Living with Peripheral Neuropathy makes everything hard

Last updated 13:46 17/11/2016
everything is hard

Getting up the stairs or carrying a coffee to my desk was becoming more and more difficult.

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A reader shares her story of living with an invisible condition.

I knew something wasn't right.

My balance seemed so much worse than everyone else's. My feet always felt numb.

I also knew, if I made a big deal about it I would have to face whatever it was that was wrong. I knew I would be opening a can of worms and I had a feeling my life, as I knew it, would change forever.

* Don't tell me you hope I 'get well soon'
* Learning about MS as we fight for Nick
* Facing my new life after concussion
* 'I was diagnosed with arthritis at 12'

Unfortunately I was right.

My confidence driving was on a steady decline. It felt like the brakes weren't going to work so I would go really slowly downhill, until I began pulling over if anyone was behind me.

I worked in a call centre on the first floor. Getting up the stairs, carrying a coffee to the desk without dribbling it everywhere, trying to enjoy morning teas but not being able to hold a sausage roll in one hand and cuppa in the other, even leaning in to choose a cake, was becoming a problem.

Some light was shed on the situation when I went to a gym to try to lose a few pounds. The routine check was fine, until he cracked a tool on my kneecaps waiting for a reflex and nothing happened.

He looked confused and explained I had no reflexes in my knees, which was very unusual.

I explained my bad balance etc. to him and he agreed to write a letter to my GP. I had mentioned my bad balance to my GP before and it took extra time, which just made my bill more expensive - nothing came of it.

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Things ticked along with climbing stairs, driving and walking getting worse until one day, after arriving home after a nerve racking drive, I saw that my legs were swollen.

The next morning, I went to my GP who arranged an appointment with a neurosurgeon. It was close to Christmas but I got an appointment quickly. My mother arrived from where she lived, six hours away.

I was a mess, she was a mess.

We decided I should leave work as the stress of the drive and everything else was too much - everything was getting hard.

A battery of tests and the final diagnosis is Peripheral Neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy means the nerves that carry messages between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body are damaged or diseased.

I am stuck at home every day, I can no longer drive, my hands and feet are numb, it hurts to walk too far or stand too long. Everything is difficult. I am not the same person.

A busy day is when I have to do a load of washing. I am not interested in anything and find joy in nothing.

I had a busy life. Now, I am bored every day.

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