Many fibromyalgia sufferers complain of nerve pain, also known as neuropathy. If you have it, you know how difficult it is to deal with.
My nerve pain began in my feet, back when I was 13. I had spondylolisthesis — a vertebra that had slipped forward onto the one below it — from a horse riding accident. I began experiencing shooting pain down my legs and numbness in my feet shortly after the accident. I had two spinal fusions, anterior and posterior, 30 years later. The shooting pain went away, but the nerve pain remained.
Since those surgeries, the nerve pain has worsened and has moved to my hands and even my face. I had numerous tests done but nothing was ever discovered. I never heard of a condition called neuropathy, and no doctor ever mentioned it to me.
When I began experiencing nerve pain in my face, I was concerned that I was having another stroke. I had three strokes in 2009, but didn’t recall that same tingling in my face. After taking every expensive test my doctors could dream up, I was told they had found nothing. Could this really be all in my head?
Fast forward to 2015, when I stumbled upon neuropathy by accident. I was researching something else, and found that neuropathy can be a symptom of fibromyalgia. Why hadn’t any of my numerous physicians considered that I might have it?
I haven’t had good experiences with doctors. For most of my life, they have cast aside my feelings, symptoms, and concerns. How am I supposed to trust a medical profession that has ignored and misled me? I’ve been humiliated by the very people who are supposed to help.
I was at a point where I was unwilling to deal with another doctor, so I decided to try to find a solution myself. I learned that many of the odd things I’ve experienced can be symptoms of neuropathy — gastric disorders and muscle cramps, to name a few.
I discussed this with my chiropractor today. Typically, neurologists will tell you that if you’ve had numbness in your feet or hands for more than two years, you will never get rid of it, he told me.
Not true, he said. It takes a long time to get rid of the numbness, but it can be done, he said. For the most part, nerves repair, regenerate, or grow about 1 inch per month. So it takes years for nerves to heal.
I may finally be on the right track, but it looks like it will be a long, slow ride. Hopefully my weekly chiropractor appointments will be the key to healing my poor, shot nerves.
I don’t know if this will work, but I don’t have a lot of options at this point. Modern medicine has failed me. I don’t want to take more medications than I already do. Nor do I want to go from specialist to specialist and have test after test without a definitive diagnosis.
If the natural approach doesn’t work, I’m not sure what I will do. I’m having problems with my vision and ability to talk, which is frightening and potentially dangerous. I feel time is running out to get this taken care of before I lose my ability to drive, work, or even communicate.
Only time will tell if this is the right course to achieve freedom from nerve pain. If the symptoms continue to worsen, I may have to break down and see a neurologist again. But for now, this fibro warrior plans to keep it natural.