Thursday, March 29, 2012

Neuropthy, revisited

My experiment with lowering the dose of Neurontin used to treat my neuropathy lasted about two days.

I'd be taking a walk and get a shooting pain in one of my feet, a pain so sharp that I had to cry out. Even with the higher dose, the feeling in my feet ranges from pins and needles to barely any feeling at all. Sometimes my feet feel like they're made of wood, and I massage them to wake them up.

I've been told that it's hard to treat. It might wear off, but it's been three years, so this might be as good as it gets. And of course I am lucky that I function well. Who knows, maybe the numbness serves as a cushion that makes it easier to run?

I'm revisiting the subject because it made me think about how many people must have similar side effects from chemotherapy – not the major stuff, but still enough to create a bothersome background noise.

You're alive and you're doing fine, which is of course the most important thing. I guess you just learn to live with this other stuff, but sometimes it can be wearying.

Imagine this:

"How are you?"

"I'm fine but my feet are driving me crazy."

"Uh, sorry to hear that." Thought bubble: "Why are you telling me about your feet?"

You could substitute many other things that are on the annoyance level...and that nobody really wants to hear about.

Peripheral neuropathy, caused by damage to the peripheral nerve fibers, has many causes other than chemotherapy. I was surprised when looking into the topic again on the Internet to find a site called The Neuropathy Association. Apparently neuropathy can be severe. The association has even created a network of support groups. Who knew?

On a lighter foot-note, the other day I had a momentary panic after I went running and took off my socks.

I looked down at the bottom of one foot and saw red...lots of blood!

Or so I thought. Then I looked again and remembered that I was wearing white socks with the brand name stitched near the bottom in red. So I was seeing the inside of the stitching.

I don't even know what I was worried about, probably a low-platelet moment.

I assume other cancer survivors have these panicky moments where they jump to judgment based on some silly misperception.

You just have to laugh when you realize your mind has played a joke on itself.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Enjoyed the "foot" note. I jump to conclusions easily, too.