I found this site a few days ago and have been reading this forum thoroughly since then; it's been a great wealth of information. Just as important, though, it's made me feel like this is a real place of support and understanding for those of us who may not find it elsewhere. A little about my situation:
I am 38 years old and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in April 2011, although I was most likely suffering from it since August of 2009. It was my fault that I wasn't diagnosed earlier, I knew something was wrong, but I HATE doctors and refused to see one. I was also very stubborn and thought that if I ignored it and/or tried to treat it myself, it would go away. Shortly after I started feeling the symptoms of diabetes, I began feeling pain in both my knees. about 6 months after that pain started, both my feet began feeling numb and tingly. Then, my toes started feeling like someone was constantly holding a flame to them. Throughout the following months, I started experiencing pain sensations throughout both legs, from my hips to the tips of my toes. In June of 2011 I saw a neurologist and he confirmed that I have peripheral neuropathy. In July I started seeing a Pain Management Specialist for the pain.
Some days the pain is very manageable, and there are some days I spend laying in bed sobbing from the pain. In the short time since my diagnosis of neuropathy, I have tried Lyrica (which did nothing for the pain and really made me feel like a zombie), Norco (which helped a lot for the pain, but my primary care physician stopped prescribing for me without much explanation), and percosets (which helped with the pain but also made me very nauseous, which consequently also interfered with my blood sugar). My pain management doctor currently has me on 200mg tramadol and 900mg neurontin daily, as well as a ketamine/clonidine/imipramine/gabapentin/lidocaine cream I apply 3-5 times a day. These latest treatments help, but not as much as I'd like.
Most days my pain level is usually around a 6 or a 7, which I have learned to deal with without too much trouble. Some days it is less, and I have learned to really appreciate those times. Some days, however, the pain gets to a 9 or a 10, and when that happens I am absolutely miserable. For me, it is difficult to deal with that amount of pain intensity as well as all the different pain sensations (different parts of my body feel different pains, from intense numbness, to burning, tingling, prickling, stabbing, etc.). I sometimes think that if it was only one kind of pain sensation at a 9 or a 10, or if it was the feeling of different sensations at a lower intensity level I would be ok, but the combination is almost unbearable at times. I have been missing far too much work lately either due to the pain, or the side affects from the various medications. Thankfully my employer has been very understanding and willing to work with me, and I am in the process of applying for an intermittent Leave of Absence.
I have been seeking treatment for only a short time, and that is my fault. And I am hopeful that over time my doctors and I will find something that will help me manage the pain in a more effective manner. My pain management specialist suggested I consider implanting a medtronics scs, and initially I was wary of putting anything near my spinal cord. On the other hand, I hate the idea of being on medications for the rest of my life, and am open to any and all alternatives. After discussing it further with the doctor, and doing some research, my wife and I have decided to go forward with the process of getting the scs implant. Currently I am waiting to schedule the psych evaluation. I believe I have reasonable and realistic expectations for the scs implant (I don't expect it to eliminate my pain or my need for pain medications, but am hopeful it can minimize both).
Even though I found this place just a few days ago, all of you have been a great help to me. Not only have I found a great deal of information here, and more ideas of what to expect from my pain and the scs implant, but the stories I've read here about your experiences have been both a source of comfort and a great inspiration to me. My wife has been very supportive and understanding, and there is no way I could make it through this without her, but it's also nice to be in the company of others who are going through the same things I'm going through. It's nice to know we're not alone in what we are going through! I don't wish this kind of pain on my worst enemy and if I had my way nobody would be going through any of this, but that's not the reality and we all need to lean on each other and help when we can. Together we can get through this, and hopefully come out the other side better for it. Again, thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences!