Friday, August 19, 2011

Peripheral Neuropathy---Inherited---I have it---Do any of You?

I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy in my early seventies. My sister Virginia, who is 14 months younger than I, followed right on time, one year later. There is very strong evidence that ours is the inherited variety. I don't know whether our two younger brothers, Rodney nee Frank, or Lee had it. Both died in their early seventies so it may not have been far enough advanced for them to have noticed it or had it diagnosed.

Peripheral Neuropathy? What is it? I don't know whether it is a disease or an affliction but it has to do with the ends or periphery of your nerves literally dying. You lose a great deal of the physical ability to feel things with the surface of your body. In my case, my feet became numb which  in turn caused me to lose my balance. At first you don't notice it because you compensate with your vision. Your balance is a combination of feeling--sensing through your feet--and seeing. As long as there is a light source somewhere within your vision you're okay. But if it's very dark and there isn't a light source, even a tiny one, you will quickly lose your balance. There is no known cure or even a modestly effective treatment for it yet.  Research is in high gear to find both but as of now, nothing.

I don't know which family line it came down through. That is why I'm asking all of you related to me whether you or any member of your family, past or present, may have, or do have it. My personal knowledge of the affliction came when I was diagnosed with it fifteen years ago. I'd never heard of it before.  

Your response would be greatly appreciated. I will pass along to you the results of this request just in case it might be of some help to you or a member of your family.

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