Self-Management, Education and Support
for Australian sufferers of Neuropathy ONLY
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MY PERSONAL SYMPTOMS- I have Advanced Sensorimotor & Autonomic Polyneuropathy. Cause - Diabetes type II & Nutritional
deficiency Vitamin B's (alcohol). Mine started in my left foot and toes, pins & needles & numbness then after I ceased
alcohol in 2009, progressed from my left leg to my right side and into both arms, hands, fingers and then internally up to
the heart (irregular heart rate/arrhythmia) . Aged 64, my previous GP took my driver's licence off me, as I couldn't feel
anything from my thighs down to both feet and elbows to both hands/fingers, and because I lack coordination (couldn't go through
a door or gate with safety).
I use a walking aide for balance, caused by the neuropathy and prescription drug Pregabalin (Lyrica).
The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy cause excessive body sweating & absence of foot odour (sweating), dry cracked
and ulcerated skin under my feet (Neuropathic Ulcers), loss of sexual function, dry mouth and Eyes, low blood pressure, urination
hesitancy, and irregular rapid heart rate, to name just a few! I have extreme muscle weakness in lower & upper limbs,
I MUST have rail supports when using steps or stairs, I can't safely ascend more than 2 steps due to the fact I can't lift
my feet high enough loss of feet position sense, they drag, catch and I fall. I have severe loss of digital hand dexterity,
"difficulty griping/holding objects in my hands", lifting objects above the level of my waist due to lack of strength/
permanent nerve damage and lack any power/strength to thrown objects any distance. (Rail supports are necessary in the toilet
and shower) I am Romberg Positive, that is, if I close my eyes or bend down/forward I loose my balance and fall over.
In my residence I have and wear a Vital Call Personal Alarm pendant.
My Sensorimotor polyneuropathy symptoms are very severe, no ankle reflexes, my feet and legs have "constant pins
& needles and tightness" with Glove/sock, constant feeling around my feet, you don't know whether or not you are
wearing socks/shoes. Pain NOT fully relieved by any medication, at best 40-60% on some days with Lyrica, on other days no
pain relief is possible, pure agony, which makes depression/mood swings more chronic. I have difficulty walking more than
20 meters without stopping even with my walking stick, and when laying flat on the bed the pain is always exacerbated. I
prefer to sit, even standing aggravates the soles of my feet and causes them to burn and complete numbness causes Neuropathic
Ulcers, craters on the soles. I ALWAYS NEED a bed cradle to keep the sheets off my feet and legs, I MUST sleep with the sheets/blankets
off my lower limbs so NOT to exacerbated the pain by touch, without a cradle I can't sleep! I generally get at best even with
a cradle only 3-6 hours sleep per night, I have great difficulty getting to sleep or awake about 3am on some mornings during
summer without air conditioning. I have to take Serepax 30mg to sedate myself, the neuropathic feet pain/paraesthesia is
so severe that I constantly experienced suicidal ideation, I have attempted that twice, maybe third time lucky? I hope that
never happens! There is also major calf/thighs muscle weakness, wastage, loss of sense proprioception, I shuffle when walking,
have *dysaesthesia, *allodynia & hyperalgesia.
The disease itself causes ataxia (loss of balance) however my medication 'Lyrica' Pfizer, also causes loss of balance,
and excessive weight gain (increased appetite) and when depressed I comfort eat, or don't feel like eating, The weight gain
affects other organs and can't be reduced by diet and as I can't walk more than 20 meters without stopping, or use an exercise
bike (because of my Heart condition/irregular heart rate/arrhythmia).
The constant pain generated from my lower extremities (feet & legs) 'pins & needles/intermittent electric shocks'
severely exacerbates my diagnosed military related Depression. Thus causing frequent suicidal ideation made worse by the
fact I can't be safely prescribe any psychiatric medications side effects Palpitations/racing heart.
Meditation/Relaxation/Tai Chi have NOT totally relieved my
neuropathic pain in the short or long term, but it does reduced my (PTSD) Anxiety & depression symptoms. Please be
NOT all sufferers have this degree of discomfort & disability. I live alone family have all ignored me since my military
service. My home has become a PRISON! I lack community interaction due to this insidious disease
My medications are Lyrica (pregabalin) 425mg daily (225mg mane (morning) and 225mg at bedtime), plus Endone (oxycodone) 10mg,
for chronic paraesthesia (pins & needles) (5mg morning/5mg bedtime).
Some days must top up on extra 5mg prn (as required). (I have increased my Lyrica to 600mg daily, however it never lessens
the neuropathic pain, I find 425mg is a daily therapeutic dose.
Contact me if you have any questions Greg- firstname.lastname@example.org
Peripheral Neuropathy explained-
Sensory Nerves, "Neurogenic Inflammation;
Sometimes known as
'Sick Building Syndrome'
*American Neuropathy Association, a wealth of information and support,