Monday, February 2, 2009

Peripheral Neuropathy update

A little less than three months back, I was diagnosed with Sensorimotor Peripheral Neuropathy. I was put on some drugs and was scheduled to review after about a month. Well, that month became three months because I was busy at work and I finally went back to the neurophysician a couple of days back.

The update I had was that there was no improvement in the numbness in my feet.

The neurophysician asked if it was getting worse. I said, "No". "That's good enough", he replied. "Good enough?", I thought to myself. What exactly did that mean?

He did some small tests like moving a sharp object on my wrists and feet. He concluded that there was nothing we could do about this. He said that this was a problem I would have to live with. "This is a side effect of your kidney disease and there is no treatment for this. Accept it as a part of your life."

That was quite a shocker!

This numbness in my feet, especially my left foot is not painful or worrying at all. But it is there. I can feel it. So, to hear that I have to live with a numb left foot all my life can be quite alarming. And then, there is the looming threat of it becoming worse.

On the dialysis groups where I posted a question about this problem, people were quite perplexed because I got this problem inspite of getting quite a good dose of dialysis. Neuropathy is quite common when people are not getting enough dialysis. One of the things people are advised to do to improve the neuropathy is to get more dialysis. I am already getting a lot of dialysis. I don't think I can get more than this practically.

So, I guess I will have to live with this. Sigh!

The number of things that can happen as a side effect of kidney disease is truly mind boggling. Every single part of the body gets affected. All this, inspite of getting really good dialysis. The problem is, I started getting good dialysis pretty late in my journey with kidney disease. Those that have been recently diagnosed should move to the "as much dialysis that I can possibly get" regime asap to minimize the concomitant problems.

4 comments:

Madras Hash said...

Peripheral neuropathy is much more common amongst diabetics. It is a progressive condition. You cannot reverse it, only try and slow it down. It is very important to visually keep checking the condition of your extremities - toes, soles of feet and fingers. Something sharp could have pierced it and you may not be able to feel it. Infection can set in and diabetics often get gangrene where the only solution is amputation of the part.

PN is also common amongst very old people - part of the aging process. There are some drugs to supposedly stimulate nerve endings. Doubt if they work though. A massage is probably a much better option.

billpeckham.com said...

Maybe now is not the time to suggest a massage to Kamal. It is unknowable but imagine what the neuropathy would be like had you stayed with conventional dialysis.

Do you think it is worse once you have extra fluid on? I think mine is worse once I am more than 2kg over dry.

Kamal Shah said...

Hahaha, absolutely! I am not even going to think about massages for a long, long time!

Yes, you are right Bill, the neuropathy might have been really bad if I had not switched to nocturnal.

I haven't noticed the difference when I have extra fluid on. But I probably did not link the two. I will keep a watch on this in the next few days.

Janice said...

The massage incident that you met was really horrific but unfortunately foot massages is the only way to somehow sooth the numbing feeling of your foot since there are really no effective cure for peripheral neurophaty that's associated with renal failure. According to QMS, it is non-reversible and should be regularly checked-up because its progression could lead to worse results.