Candy apple red. Wow I can’t believe it, candy apple red! Ever since I was a young teenager and saw the fancy customized hot rods painted candy apple red, I dreamed of owning a vehicle that color. Now as I turn sixty years old, I finally get my own wheels, my own motorized vehicle, which I can order in candy apple red and Medicare will pay for it. It is not quite the “hot rod” with a supercharged V-8 engine that I had always dreamed of. Instead, it’s powered by an electric battery which I plug into my house every night as I waddle from the candy apple red electric-powered wheelchair onto my bed.
This isn’t quite the way I had dreamed and planned it, for the vehicle of my dream color. Not all of our dreams, desires, and wishes in life are fulfilled as per our expectations. I never imagined that my candy apple red vehicle would be something that I would be driving inside the shopping center up and down the aisles or loading into the trunk of a car, so I could be mobile wherever I was going. As a retired doctor of chiropractic, I reflect back on my 35 years of practice and remember the many patients who consulted me in great distress, asking desperately for help and hopefully a cure for the bizarre and extreme symptoms present in their lower legs and feet. The condition that I am referring to is known generally as peripheral neuropathy. Now I discover that I am one of those people. How could this happen to me? As I reflect back on my experiences with these patients, I have to say that I was very sympathetic of their problem and did my very best to help them. In fact, I considered my services to be superior to anything they had received from any other doctor previously consulted.
Mysterious Symptoms: The Onset of Peripheral Neuropathy
In the 1970s, 80s, & 90s, there was very little effective treatment available for patients suffering with peripheral neuropathy. As these patients consulted me, I was usually far down on the list of doctors. Most had already consulted their family physician, neurologist, podiatrist, alternative health care provider, herbalist, etc. As I counseled these patients, I explained some of the causes of this problem. I also taught them some basic routines, procedures, and general management for their use. They always expressed their grateful thanks and would return later saying that I had helped them more than any other doctor, but that they were still not well and continued with symptoms although some relief had been achieved. This situation created mixed emotions for me, realizing that I had helped them and they appreciated it which made me feel good. Yet down in my heart I remained very unsatisfied and unfulfilled, since there was still a lot of mystery surrounding these types of cases. After hundreds of these types of patients had come through my door, and many years had passed, I had accepted the fact that, “That’s the way it is, I need to get over it.”
Life goes on, the years pass. At age 59, I retired from active practice. Life was good. I was able to travel and fulfill many of my dreams of things I would do as a retired person. One day my wife and I were invited to visit some friends at their mountain cabin. I dressed in my jeans and semi-dressy, western style pull on boots. I drove to their property and parked the car. The walk from the parking space to the cabin was approximately two hundred feet. While making this short walk and wearing the tight fitting boots that I had not worn for some time, I suddenly, inexplicably experienced the symptoms in my feet which my patients had been telling me about for so many years. I could hardly make the walk to my friend’s cabin. After getting there, I sat in a chair for most of the evening avoiding any opportunities to walk, due to the intense burning and prickly sensations in the soles of my feet.
The long, uncomfortable evening finally came to an end and I was finally back home in my bedroom. I erroneously supposed that the removal of the tight boots would eliminate my problem; that I could now shelve the boots and forget about it. Unfortunately this was not the case. As I dressed my feet the next morning with socks and lace-up athletic type shoes, the hot, tingly, prickly, difficult-to-describe symptoms persisted as I walked. However, the intensity of the symptoms in the looser shoes was not as pronounced as the night before while wearing the tight fitting leather boots.
Why Me? Why Did I Suddenly Find Myself Suffering from Neuropathy Pain?”
At this point, my appreciation for these symptoms which I heard about from my patients suddenly increased tenfold. As with many things in life, a true appreciation of a condition or situation is only fully obtainable when you yourself experience the matter. As friends and associates explain the pain, trauma, or stress, surrounding a given situation, we may think that we understand and appreciate their difficulty. But in reality, our level of understanding is much less than at times when we have actually had the same experience. With the condition of peripheral neuropathy this is especially true. I always noticed how much difficulty the patients had trying to explain to me how bad their feet felt. In the English language there did not seem to be satisfactory descriptive adjectives to clearly and completely describe and explain the type of feeling with which they were suffering. The common language used by these patients, as well as by myself, was something like: “It feels like walking barefoot through cactus,” or “like walking over a bed of hot coals without shoes on,” or “like stepping on shards of broken glass.” Oftentimes, the feeling is that “if I could just submerge my feet in a pan of ice cold water to cool them off and make them feel somewhat numb, I’m sure that would make my feet feel better”.
My thought process was not much different from the uneducated lay person, inasmuch as I subconsciously thought it would go away in time; “It came suddenly, I have no reason to have this problem, just be patient, it will go away.” After many months however, I was forced to come to the realization that it was not going away. I was a peripheral neuropathy sufferer like thousands of other people. But why me? I am not diabetic. I have no circulatory problems in my lower extremities. There was no apparent reason that I, as an otherwise healthy sixty year old, should have this problem. But then as I reflected back, I remembered several of my patients who had said the same thing. They were not diabetic either. Nor did they have any other apparent disease or pathology that would make them a candidate for such an uncomfortable and frustrating condition as peripheral neuropathy.
In Search of the Holy Grail: The Quest to Find a Peripheral Neuropathy Cure
It is difficult for a doctor to consult another doctor as a patient. It gives the appearance of incompetence and failure. It is somewhat frustrating to be unable to resolve your own health issues. On the other hand, it is age old wisdom that states, “an attorney who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.” You can re-phrase that statement and apply it to doctors. A doctor who diagnoses and treats himself may have a fool for a patient. When being influenced by symptoms, a person, including doctors, may lose their objectivity in evaluating their own condition, and therefore it makes more sense in reality to indeed consult another health professional when you are a doctor yourself experiencing a health problem.
In my case however, being the patient myself, and being a professional health care provider, I at least knew what I was up against. My years of experience in a working clinic had made me very well aware that there weren’t – and still aren’t – any good corrective measures out there in the “mainstream” of corrective health care for the neuropathy condition which now plagued me. It is nevertheless very clear to everyone that stress, pain, and disability trump reason and rational analysis in most cases.
I finally gave in and consulted a podiatrist friend of mine. Towards the end of that appointment he looked at me and said, “You know as much or more about this condition than I do. You are certainly aware that there are no corrective measures available for people such as you, with these prickly, burning sensations in their feet.” I had to concede that he was right, and that I was indeed already aware of this fact. It was such an unfulfilling answer, plus the prospect of dealing with this condition forevermore was certainly very unsettling to me. I responded back to my friend how discontent I was, and announced to him that I was going on a search to find the elusive Holy Grail. . . I was going to find the cure for this neuropathy problem.
As I stood to leave the office, I perceived the look of frustration in the podiatrist’s face. I recognized his expression to be one that I often had in my career also. It is when frustration overtakes the doctor, and he feels he has nothing essentially helpful to offer the needful patient. At that point, the podiatrist suggested that I may want to try an untested and unproven device and method of treatment which a physical therapy clinic on the lower floor of the building was offering. “Tell me what it is,” I responded. He then proceeded to describe an electronic device in a water bath with the feet submerged which sounded like a TENS device to me. I left the office undecided, but as I walked past the physical therapy clinic my extreme frustration over the whole situation compelled me to step through the door and make the inquiry.
A Curious Neuropathy Pain Treatment Device
The physical therapist proceeded to give me a demonstration treatment. My feet were submerged in a divided plastic foot bath basin, each foot being separate, not sharing the water with the other foot. To begin, the therapist put a tablespoon of an electrolyte solution into each half of the basin to augment the electrical conductivity of the bath. He then placed the electrodes in and turned on the device. At this point, I felt a sensation quite reminiscent of how a Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulator (TENS) current feels. TENS devices are used extensively in physical medicine of most disciplines. I had used a large number of these devices through the years and dispensed many of them to my patients for their own use at home. I was, therefore, quite aware of their use and how they felt when being applied.
The therapist advised me that this was no ordinary TENS device however. He explained that the wave current was indeed different from that in a TENS unit. His comments sounded to me more like a sales pitch to justify his usage and billing for this product and service, but I decided to overlook that and give the device an objective try. As the thirty minute treatment proceeded, I felt somewhat confident that the nerves in my feet and lower legs were being stimulated in a positive and healthy manner. I will define in detail the device being referenced in this experience a little later in this text. Suffice it to say that I returned to my home and was quite convinced that I felt somewhat better, not knowing if I was just hoping and wishing, or if I really did. However, I decided that night that I would return the next morning and purchase one of these curious electronic devices.
At the time I made the purchase I was not assured, nor did I have any guarantee that it would correct my problem. In spite of this, I was still motivated sufficiently to give it a try, since my symptoms were so extremely painful and disabling, not to mention the frustration and the total change of lifestyle the problem had created. Upon returning home from purchasing the device I began treating my feet with it in the water bath faithfully once a day, to discover that in less than three days I was walking with great improvement. However, the more I walked, as I tried to get my lifestyle and my level of activity somewhat back to normal, I discovered that I was still somewhat uncomfortable in my feet. My subconscious mind was saying, “Be thankful and appreciative for this much relief and improvement.” My emotions meanwhile said, “I want to be totally well.”
Foot Solutions: Healing Peripheral Neuropathy from the Ground Up
About this same time, I happened to be reading through the local daily newspaper and discovered a small display ad by a local shoe store called “Foot Solutions”. They advertised a certain type of shoe which was designed to help many types of foot problems, including peripheral neuropathy. I picked up the phone and called my podiatrist doctor friend and asked him if he had any experience with this particular shoe. He replied that he had, and that some of his patients had bought them. I asked him what the results were. He answered by saying that some people really like them.
I drove to the store thinking that I would look at the shoes more closely and try walking in them. The shoe store salesman spent considerable time giving me the typical sales pitch about all the “magic” things these particular shoes were supposed to do. Once more, it impressed me to be a sales pitch for the benefit and success of his business rather than something that could ever be realistic. After the salesman determined the size I needed, I tried the shoes on and walked across the room. In doing so, I experienced a totally new sensation in footwear. Once again, I had the same thought that I had experienced when the nerve-stimulating electronic device was working in the water bath for the first time. It just felt “healthy.” It felt like a good thing.
I proceeded to make the purchase for a pair of these unique shoes. I wore them out the door from the shoe store and did some other shopping in town, including some errands requiring me to be on my feet for a couple of hours before returning home. At that time I knew that I had made a correct decision, as well as a very worthwhile investment in my own personal health. I was able to be on my feet for the entire afternoon thanks in part to these new product discoveries, as well as to several other small, simple but very effective lifestyle modifications I had researched and very conscientiously incorporated into my daily routine.
Seven Years without Peripheral Neuropathy Pain or Symptoms and Counting
Now that seven years have gone by since this neuropathy problem entered into my life, I am happy to share this good news with you. At age sixty seven I have no, let me emphasize, NO symptoms of neuropathy in my feet. The tingling is gone. The burning is gone. I can function normally and do anything that I wish to do with no distraction from painful, prickly feet.
I share my story with you in hopes that it can help you have renewed faith, hope, and enthusiasm that you can also achieve a satisfactory amount of improvement. When it comes to health, the word “improvement” is a relative term. I often told my patients, “If we get ten or twenty percent improvement in your condition, that may be less than you would like, but it would certainly be better than what you have now”. I would ask the reader of this material to proceed having adopted this philosophy.
I do not know what your condition is, what your age is, or what the cause of your peripheral neuropathy is. I do not know if you have diabetes, or if it is a mild case or a severely advanced case. Regardless of the parameters of each individual case, I am confident of this: You CAN get a worthwhile amount of improvement and correction of your peripheral neuropathy condition by following the recommendations I have personally put to the test in successfully and permanently treating my own neuropahty case.. These recommendations have been refined, simplified and assembled here in this easy, step-by-step Program created specifically and uniquely for peripheral neuropathy sufferers. Using the steps of this Program, I have personally advised and managed many cases of peripheral neuropathy, and have had satisfying results in every case. Most of these cases have received total relief, just as I did with my case. Once again, please know that extremely advanced and degenerated diabetic cases are certainly not expected to achieve such dramatic results. Be reminded however, that these types of patients would undoubtedly be grateful for even 10-30% improvement.
Successfully Treating Neuropathy Pain and Your Compliance
There are so many possible variable factors for each person following this Program to be dealing with, that it is not possible, nor is it a correct thing to do, in making definitive statements or promises as to the amount of recovery that a person might make. The other variable is what is known as “patient compliance.” Some people are very diligent in following instructions to the letter of the law, therefore their improvement is proportionately better. Other folks will pick and choose bits and pieces of the Program, leaving some recommendations aside for whatever reason, be it financial, lack of faith or ambition, or whatever else.
Consequently, if the proven methods are not given the full opportunity to work, it must be expected that the results will be less. The fact remains, however, that most peripheral neuropathy sufferers are still not aware of some of the recent breakthroughs available to help their condition which we are talking about in this guide. It is my sincere belief, based on experience, study and research, that the explanations and recommendations which I am providing will give you a measurable and satisfactory amount of improvement in your peripheral neuropathy condition.
Patient education is an important thing. The more that a person knows about their condition, why they have it, how to manage it, how to implement and perform the self-treatment procedures and understand the professional treatment procedures, the more stable their condition will turn out. And as a result, both the patient and the doctor will be more satisfied. For this reason, in the following chapters I shall attempt to give a very superficial and brief explanation as to what neuropathy actually is. I shall also try to explain in lay language how the treatment devices and treatment procedures work which I am hereby recommending.
(To read the rest of Dr. Labrum’s guide which will instruct you how to begin treating your peripheral neuropathy pain today, in six simple proven steps, visit The Neuropathy Solution Treatment Program page on this blog by clicking here.