Every neuropathy patient wants a cure for their illness. Don’t blame you, so do I. But is the choice among cures, treatments and coping?
Prior to a seminar on coping with neuropathy, one patient asked, “Are you JUST going to tell us how to cope? I want to know how to treat it or cure it, not cope with it”. The patient thought it was a choice among treatments, cures and coping! They came and left with more ideas than they could ever apply.
Following the seminar, another patient said, “Sounds to me like we should drop a hammer on our toe to make the other pains or symptoms go away”. This may be a good comic routine, but unhelpful for the neuropathy patient.
My response, “Well, that is a choice, but then you have pain from a broken toe plus your symptoms from neuropathy”.
A third patient in a tone of discouragement that I fully understand, but disagree with said, “It is the same old tune and nothing can be done”, dragging themselves and others down to hopelessness. Again, these patients thought it was a choice among cures, treatments and coping.
These are not the choices and there are better ways and better thinking.
A few doctors unfortunately reinforce this attitude, stating, “You have neuropathy, go home. Nothing can be done”. I recommend you do not go there and if you do (been there myself), don’t stay long. Some patients do not hear the treatments or things they could do for themselves and others, because they wanted an instant cure-all pill and may have had little support from the doctor.
In 2015 the reality is that if you find ways to treat some neuropathic autonomic, sensory and motor symptoms symptomatically, while eliminating some known causes or identifying the type, we often find some hope in the jungle.
While finding ways to reduce any neuropathic pain to a level 3, may be as good as it is going to get with our current medical or practical tools, there are other things neuropathy patients have discovered. Many of these ideas are listed in the book by Mims Cushing. This perspective was shared in conversations with Dr. Walter Bradley MD, Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Neurology Department, University of Miami at a 2009 Neuropathy Conference and he completely agreed.
Unhelpful attitudes and poor thinking can drive feelings, which prevent us from hearing helpful ideas that are available. This thinking prevents us doing what we can do in our fight for adjustments to living, treatments, cures, awareness, research, and better medical training.
More optimistic upbeat patients understand the power of attitude, saying: “You lifted many of us up and inspired us to seek answers and to get involved in our neuropathy fight”. Some said, “After all these years of feeling guilty and angry, I went home exhilarated, saying, “I have a disease and I no longer had to apologize for it.” Others remarked, “So glad we came, very informative, the most helpful meeting I’ve ever attended”.
So what made the difference between these patients? Simple, it is good thinking!
They knew from the start that it is not a choice among cures, treatments and coping, it is all three and there is no choice! To paraphrase an “edited” statement from the Good Book: “Seek (all three) and you shall find”.
See all of these ideas in the free DVD “Coping with Chronic Neuropathy” and in the book by Mims Cushing that you can order from amazon.com! Read the article on What is Neuropathy by Waden Emery III MD Clinical Neurologist and the Frequently Asked Questions sections of the websites of the NSN.
NOTE: Copyright 2010-15 Network For Neuropathy Support, Inc. dba Neuropathy Support Network.. This article may be reprinted or published for educational purposes as long as the printing or publishing is not for profit and acknowledgement is granted the author. Contact him at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PATIENT TO PATIENT – Disclaimer: Patient to Patient articles are intended to be educational, not diagnostic or prescriptive and the patient is encouraged to seek help from their own private physician.