Thursday, February 25, 2010

THE MAGIC WAND

With diabetes, can come many complications. One of the more aggravating complications that has been bothering me for several years is diabetic neuropathy in my feet. For anyone not familiar with how this condition manifests itself, I can liken it to someone taking a lit cigarette and touching it all over my feet. When I do have any sensation in my feet, my nerves seem to be in overdrive. When the feeling subsides, my feet are numb. There's no middle ground and of the two, I prefer numbness!

I've tried many medications to help relieve my diabetic neuropathy. Not long after I was first diagnosed with diabetes about 8 years ago, I was given Neurontin (gabapentin). I saw no improvement even with high doses of the drug, but my stomach bothered me and my head hurt the whole time I took it. The same held true for Lyrica. I tried it twice and the whole time I took Lyrica I had a dull ache at the base of my head, my digestive tract hated the drug and my vision was blurry. Topamax just dulled my whole brain, but not my feet. I became forgetful and my stomach bothered me the whole time I took it. Recently I tried Savella, a brand new drug usually prescribed for fibromyalgia. The doctor gave me a starter pack as a free sample.

Savella is a medication that a person has to gradually increase over a two week period to reach the optimal dosage. By the end of the first week, my mind was racing all the time, I couldn't sleep at all (I do very little of that anyway) and things that happened 40 years ago were bothering me like they had just happened. If I had continued on taking Savella, they would have had to put me in a rubber room by the end of the second week. When I discontinued taking it, the drug took about 3 days to get completely out of my system.

After becoming discouraged and frustrated, I listened to the suggestion of a good friend who suggested that I try taking B-complex vitamins once a day. Although the burning sensation isn't completely gone, I have to admit that it has greatly improved. Mind over matter? Who knows? What I do know is that each person is an individual with a different body chemistry than anyone else. How can doctors prescribe a drug and expect it to work for everyone if no two people are genetically identical? Doesn't it make more sense to take something that your body may be deficient in due to the chronic illness? I guess I'm giving a little bit of a holistic approach to my medical problems to see where it leads me. What have I got to lose? The same old same old seems to be zapping my strength and sucking the life out of me slowly.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for common sense, logic and the strength to follow my own path.

5 comments:

  1. common sense is not something very many people have... good to see some of us out there still have it!!

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  2. Nothing wrong with holistic. Btw, I am your geographic neighbor.

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  3. When I was first diagnosed with liver failure I was given a few drugs to start out with. One of them was called spironolactone. It was used as a water pill and to help with my blood pressure. A few months in I noticed that my nipples were always tender and they hurt like hell. When I conveyed this to my transplant coordinator she told me that I was probably experiencing what was called Gynecomastia. This I later learned was the swelling of the breast. And I was quite literally growing breast. I also learned much later after I went back and researched more about the drug that it was sometimes used in sexual reassignment.
    Thank you very Effing much transplant people! I was pretty disheartened with the program and it still irritates me when I think too much about it.
    The thing I learned from this is to teach myself every possible thing I can about the drugs I'm on and what they are used for.
    There are still some other drugs I am on that I just can't take if they are generic because of side effects.
    As Inner Voices says, it just takes some common sense and if you are in it for the long haul, then you better be prepared to be your own advocate.

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  4. INNER VOICES, I have my moments when I'm not a total ditz!

    Kimberly, what part of the Redneck Riviera do you call home?

    Jnuts, why doesn't that surprise me?

    Something, wading through the whole process is mind boggling at times. Doctors tend to try to oversimplify things and act like an honest explaination might be too much for our feeble minds. They rarely listen to a patient until they are absolutely forced into it and then they generically try to treat everyone the same. We are not the same and we are deserve better treatment than we often times get.

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