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    Old 07-06-2006, 10:47 AM   #1
    Shimz
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    What does numb really mean?

    What does "numb" really mean like numb as in you don't feel your foot at all being there or is it like it falls asleep/
    How long does it last the "numb"

    please describe if possible need to know if it is the same as what i am feeling.

     
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    Old 07-06-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    That's a hard one to describe and I don't know if it means something different to doctors.

    For me, the bottoms of my feet, my toes, and parts of the top part of my feet are numb. I certainly know that they're there, especially when I have severe shooting pains. But I have to be very careful because I can't tell when I've stepped on something and can't tell much difference in water temp. I realized how dangerous this was when I stepped on part of a pecan shell that I assume one of the dogs dragged in. It stuck to the bottom of my foot but I couldn't feel it and walked around with it. I was lucky it didn't cause any real problems but I knew then my barefoot days were over.

    There are varying degrees. When I press on the bottoms of my foot, I have to press very hard in order to feel it. If I just scrape them with a fingernail, I can't feel it. The same with my toes. But on the tops of my feet, I don't have to press very hard in order to feel it while I don't feel light pressure at all. The weird part is the numbness on the tops of my feet moves around so that one week, the sides may feel numb but the next week, it may be the middle of the feet.

    I don't know if this helped you in any way as it's just one person's perception.

    Susan

     
    Old 07-06-2006, 07:34 PM   #3
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Susan can you recall what it was like when you first had symptoms of neuropathy was it just in and out different areas. Does your hand ever hurt. How on earth is pain meds suppose to help your hands i mean does it really? I can't type properlymy hands ache and my job requires me to be online using a moust most of the day its hard and it hurts and i am in the begingin of what is going on with me. Is it possible to control hand pain

     
    Old 07-07-2006, 08:35 AM   #4
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Shimz, I think I first had symptoms of the neuropathy about 2 years ago. I thought my feet hurt due to wearing the wrong types of shoes and walking so much. The pain was only on the bottom of my feet then. It was about 6 months ago that it really got bad and 4 months ago I was diagnosed with neuropathy. I do have some tingling in my hands at times but not bad and no pain there.

    Pain meds don't know where your pain is located so you can't take a pill specifically for hands or one just for feet. There are different types of pain pills for different types of pain though. Narcotics usually don't work well for chronic pain because they cause rebound pain, increasing doses are usually needed, and they decrease the body's natural endorphins.

    The Lyrica is the best thing for you to take right now. You haven't been on them very long so give them a chance. Most people don't see a difference until they are at the optimum dosage and that takes time as it has to be slowly increased. You may also want to try an anti-inflammatory and see if that helps.

    I don't know if it will work for you but I can some short-term relief using Icy Hot or Absorbine Jr. Hopefully, within a few weeks your pain should be helped at least some from the Lyrica. I haven't heard of anyone with neuropathy whose pain was completely controlled so we have to learn how to live with some pain.

    Susan

     
    Old 07-07-2006, 09:01 AM   #5
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Thanks Susan.

    I wonder if my pain is like anyone elses. It is just all over yes i can walk and things but its just the start for me on this battle and its already aggrivating me badly. last month i was in the gym now i cant even imagine being there. lifting a dish is enough effort for me and walking is to.

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 02:27 PM   #6
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Shimz, is your pain more of a deep ache? Is it constant or does it throb? Is the pain pretty much the same level all day or does it change at times? Do you have shooting pains, like an electric shock?

    Also, would you say you can't pick up a dish because of the pain or from a weakness in your hands?

    This is very annoying I can tell you. I was never one for the gym but I used to walk 3 miles every morning, ride my bike every evening, and go horseback riding at least 3 times a week. I bought that Dance Revolution software game and I must say it's pretty fun. I can't move my feet as quick as most people but that only makes me laugh when I play it because I know I must look like a total goof. It gives a good workout, is fun, and can be done at home though.

    For us, we have to find other ways to compensate for what we can't do any more. Once I had to quit my other exercises, I gained 20 pounds rather quickly. I'm 5'7" so it didn't show that much but I was shocked because I always eat pretty healthy. I don't know if the meds have anything to do with it but I know that extra weight would only compound this neuropathy problem. With Dance Revolution and some dreaded ab crunches, I have lost 13 of those 20 pounds and I'm sure I will lose the other 7 if I keep working at it.

    Shimz, we have to be very careful not to focus on what we can't do but focus on what we can do. If one thing doesn't work, try something else. We have to tap our creative sides of our minds to come up with unique ideas. This is not anything we would wish for but in the scheme of things, it's also not the worst thing that could happen to us.

    I worked in hospitals long enough to see what a mind-set can do to your physical body. If you can keep anxiety and depression at bay (even if you need medicinal help for that), you are giving your body a chance to only focus on healing. If your body also has to work on fighting the adrenaline from anxiety and depression, it doesn't have as much energy to use for the healing. I have days where I really have to use everything I have not to sink into depression.

    Try to use what types of exercise you like and make your own plan that you can do at home. Even if you can only do 2 sit-ups, it's better than none, right? I don't have any weights at home so I use two big cans of peaches. I don't like canned peaches so I won't ever eat them but they were cheap weights! Another thing I started doing was using a rag cloth instead of a mop on the floors. I use my feet (alternating one foot at a time) and the rag to wash the floors. It not only gives my legs a good workout, but the floors are cleaner! LOL! For when I cook, I moved a portable CD player in the kitchen. I dance and sing at the top of my lungs while I cook. My favorite is The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian" because I can do some really crazy moves. If anyone video tapes me I will have to shoot them.

    Anyow, the point is to do whatever you can to keep up your exercise. The endorphins are important to control your pain and your body needs to stay as strong as possible.

    Susan

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 02:48 PM   #7
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Well in the morning when I wake up I am hoping it is gone. I get up go brush my teeth by that time i can tell it is still here. Bottoms of my feet are sensitive its painful and I am sure it is not as bad as other but I am just at the beginning so I dont know maybe it will remain as is who knows. It does throb in different areas and electric shocks. The shocks and throbs were really bad a couple weeks ago then it sort of subsided and left me with whatever it is i have now less of the shocks less of it all but still pain its all the same just lessened. I think it was sort of an attack and then it sort of calmed down and left it where i wanted to leave it at. Its less in the morning by now its more 5pm and 7pm it starts to be more painful. So at night it is the worse. The tops of my feet i hate the sheets on it. I sleep on my stomach so I dont like it then either since the tops of my feet hit the bed. Eventually I fall asleep. Being in complete sleep is so nice because you will be out of it and so you wont feel it. It is in random areas hand and arms bother me the most. Probably becaue i have to be on the comp alot for my job so i am using them. I have never had this problem before my 2nd bout of shingles. It all started on the second round. My head hurts to if inside as if something is shaking about that is off and on. Yesterday it was aching alot. I even have felt a tingling shock sensation in my neck a couple times and in my face a couple times. Sensations are throughout the day and doesnt stop its various amounts it could be a light one in one area and then later a bit deeper etc.

    I remember when i had the attack when it was real bad in some areas i could rub my finger and it would be painful in that area. It is so random but mostly in my hands and legs. I still have my backache that is associated with the shingles so that means my shingles are still real active even though the rash is not there also the burning of the shingles is there.

    Shimz, is your pain more of a deep ache? Is it constant or does it throb? Is the pain pretty much the same level all day or does it change at times? Do you have shooting pains, like an electric shock? i feel alot that seems to sort of radiate some radiate further then others like i kept thinking it was from my elbow to my wrist but then later i feel it just in my wrist and my fingers hurt. Then again i felt a burn sensation on my side. I have not felt anything electirc shocks in my shoulders or bicep area but below that I have. Felt a bit burnign in my stomach before to. So i just say everywhere becaues i cant target all areas but the areas most arms hands feet legs knees.

    My chest aches i dont know what that is i keept thinking it was the acid reflux but maybe it isnt its mostly on the left chest area.

    It is so pointless to tell others that have no idea what i am talking about such as family, doctors peopel in general who have nothing of this nature. To them they dont see the pain because its not visible.

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 06:26 PM   #8
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Shimz, the weird thing about your case is that most people with PHN only have pain in the area where their shingles were or the surrounding area. Maybe you have two things going on. Do you go back to your neuro soon? At first, my neuro wanted to see me weekly to keep a close eye on everything but now I go every 3 weeks. I live in a rural area but for some reason we seem to have very concerned doctors here.

    You seem to have spreading neuropathy and I would think the doctor would want to know why. Does your insurance allow for a second opinion? I know that some won't unless it is surgery. However, you can call the insurance company yourself and see if you can get another referral if you aren't happy with the doctor you saw.

    When you have the pain on your chest, can you reproduce it? If you press the painful part, is it worse or by pressing it, does it hurt? With pain involving the heart, you can't reproduce it, meaning you can't make it happen. If you can reproduce it, then it is muscular, neuro, or an inflammation. You may do well to try and decrease inflammation in your body by using the full dosage of Advil or another ibruprofen. But you may need a prescription medication if its full blown. When your body senses something out of whack, it sends more blood to that area to help heal but that can cause an inflammatory process. Getting that under control can help a lot.

    You really have a load to deal with, sweetie, with this affecting so many parts of your body. Are you trying to control your sugar intake? That would help you a lot too. It takes a bit of time to see any affect but you will see some improvement.

    Do you have to work straight through the day or can you take breaks? Does that even help?

    Susan

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Shimz,

    I have permanant numbness in my legs from the knee's down,no sensation whats so ever.I do however get periods of electrical shocks in my feet that can knock me off of them.A year ago I stepped on a nail and ended up in the ER because of an infection.I was given the standard tetanus shot and have had odd numbness ever since(recently diagnosed with MS).I get numbness in my face ,hands,finger tips.Besides being annoying its painful.
    Yours seems to be spreading,have you had a lumbar puncture to see if this is inflammatory?
    My youngest daughter had shingles when she was 6,now at the age of 11 she still don't like shirts with the tags in them and doesn't like anything tight against her back.My heart breaks for you.I know what it was like dealing with my daughter and the pain she went through once I couldn't imagine it 2 times.
    I agree with susan you need to get a second opinion,you could have more than one thing going on.
    It can be hard to distinguish between the 2.I had a heck of a time to get a neurologist to listen to me.I had 2 lumbar surgeries 7 years ago and all of a sudden I had lost the use of my right leg,had drop foot,lost ankle reflex,numbness in boyh legs and now they wanted to blame the back surgeries.Since the numbness and other symptoms moved above the lumbar region they finally listened.The nervous system is the hardest to figure out.Hang in there and be persistant and be your own advocate.If you don't agree with your neuro make him explain his reasoning,sometimes little things get over looked .
    My prayers are with you
    Toni

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 07:16 PM   #10
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Well today has been better then yesterday so far but i still feel the pains in random areas and thing. He diagnosed me with PHN then later when i complained about all this he said I think it is anxiety and I said no it is not anxiety and he said also that I might want to see a infectious disease specialist. i remember him saying that. In any case he is doing something since he has gotten me to do 2 more mri's and and emg which i have not had yet. i think the mri will come back negative as I dont think the nerves show up not sure. In any case the emg may show that i dont have any nerves damaged. I can feel my entire body its i know what was going on i had some sort of attack on my nerves for a day or 2 and then it slowly slowly lessened but left me at where i am right now. maybe it will get better in a couple months but maybe not. Regardless i need to know what happen because I have the shingles and that is how it came on. Yes it is something else another thing but dont know what it is yet. I keep thinking its pn or an acute case of this or acute case of ms or something. I have a feeling it will never be diagnosed and it may dissipate which would be great but then what happens the next time i get shingles. Chances are i will get them again I had them 2 times with 2 years back to back. I still have the back ache from the shingle so the virus is still active it should be over by now but i guess that is PHN now. It is really weird and i dont have any other illnesses but i will say like 3-4 years ago i had tingling sesation in my arm and then elese where etc so i think it is all related some how but of course the docs will say its not because phn is the only thing they say is associated with shingles but i really think there is more things to it then just that otherwise why would i have had this strange attack. Last year was just pain in the back where the shingles were this year has been different. Last year i was told hi had phn to then finally it seemed to be all gone by january but then june it just came back to remind me. Maybe its a cycle where it comes back over and over for me during the same time period . I dont know but next may/june i will be sure to watch out and pray it wont come again.

    As far as my chest i just feel the pain every now and then i guess if i move wrong its not too bad. Today has been a better day compared to yesterday. I do notice it gets worse as the day goes by towards night why is that i wonder is it because the body gets tired or what.

    I have been eating bad seems like i deserve to munch on sugar i know that is bad. This lyrica i keep hearing it makes people gain weight? Does lyrica increase your hunger or does it just cause weight gain not food related?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by don'tlikecold
    Shimz, the weird thing about your case is that most people with PHN only have pain in the area where their shingles were or the surrounding area. Maybe you have two things going on. Do you go back to your neuro soon? At first, my neuro wanted to see me weekly to keep a close eye on everything but now I go every 3 weeks. I live in a rural area but for some reason we seem to have very concerned doctors here.

    You seem to have spreading neuropathy and I would think the doctor would want to know why. Does your insurance allow for a second opinion? I know that some won't unless it is surgery. However, you can call the insurance company yourself and see if you can get another referral if you aren't happy with the doctor you saw.

    When you have the pain on your chest, can you reproduce it? If you press the painful part, is it worse or by pressing it, does it hurt? With pain involving the heart, you can't reproduce it, meaning you can't make it happen. If you can reproduce it, then it is muscular, neuro, or an inflammation. You may do well to try and decrease inflammation in your body by using the full dosage of Advil or another ibruprofen. But you may need a prescription medication if its full blown. When your body senses something out of whack, it sends more blood to that area to help heal but that can cause an inflammatory process. Getting that under control can help a lot.

    You really have a load to deal with, sweetie, with this affecting so many parts of your body. Are you trying to control your sugar intake? That would help you a lot too. It takes a bit of time to see any affect but you will see some improvement.

    Do you have to work straight through the day or can you take breaks? Does that even help?

    Susan

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 07:40 PM   #11
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nuffs3
    Shimz,

    I have permanant numbness in my legs from the knee's down,no sensation whats so ever.I do however get periods of electrical shocks in my feet that can knock me off of them.A year ago I stepped on a nail and ended up in the ER because of an infection.I was given the standard tetanus shot and have had odd numbness ever since(recently diagnosed with MS).I get numbness in my face ,hands,finger tips.Besides being annoying its painful.
    Yours seems to be spreading,have you had a lumbar puncture to see if this is inflammatory?
    My youngest daughter had shingles when she was 6,now at the age of 11 she still don't like shirts with the tags in them and doesn't like anything tight against her back.My heart breaks for you.I know what it was like dealing with my daughter and the pain she went through once I couldn't imagine it 2 times.
    I agree with susan you need to get a second opinion,you could have more than one thing going on.
    It can be hard to distinguish between the 2.I had a heck of a time to get a neurologist to listen to me.I had 2 lumbar surgeries 7 years ago and all of a sudden I had lost the use of my right leg,had drop foot,lost ankle reflex,numbness in boyh legs and now they wanted to blame the back surgeries.Since the numbness and other symptoms moved above the lumbar region they finally listened.The nervous system is the hardest to figure out.Hang in there and be persistant and be your own advocate.If you don't agree with your neuro make him explain his reasoning,sometimes little things get over looked .
    My prayers are with you
    Toni

    Well I think imay get better right now it is bearable but i dont know. If it goes away should i still try to keep on finding out or should i just move on and wait when it happens again. I mean what choice do i have stressing will just makeing me get shingles again. I hate this crap to bad i didnt get to go in when i had the attack then they could have seeen my blood pressure or something. for the past 3-4 years i had a small tingling sensation that seemed to become more and more it was everday nothing that hurt and i did tell my do but they just kind of brushed it away at that time so did it then this other doc thought i was lying but went ahead and go tme to do an emg somewhere i dont even know if it was done right but the result came back clear. Well of course because there was no damage done yet probably. Then i got the shingles. When i got the shingles all the tingling stopped that was last year i had phn and it finally went ALL away by jan. from June 05-jan06 i had no tingly just had phn that was wearing down and becoming very less. By jan i was pain free NO tingling even and it thought everything was all over it was weird how the tingling went away during that period when i had phn. Then in may out of no where my foot felt like it was on fire just a couple times and i felt something in my head 2 times I didnt think much of it just really didnt. June came and out came the shingles again no rash my back started burning and hands ached and then i kept thinking ah maybe its in my head so by the 3rd day it was burnign hand ached bottom of my legs ached i went in they gave me a shot of kenalog and valtrex for a week for the pain. I was done with the meds of 7 days had nothing else then i had this severe twitching and eletric shock attack thing that happend for a few days and slowly it lessened . Today my legs havent bottered me too much but hands have.

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 09:21 PM   #12
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    Shimz,

    you need to follow up on what is causing the pain.The symptoms you describe are neurological.

    Emg/Ncs are subjective test.I've had my share.I take it the Emg/Ncs was normal?

    Has anyone brought up the possibility of neuritis---this is inflammation of the nerve endings,not detectable by Emg study.Neuropathy is a conduction blockage of the nerves where the myelin sheath is missing in spots.Equally they can cause a great amount of pain and similiar symptoms.

    I'm glad the pain is lessoning.Try not to stress to much.Do you have a follow up with your DR.

    Toni

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 09:39 PM   #13
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    I have not had the emg yet will on july 25th. What is an NCS I have not heardof that? What other test can can a neuro run?

    Thanks

    Last edited by Shimz; 07-08-2006 at 09:48 PM.

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 09:53 PM   #14
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    The EMG part test the muscles,they'll insert a needle into the muscles to see if they are working properly and the NCS or NCV (same thing) test the nerves.They place little metal electrodes on certain nerves and see if there is a conduction blockage.The test does cause some discomfort.I've had 3 done in the last year and I know the neuro is going to set up the 4th.My Doctor that does that is awesome she talks all the way through it and explains each step and gives me the results right afterwards.Some Doctors make you wait and sends the report to the neuro.They usually do one side of the body.The last time I had it done my Doctor called and had me come back into do the other side.

    Toni

     
    Old 07-08-2006, 10:05 PM   #15
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    Re: What does numb really mean?

    So I assume these test show results real well right? So what if my EMG come out fine then what? Would that mean that is no nerve damage. Then why would i have all this going on. It would mean that its acute and the nerve has not fully been affected or something?

    Thanks

     
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