I've only admitted this to a handful of people because I was initially horrified and scared by what was happening to me. As it turns out, I have full blown Neuropathy, which involves burning/freezing feet and hands, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It started slowly so that I didn't notice it much at first. When it began to escalate, I knew something was wrong. Bad. Wrong. As time when by, I went for my 6 month checkup after submitting to the regular blood test beforehand. Upon my visit, my doctor walked in and proclaimed that all my blood work and numbers looked great and to keep up whatever I was doing. Just as he was about to turn and move on to the next patient, I said, "Wait. I have a question!".
I explained the symptoms I'd been having with the burning/freezing hands and feet. He suddenly frowned and said he didn't like what he was hearing. Yeah. I don't like feeling it either. So, he ordered another more complicated round of blood work and said that he'd see me again the next week. Normally, Neuropathy is caused by Diabetes or high amounts of sugar in the blood. I don't have either.
So, fast forward to my next appointment. By this point the Neuropathy had gotten considerably worse, now involving random excruciating sharp shooting pain throughout my hands and feet. To say I was even more scared is an understatement. I was terrified. I was contemplating trying to live the rest of my life with this pain and the other symptoms and I wasn't sure I could handle it all. Frankly, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to handle it. Absolutely nothing helps to ease any of the symptoms. Not Advil, Tylenol or any form of pain killers. Nothing. Nada.
Once the doctor comes in to discuss my additional blood test results, he admits that he cannot find any medical or physical reason why I should have these symptoms. Really? Are you kidding me? Then he waltzes out the door and on to his next patient. Honestly, this was the week I went into such a bad depression and contemplated ending my life. As much as I normally complain about the daily comings and goings of my life, I just didn't want to tell anyone aside from Mr. Snoots what was going on, although I did tell a few choice people that I trusted. Of course, no one can understand what it feels like unless they have it too. So, I was mostly met with the "Gee, I'm so sorry". Didn't help much since I really don't like others feeling sorry for me.
Alright, here is the real clincher folks. I finally put on my big girl panties and decided to do the research myself, in hopes of finding something, anything that could be done in the way of relief. I'm a desperate woman on a mission, which means there is no better researcher than I, at this juncture.
I think I went through the first several pages of a Google search until I came across something that tweaked my interest. Going to the source of the problem to treat the problem rather than take a pharmaceutical as a band-aid and only treat the symptoms? Wow. What a novel idea. Maybe this should be catching on here in America some time soon. Or perhaps not.
What I soon discovered was that Neuropathy is a common side effect of the two medications I take on a regular basis. Tarka (for high blood pressure) and Gabapentin (for migraine headaches) both list Neuropathy as one of their major side effects. Um. WHAT? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Why would my doctor not know this? Why would he not alert me to this side effect? Does he honestly think I sit down and read 3 long pages of side effects before taking the meds that are supposedly saving me from certain death? I think that would be a tad naive for any medical doctor. It was especially naive of me to trust my doctor, assuming he tells me the truth about everything. He. Does. Not.
Every time I'm forced to wait to see the doctor in his waiting area, I see what's going on. I see the trail of young, vibrant pharmaceutical salespeople pulling their little rolling bags full of drugs in and out of said office. I know he often tries to push new drugs on both Mr. Snooty and myself but I always considered it to be just normal in the scheme of things concerning having to see the doc every six months. NOT. SO. The more research I do on the Food & Drug Administration, the less I trust the bastardos. (Italiano for the word bastards), which is really nothing new. I've been suspicious of them and their complicity with the big pharmaceutical companies for many years. My suspicions have now been confirmed and thus, validated. The government (our very own government) is supposed to be protecting us when in reality, they are not and haven't been for decades and it all has to do with politics, money, war, unions, and power... Not your health or mine. There are so many people in this country today, they don't really give a rat's patootie if some of us live or die. On the whole, they just don't have the time, the palm greasing or the inclination to care. They have more people to *do* and more money to be made off those people. US. Too bad for you, as you're a mere statistic in their duplicitous actions and opinions.
The saddest part of all is that I am a loyal patriot of America. I was born and raised here, taught to believe in my country and its leaders, who are now failing me, my family, and most everyone I know. It's a debacle I was never prepared for and will never be prepared for, because it simply is not right.
So now, I'm getting really worked up over this again and I'll stop my rant for today. The pain is reminding me how much my government cares about me. I'm beginning to feel the same disdain for them as they obviously feel for us. Stay tuned for *the rest of the story* tomorrow. I plan to blow your minds and you won't be able to do a thing about it unless you bury your little heads in the sand and choose to not read about this travesty any further.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story next week...