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What is Peripheral Neuropathy? Education & Support for Australian Sufferers.

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Self-Management, Education and Support

Welcome Oriental

This 3 page website is provided for ALL Australian's who are suffering with Peripheral Neuropathy and associated neuropathic pain, to better their the Education and Management of this Insidious disease.

TPI (2006) Age (2014) Pensioner
Although our bodies age and ache, our minds remain active, until some misplace their marbles!

WHAT IS A TPI Pension?

Hello,My name is
Greg McMahon, I reside in Queensland and I am a Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferer with * 'Nutritional' Alcohol caused ( Sensory & Autonomic) Neuropathy.  
      "My symptoms, and how this disability affects me, see the bottom part of this page".
   DVA accepted disease in 2004 Under Veterans Entitlements ACT 1986.
 The following websites are supplied to assist Australian sufferer's with Self Management and Education to better understand their symptoms, the causes and available treatments for this insidious progressive disease.
 CONTACT me -Greg,
With your questions, comments or for emotional support; this disease can drive you mad, cause depression, don't suffer alone, I am but a email away!

Peripheral Neuropathy explained-


Sensory Nerves, "Neurogenic Inflammation;
Sometimes known as 'Sick Building Syndrome'


*American Neuropathy Association, a wealth of information and support,

A Reference to other Neuropathy Groups, Webpages in Australia.


Can sometimes be a secondary disease to


Peripheral Neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves-the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It usually affects the feet but can also affect the hands and balance (gait) causing weakness, numbness, tingling and sometimes severe chronic pain. Peripheral Neuropathy's course is variable; it can come and go, slowly progressing over many years, or it can become severe and debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, can sometimes be slowed and/or controlled.
MY PERSONAL SYMPTOMS     Advanced  Axonal Sensory & Autonomic  polyneuropathy.  (DVA Accepted disorder) Cause - Nutritional deficiency (alcohol).  Mine started in my left foot and toes, pins & needles then after I ceased alcohol  progressed to my right side and into both arms, hands, fingers and then internally into the heart (irregular heart rate) .  Last year aged 65, my GP took my driver's licence off me, as I can't feel anything  from my knees down, and I have poor coordination I bump into objects. Go to the top of page 3 of this website for those wishing to view Australia's Driving Standards and their medical conditions.
I use a walking aide for balance, caused by the neuropathy and prescription drug Pregabalin (Lyrica).
There are symptoms of autonomic neuropathy affecting absence of foot odour (sweating), dry cracked and ulcerated skin under my feet, 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, they drag, catch and I fall.  I possess moderate loss of digital dexterity, "unable to grip objects with my hands, intermittently", lift objects above the level of my waist due to lack of strength/ permanent nerve damage or have any power to thrown any objects. (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.
My Sensory neuropathic symptoms are very severe, my feet and legs have "constant pins & needles and tightness" (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 on other days no pain relief is possible, pure agony, which makes my Anxiety/depression/mood swings more acute.  I have difficulty walking more than 20 meters without stoping, and when laying flat the pain is always exacerbated.  I prefer to sit, even standing aggravates the soles of my feet and causes them to burn.  I ALWAYS NEED a bed cradle to keep the sheets off my feet and legs, or 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 most mornings during summer without air conditioning.   I have to take Serepax 30mg to sedate myself, the neuropathic feet pain is so severe that I constantly experienced suicidal ideation, I have attempted that twice, maybe third time lucky?  It has now progressed to my upper arms & hands, fingers, symptoms of pins & needles and numbess and sensitivity 24/7 there is also major weakness on the Right side of my body
(possible caused by infrequent mini TIA's/ strokes) following some atrial fibrillation (autonomic neuropathy) attacks mainly precipitated by Stress or chronic anxiety,  I can't pronounce words or form sentences, a sign of having had a mini stroke, generally it only last 24 hours and my speech returns to normal, a MRI recently, revealed scaring on my brain.

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 any great distance or use an exercise bike (because of my Heart condition) I can't reduce the excessive weight, and then there's the loss of feet sense, loss of Position Sense (my brain doesn't communicate with my feet) in that, they don't step high enough and I trip then, loose my balance and incur infrequent falls.
The constant pain generated from my lower extermities (feet & legs)  'pins & needles/intermittent electric shocks' severely exacerbates my diagnosed military related PTSD (Chronic Anxiety) & Depression. Thus causing frequent suicidal ideation made worse by the fact I can't be safely prescribe any psychiatric medications.
Meditation/Relaxation/Tia 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 mindful though,
NOT all sufferers have this degree of discomfort & disability!
 My medications are Lyrica (pregabalin) 375mg daily (225mg  mane (morning) and 150mg at bedtime), plus Endone (oxycodone) 15mg, (5mg morning/10mg bedtime),
some days must top up on extra 5mg prn (as required). (I have increased my Lyrica to 600mg daily however it never deceased my lower limb/feet pain, I find 425mg is my therapeutic medium daily dosage).
I can't be treated for PTSD/Major depression/mood swings due to the fact that all Psychiatric medications have and can cause Irregular Heart Rate/Palpitations, and in my case I already have Arrhythmia/Atrial Fibrillation (Autonomic internal nerve damage), to take these psychiatric drugs would more than probably cause at least a partial or fatal Stroke. Suicide is a real possibly due to the fact that when I get severe major depression and can't be medicated I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel only continuous suffering and want to end my suffering, I need a place of safety to recover and sedation.

What triggers the PTSD? Any forms of 'Betrayal', 'Smells of Asian Cooking', 'Talking about my overseas service and Islamic religion', at all costs I try to avoid these triggers. 
I Have NEVER had family social support, my brother (younger by 4 years) has never seen military service and has never attempted to understand my mental torment, his response is, Dept. of Veterans Affairs pays your pension get them to support you, the department have sent him numerous brochures on PTSD and depression to no response.   Although he is professionally educated (Accountant/Senior Queensland Public Servant) he lacks any integrity, especially empathy, he has an Autocratic personality, he won't assist or communicate, its do as I say he doesn't negotiate. 
I don't want negativity in my life, only positive people. I have my own friends, especially ex-servicemen but they all live kilometres away from me, I have NO local social supports. 
I hope your family is more understanding and supportive?
Can Peripheral Neuropathy Be Cured?

Some types of peripheral neuropathy can be cured, however most can not, having said that, many can be helped with pain management with one or more medications.  Therapy is directed at treating the underlying disease and at improving the symptoms with the right medications. An experienced Neurologist, Psychiatrist and/or Pain Specialist can help sufferer's understand and manage their disease, whereby giving them greater quality of life.  Pain control varies between 40-65% per individual.
What causes neuropathy?
There are many causes of neuropathy: Diabetes,Cancer tumours, Chemotherapy, Alcohol, Autoimmune disorders HIV/AIDs, Spinal injury, or a result of spinal surgery, prescription Medications, Toxins, and Nutritional imbalances to name just a few.  
The following webpages, details the various illnesses and certain prescription medications that can cause this insidious disorder.

Nutritional & Optic Neuropathies

Drugs & Toxins that Can Induce or Cause Polyneuropathies

Medication Induced-

Chemotherapy Induced-

Alcoholic Neuropathy-



*Diabetic Neuropathy,


Understanding Treatment Strategies page 2

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