Some Nerve (My painful journey to peace)

7/27/2015. The date I first admitted to a physician that something was wrong. The pain in my ankles and feet was unbearable. My bruised legs were hard enough to look at, but the pain didn’t just tingle it felt like tiny needles pricking at me over and over again. “Well, you do not have diabetes,” he said. So what is it? I wanted to know. No, I needed to know: How do you pray for something no one could identify. My sanity was at stake.

However, no one had an answer. After two years of MRIs, an EMG, ultrasounds, and six different specialists, I was still no closer to the cause or a cure. “Keep searching for answers,” people would tell me, but it’s easy to say and stressful to do when you’re trying to get well at the same time. At least for me.

My soul and body were worn, stressed out, and I had begun to experience the symptoms of overwhelm; the hives and flares that led me into this mysterious illness in the first place. I was panicked and sick.

Finally, my neurologist concluded that I had polyneuropathy, but the diagnosis did not explain the degree of deficit I was having in my legs, so he suggested I have a Lumbar Puncture. They needed to see if there was an infection in my spinal cord.

The thought of it made me cringe. I had had an LP in 2012 during an ICU visit at a different hospital and to say it hurt to high heaven doesn’t do the pain justice. However, I needed to get well, so I proceeded as directed with much prayer.

The exam was uncomfortable, but at least this time I had my mother with me. We thought everything had gone well, and the results showed I did not have an infection, but then I had an adverse reaction to the test and was hospitalized again. After my recovery and a follow-up visit, the doctor said there was nothing else they could do.

Some nerve, I thought, to be afflicted with something un-diagnosable and untreatable. Then I surrendered. I concluded that medical science had done all it could do, and now I had to rely on what I knew about God. So at that moment, I experienced unexplainable peace.

Although nothing noticeably changed in my body, I knew I was closer to my healing than ever before. However, believing amidst the pain was not easy. Daily, sometimes, three or four times a day when the pain was unbearable, I’d have to stop, drop and pray. (Upon request, I will share the scriptural prayers for miracles and wisdom that helped me).

Prayer alone was still not enough for me. I had to act on faith.

My first step was to go through physical therapy. My therapist was great. She taught me many exercises, helping me to revitalize the nerves in my feet and become more active, but PT did not alleviate the burning, tingling pain in my joints.

I was growing more and more addicted to Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Oxycodone. You name it, none of which were healthy for my liver. Moreover, the Gabapentin left me feeling lethargic, which was counterproductive to the healthy lifestyle I desired. Not even the compression socks, hot/cold compresses, massages, or intervals where I lay with my swollen legs elevated over my head could cure what ailed me.

So I began to study, and what I learned blew my mind. The enteric part of the nervous system works in tandem with the endocrine system controlling the gastrointestinal system. This simple knowledge answered another challenge for me, one that made my life extremely difficult and isolated.

My negative nerve impulses in my feet were communicating with my gut and creating “situations.” I won’t go into detail, but I will say that people who prefer a sequestered life may not be bothered by these reactions, but those of us who want to get out and socialize abhor the effects of damaged nerves on our bodies. It’s weird; it’s involuntarily, makes you socially awkward, turning you into a hermit, and keeps you on guard. So on top of the pain, there was this potentially embarrassing issue.

That’s when I found something that helped. While my B-12 levels were normal, this gut issue was not. So with the encouragement of loved ones, and an OK from my neurologist, in April of 2017, I started taking a B complex supplement.

Within a year, my energy levels were better than ever. The burning tingles, swelling and numbness — well, I’ll admit I’m not where I want to be YET but Praise God, I’m not where I was! I can sleep at night without pain, I can wear regular shoes again (no heels, but I’ll get there), and I can stand and walk for longer periods.

My sister, who has suffered from severe joint pain for years, also started taking the supplement and now she takes little to no pain medication.

Some Nerve

The results aforementioned may not be yours. However, I had to share my testimony.

I know what debilitating pain and the ability to not heal feels and looks like. So if there is anything on the market that can help someone else, I will willingly spread the word.

To your health,

Leah
A miracle in the making