Combating Peripheral Neuropathy
I personally set out on my own self-discovery journey last year, trying to combat the debilitating symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. I joined a gym because I was sick and tired (literally) of not being able to move. Before then, to bend down or squat near the floor was nearly impossible, and if I did get down, I could not get up. I had to get on all fours and find something to grab onto to pull myself up. I was embarrassed and humiliated at the lack of mobility my body was giving me.
My article on peripheral neuropathy describes the sensations and pain typical to this condition. After numerous tests, it was finally diagnosed. I was so relieved that I had an actual diagnosis; It was not something made up in my head
When I decided to join a gym to see if I could somehow reverse these symptoms or gain more strength, day 1 at the gym was brutal. Although the staff and my trainer were very supportive, I was so embarrassed with my lack of ability and stamina. My trainer began with a test of endurance to see exactly where I was to have a stating point. Let me just say this... I didn’t even finish the ground-level testing. My range of motion and my endurance were so slow. I wanted to cry inside, but my trainer kept saying, “Remember, this won’t last, I promise you that”.
A long road to recovery
I guess you can say I had no where to go but up. I began with walking on the treadmill at a slow pace of 1.5, I then moved to the elliptical where, again, faced the embarrassing fact of not having the coordination to get on the machine with the moving leg parts. Months passed. I was feeling like I had more energy and more stamina. I had not however realized the endurance I had built up until testing day came again. This time, not only did I pass the first level (the one I couldn’t even finish first round), but I managed to get to level 2.
It was then, about 6 months into, it I noticed my pain medications I had been taking for my neuropathy had literally cut in half. I was due for a refill, however, I still had about a week or two worth the pills. That is when I knew what I was doing by getting up and moving, no matter how painful it was, I was making a difference in my own care.
I am a year into my regime now, still on a very low dose of pain meds for my neuropathy, and I feel amazing. I am energized and now able to sleep at night without any aide to do that.
Have I unlocked the hidden truth about neuropathy? I am not sure about that, but what do know is that I certainly am not where I was. I encourage you to get up, get out, and get moving. Take charge of your life and get your grove back.
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