NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

TL 5-12 NATIONAL NEUROPATHY AWARENESS WEEK

GOD LOVES ME WHEN I HURT

Neuropathy is the term used to describe a problem with the nerves, usually the ‘peripheral nerves’ as opposed to the ‘central nervous system’ (the brain and spinal cord).

The causes of peripheral neuropathy are:

  • Alcoholism. Poor dietary choices made by alcoholics can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
  • Diabetes. More than half of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
  • Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
  • Medications. Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), may cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Infections. These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles (varicella-zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
  • Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
  • Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion many times, such as typing.
  • Tumors. Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves themselves or they can put pressure on surrounding nerves.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins, including B-1, B-6 and B-12, vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
  • Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
  • Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism).

On my journey with type 2 diabetes, I’ve developed diabetic neuropathy.  Most people know it by the term diabetic nerve pain from the advertisements on television.  It’s a shooting, burning pain that constantly reminds me of this disease.  It’s also one of the main reasons I need and want to keep this beast of a disease under control.  The closer in check I keep my sugars, the less pain I feel.  Over the years I have determined that being out of control is just not worth the price I pay.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

In my research I’ve also learned that the popular drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, when taken over time can cause a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  As we see, a deficiency in B vitamins is a cause of peripheral neuropathy.  When I began to take a vitamin B-12 in addition to my regular multi-vitamin, my pain lessened dramatically.

Between hypothyroidism, arthritis and diabetes it’s a challenge to manage my neuropathy, but I’m determined to stay as active as possible.  On bad days I walk with a cane, but on good days I walk just as fast as my little legs will take me!  I’m thankful to God for the good days!  🙂

 

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PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTH

TL APRIL IS PHYSICAL WELLNESS MONTHIf it was easy everyone would be a size 2…  that’s what everyone says.  Nowhere in the Bible do I see a verse in the Beatitudes that says, BLESSED ARE THE HEALTHY, FOR THEY SHALL LIVE FOREVER.  Life comes with challenges – some are emotional, some are mental and yes, some are physical.

I’m facing the challenge of my life.  I recently got my A1c checked – it’s a 3 month average of blood glucose levels.  It’s gone up again – now I’m at 8.3.  It should be under 7.  My doctor asked questions about my eating habits and I admitted my love of fruits and vegetables.  I like goldfish crackers and have little pouches which provide portion control.  I don’t eat more than one a day – honest.  But those little golden beauties are 28 g. of carbs so I can’t keep eating them every day.  I have to give up many fruits that I love – and can’t have fruit juices, even low sugar brands.

The thing that my doctor emphasized to me was that no matter what dietary adjustments I make, the most important thing I can do to regain my health is EXERCISE!

UGH…  the dreaded “E” word again…  but I hate it – I hate to exercise!  I’d so much rather get up in the morning and waddle to the bathroom and make a beeline for the coffee pot.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 – go straight to the coffee pot.  🙂

It’s no longer an option – it’s a necessity.  I keep wishing I had a partner in crime…  somebody to say COME ON, LET’S GO!  Some enthusiastic voice beside me, saying, LINDA, YOU ARE WORTH SAVING AND HERE I AM TO HELP YOU – TO WALK WITH YOU AND TALK WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY.

I’m taking the largest dose of Metformin, Glipizide and 40 Units of Levemir every night.  I have to bump up the amount of insulin, which means I’ll have to buy pens sooner – and that is hitting my budget in a BIG way.

I’ve hit the proverbial brick wall – head on – this is it – I have to decide if I’m going to do this or if I’m going to pay out upwards of $400 a month for insulin.

Note to self:  SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!  You have absolutely no choice.  Get out of this bed and put on your walkin’ shoes – get out there!  It’s a beautiful day – and yeah, you’ll walk alone, but you have no choice.  You just gotta do it.

So…  from now on, my routine will be get out of bed, waddle to the potty, waddle to the closet and put on my walkin’ clothes and head out the door – get it done while I’m still half asleep, right???  When I get home I can then waddle to the kitchen, fix breakfast and brew the coffee!

I can do this…  I CAN.  I WILL.  🙂

TYPE 2 DIABETES TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TL TYPE 2 DIABETES

GOD DOES RESEARCH WITH ME

Have you ever had a NERVE CONDUCTION TEST (NCT)???  There’s a reason they keep a box of tissues in that office…  those things HURT!!!  Basically, the test didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – oh, and I’ll never have another one – ever.

I did my research.  My neuropathy from type 2 diabetes was so severe that I was barely able to walk – and then with a cane to lean on.  I already have sciatica, but add the neuropathy to that, and it’s a recipe for major pain and difficulty walking.

Did you know that a side effect of Metformin, the most popular medication for type 2 diabetes, when taken for the long-term, is vitamin B12 deficiency???  Yep – and here’s the interesting part.  Vitamin B12 is what keeps your nerves healthy and happy!  So, maybe it’s not diabetes that is really causing neuropathy, but the medication we take for it.  Seriously?

I gotta tell ya…  I’m very excited because reversing the pain and numbness in my leg was as simple as taking a vitamin B12 pill every day!  I’ve been on Metformin since I was diagnosed in 1994, but did not realize that those 4 pills a day were depleting my B12.  Since I added a B12 pill, the pain and numbness has gotten so much better and I can walk without a cane.

Because of the sciatica I still have shooting pain down my leg, but with exercises I’m able to manage it.

I hope the information I share helps you.  Hey – give vitamin B12 a try.  It’s sure better than nerve damage and inability to walk without a cane.

My next appointment is April 13th to have my A1c checked.  I’ve really been watching my diet closely, drinking water and exercising.  I’m also taking my medicine, of course.  The goal is to ultimately get my weight where it needs to be so I can inch my way off of all diabetes medication.  I’m workin’ on it.  Doin’ the best I can!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

 

TAKE CARE

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I believe people mean well.  Most people have a kind of “sign-off” to their conversation that goes something like this:  TAKE CARE.  It’s a rhetorical comment, not something we are expected to respond to.  We’re just expected to smile, nod and say HEY, YOU TOO – GOOD TO SEE YOU, or something like that.

It seems like all I get done is taking care of myself.  Wouldn’t it be so nice if I didn’t have to think about every little thing as it concerns my health?  It’d be great if I was not restricted by diet, activity level and the style of shoes I wear.  When I was younger, I wore pretty shoes with a nice heel.  I wore pretty dresses or suits to work with open-toe sandals in the summer.  Today my feet are more delicate and particular.  I’m forced to wear a closed toe shoe with plenty of “wiggle room” for my tootsies.  When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

Type II diabetes is such a frustrating disease.  Everyone (including my chiropractor and doctor)  tells me  if I lose weight, it will magically disappear.  That is my only incentive for losing weight because I would love to be rid of it once and for all.  I stay active and I’d set my diet up alongside anyone else’s any day of the week – I eat a very healthy diet!  The weight will not leave – it will not GO!

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll make an exception this year.  If it’s true that weight loss would rid me of type II – then I simply have to resolve to get the weight off once and for all.  I’m doing 30 minutes of cardio in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  I’m not a couch potato by any means.

Friends, please keep me in your prayers.  Pray that I stay strong and achieve some significant weight loss and a drop in my A1c.  How great would it be to be taken off insulin and not have to take as much metformin?  Now I’m taking 4 250 mg capsules a day and 20-35 units of Levemir every night.

The weight seems to be glued to me – that’s the only way I know how to describe it.  It really likes me and wants to stay.  I really don’t like it and don’t want it to stay – LOL! 

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.   – Doug Larson

Living with invisible chronic health conditions is challenging.  I try so hard but the effort I put in is not always visible to others.  I’ll keep trying…. and do my best.   I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to TAKE CARE.  And I hope you will take care too!  😉

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx