Jay is a practical guy. He accepted living diabetes would change his life. What he would not accept is allowing pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy to take over his life. “I have too much to live for, and so much I want to fill those days with. I wasn’t going to allow the pain to take that away from me!”
His symptoms started with a tingling in his feet, which, Jay says, he ignored. Everyone’s feet fall asleep every now and again, he thought. When it happened, he would get up, walk around for a bit, get the circulation flowing.
After a few months, the odd pins and needles feeling came more frequently. Moving around didn’t really help. Neither did massaging his feet. Jay did some research. He learned that this pins and needles feeling, called paresthesia, was common for diabetics. A few different articles said that about one-in-three people with diabetes experience symptoms of a condition called diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Sometimes, when he lay down at night, his feet felt numb, which, for Jay, was more distracting than the paresthesia. One night, unable to sleep because of the uncomfortable numbness, he found himself on the web again, looking up symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. He found out there were a few different causes of neuropathic pain. Each cause came with other associated symptoms and underlying causes.
Diabetic neuropathic pain was thought to be caused by prolonged high blood sugar, which, over time, deposits triglycerides on nerve sheaths. That sounded pretty bad to Jay. He lay there in bed, feeling pins and needles, thankful he did not feel any pain.
Jay can’t remember the first day he felt the burning pain, but soon it was hard to remember a day when there wasn’t pain. “One day, it was just there… and it never went away. Some days were better than others. And sometimes the weight of the bed sheet felt so painful I couldn’t sleep. I told my doctor about this, and he recommended we try different drugs. They helped, a little, but they also made me feel tired, dizzy, kind of spaced out.”
Jay didn’t want to go through his life either in pain or feeling dizzy or tired all the time. So, he looked into potential treatments for diabetic neuropathy pain. He found an article about how many diabetics suffering with DPN were experiencing significant pain relief thanks to spinal cord stimulation therapy (SCS).
He saw that years of research had been done testing the benefits of SCS as therapy for different neuropathic pain. In fact, the FDA had approved using SCS to treat chronic pain due to DPN.
Jay made an appointment for a consultation, discussed his condition and his symptoms with the doctor, and asked a lot of questions about spinal cord stimulation therapy. He liked that the doctor shared “significant” pain relief utilizing SCS.
A few months after a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, Jay is feeling a lot better. The pain is much less noticeable. He’s able to do most of the things he did before diabetic neuropathy pain tried to take over his life. Diabetes is still part of his life. The pain, though, is much less. Jay says it feels like he’s back in control: “That, more than anything else, feels amazing.”
“Jay’s” story represents a number of people suffering from debilitating pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. If, like “Jay,” you are a diabetic, suffering with pain, and you want to know if SCS can help, click here to make an appointment for a consultation.