peripheral neuropathy: cramp-like attacks in hands
Hi, anyone out there,
my dear friend (84 yrs) has been diagnosed with periopheral neuropathy some time ago, following a mastectomy. I understand that the cancer has something to do with the development of the peripheral neuropathy. GP siad nothing can be done to cure the neuropathy but she is on pain-killers and various other medications. I'm teaching her to use a PC, and we find it increasingly difficult to use the mouse because if she does sudden movements with her hands, such as stirring a pot or peeling potatoes, her hands cramp up and it is very, very painful. The hands and fingers just lock up, fingers go completely stiff and the pain is excrutiating. There are good days and bad days, but these cramp-like attacks seem to be increasing lately, and since she'd really like to learn to use a PC to keep in touch with friends and family via mails, I'd hate for the neuropathy to stop her.
Question is, does anyone know whether these cramp-like attacks are common in peripheral neuropathy?
If nothing can be done, is there any PC equipment available that would enable a person with this complaint to use a PC? I mean, there are people with no arms using PC so there must be something available somewhere.
We'd be most grateful for any hints, tips and help. Using a computer would make such a lot of difference to my friend, and it's me writing this on her behalf because she can't use the mouse at the moment.
Take care and thanks in advance
Re: peripheral neuropathy: cramp-like attacks in hands
I don't know if your friend is on any meds for neuropathy besides pain pills but Lyrica helps with those shooting/cramping pains quite a bit. Those are worse than the constant burning feeling. I was at my wits end with those before I got to an optimal dose of Lyrica. It's a big pain because it causes such sleepliness so you have to work up very slowly. It takes about 2 months to get there but it really is worth the effort.
There are some voice-activated softwares for those who have vision and typing problems. Do you know of Stephen Hawking, the premier scientist who has ALS? I had an opportunity once to "talk" to him using IM. His software is so advanced that he could answer much faster than I could! In fact I was embarrassed when he asked "Are you still there?" LOL!!! And I never thought I was particularily slow in typing. I too am going to look at these softwares in case I need them. I spend about 10 hours a day on the computer with my job and a part-time online business. Add email and this forum, and I probably spend 12 hours a day online. Luckily, I only need 6 hours of sleep but any less and I'm a zombie.
Anyhow, for your friend...see if she is on meds for the neuropathy. If she just started taking them, it may take time to work. She must also control the inflammatory process with Advil or another type med. Here on the forum, many of us have also found that tight control of blood sugar helps, along with B complex vitamins. For some reason, I have just found that warmth is helping. Another person gave me this tip about wearing footie socks to keep my feet warm and it does help somewhat. Maybe your friend can wear some warm gloves when she doesn't need to use her hands.
Absorbine Jr and Icy Hot also give me some temp relief at times. I started putting those on at night before I put on a fresh pair of footies and it does seem to help.
What a Godsend you are to your friend! My heart just swells that you are keeping close tabs on her and want to find ways to help her. The world needs more friends like you!!!!