Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Achy breaky feet

I have a nasty case of neuropathy. If I complain about it. just assume I'm in pain. Neuropathy is one of the nastier side effects of diabetes, and until it happened to me, I had no clue as to what it feels like or why it happens.

Imagine that you are sitting in a nice comfy chair. You feel fine except your toes are tingling. It isn't like a pins and needle tingle. It burns, but at the same time your feet feel freezing cold. Any movement burns more and the skin covering your feet feels like it has been stretched out until it is too tight for your feet.The burning is painful to the touch, so much so that shoes and socks are too painful to have on your feet. Even Uggs hurt. Being barefoot, however isn't a cure. It just makes your feet colder. When you go to sleep at night, you have to stick your feet out of the covers because the weight of even a down comforter is too much for your feet to bear.

That is what neuropathy is, or at least it is what my neuropathy feels like. I think everyone has similar symptoms, but then again I honestly don't know anyone else that has it, so I can't really ask. All I know is, sometimes the pain is so distracting that I honestly can't think of anything else.

I take a medication for the neuropathy. Strange medicine. It is an antidepressant called Elavil, and it sort of works. If I take two pills, my feet stop the constant aching after a couple of days, but the drug makes me so tired that I can and often do sleep round the clock. So that isn't always the best choice. If I only take one, my feet still hurt, but they aren't so bad that I can't ignore them. They just hurt. The thing about neuropathy is that every day it is different. It hurts more if I eat sugar, but it doesn't react the opposite way is my blood glucose is very low.

Often when I go to sleep my feet ache so badly that I have trouble falling asleep. Trying to decide what to do when this happens is quite difficult. Like right now, when I should be fast asleep but my feet are aching and burning. I try to take my mind off the pain. I try to be one with the pain. However, I suck and all I really want is something to take away the pain.

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Blogger amylouwho said...

I have chemotherapy induced neuropathy and you gave a great description of it. It is such a pain. I have found that the mineral (herb? amino acid? whatever it is) L-glutamine helps the pain quite a bit.

4/2/11 6:22 PM  

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