Some 20 million Americans have peripheral
neuropathy. It is a disease caused by damage to your body’s peripheral
nerves – the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord. When these nerves are
damaged, they cannot communicate well with your muscles, joints, even your
internal organs. Untreated, neuropathy can cause loss of coordination,
weakness, pain, and numbness, especially in the hands and feet.
While the right medication can prevent the
illness from progressing, it cannot undo the damage done. That’s why it’s so
important to seek a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Finding the right medication has been a long,
complicated road for me and I still deal with pain and side-effects of
numbness, like occasionally breaking my toes because I can’t feel my feet!
Neuropathy Association calls neuropathy “one of the most common diseases
most people have never heard of.” It is frequently misdiagnosed, often mistaken
for side effect of other diseases like diabetes. Research and therapies have
been under-funded and slow to develop.