you can focus on something other than just pain, when all the other stuff is just waiting there to smack you in the face. Depression is a big one. You don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to walk correctly again and that idea is quicksand. You can imagine all the thoughts that run through a persons mind when dealing with that subject matter…………Now, there is so much more to this that I don’t think I can put it all down in a blog but I hope you’ve gained a little insight and I promise to write more on this for you..(my first commenter) in the near future. But, suffice it to say, PAIN SUCKS and takes over your whole life. Fortunately for me, we have found a part of my problem in my spine and I’m scheduled for my second non-invasive surgery later this month. It’s taken 2 years to get this far and if it takes another 2 years….so be it! I am not giving up……….thank you so much for asking me about this…..it actually felt good to share this with another sufferer and maybe help some people understand that just because a person doesn’t wear their pain on their sleeve doesn’t mean that there is no battle alive inside………..hugs-n-smiles…….2001: A Space Oddysey next…….cheers!