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    Old 08-01-2006, 10:31 AM   #1
    Nancy1961
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    Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Hi:

    I was just wondering if anyone else had to stop driving because of lack of sensation in feet? My mom is very upset because she has just about deceided to not drive due to the numbness in her feet. It's such a shame, because she is healthy and active in every other way, and the thought of not having her independence to get in the car and go is really bothering her. Does anyone else continue to drive, or has found a way to continue to drive when you can't feel the pedals? I would love to hear any thing. Thanks again, Nancy

     
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    Old 08-01-2006, 10:57 AM   #2
    don'tlikecold
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    I was once at the point where I thought I would no longer be able to drive. I couldn't tell what pedal my foot was on, it was painful to press the pedals, etc. I, too, panicked at the thought of not being able to drive. My husband assured me that if it came to that, he could easily install hand controls on my car. He's not a mechanic by trade but is highly skilled. I don't know how much this would cost or if insurance would pay for it, but it is an option. I do not have any loss of sensation in my hands and don't know if your mom does.

    I haven't had to do anything because after increasing my Lyrica, I can feel my feet more now and don't have trouble driving. So tell your mom that there is always hope and other ways to do things.

    Susan

     
    Old 08-02-2006, 08:03 AM   #3
    Nancy1961
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Dear Susan:
    Please tell me more! I can't wait to show my mom what you wrote. I finally read something incouraging!! Tell me about the "Lycria" you are taking for numbness. She just started two nights ago on Cymbalta, and after reading all the comments (negative mostly) on that, it sounds like what you are taking could be another option. Please write me back so I can find out more about what you've tryed. I can't wait to hear!! Thanks so much, Nancy

     
    Old 08-02-2006, 12:20 PM   #4
    don'tlikecold
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Hi Nancy,

    Lyrica has been approved for neuropathy though it also treats seizures. It's one of several medications approved for neuropathy. It works very well for me but the problem is that it takes a lot of time and a "mind-set" to get used to it. At first and with increases, it produces a feeling that is very odd. Some say it is like feeling drunk. For me, it is a feeling of spaciness and as if I want to sleep without being actually tired. I had quite a bit of trouble at the beginning and stopped taking it but I gave it another try.

    On the second try, I started taking it at night only. Once I felt that I had adjusted to that (about one week), I started on the morning dose. Again, that took about a week or even two before I adjusted. With each increase, I start it on the weekend so I have a little time before Monday morning rolls around. If it is too much, I increase it only at night for a week, then add the morning dose. Now I am on a three times a day dose so I increased it at night, then increased the morning dose, then after several weeks, added the afternoon dose. Once the doses were higher, I had a smaller period of adjustment time. I started the original doses 5 months ago so you can see that it has taken some time and effort.

    But...I am glad that I did put forth the effort because the numbness (along with other symptoms) has now decreased quite a bit. I couldn't wiggle my toes at all 5 months ago and now I can, as I normally would have been able to. I didn't see much of an improvement until the doses were increased significantly. At 300mg twice a day, I saw some improvement but have seen even more now that I take it three times a day.

    Your mother can talk to her doctor about this or one of the other medications for neuropathy. There is something out there that should help her to a certain level. I don't expect that my feet will ever return to normal but the goal is to be able to function and do my daily routine the best I can.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    Susan

     
    Old 08-02-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
    don'tlikecold
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Hi Nancy,

    I forgot that to say that you may want to read Harry's posts (6foot3). He has done so much research and has posted such good info plus articles to read. If you find one of his posts (there is one just down the board a bit where I asked him a question) and click on his user name, a drop down menu comes down. Click on the one that says Find all posts by 6foot3. You'll find a lot of really good info on how diet, exercise, and B-12 and other supplements can help, too.

    I think that the B-12 and diet (especially cutting out sugar) has helped the Lyrica do a better job with me. Really watching what I eat and doing exercises that don't involve walking/jogging, have kept me from the side effect of gaining weight others report. I actually have lost weight.

    Susan

     
    Old 08-05-2006, 07:59 PM   #6
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Hugs to your Mom, Nancy.
    I've had my PN a long long time and I drive but I know exactly where your Mom is coming from.
    Happily I CAN now feel the petals.. weird feeling, but it is feeling.

    When my PN began, over a decade ago, (yep, long time ago) it was the car brake petal that gave me the first sign that something was wrong with my foot.
    Of course I was too dense to consider it was only my foot that thought the brake petal was all squishy and not working right, even though the car certainly did stop properly when I pressed the brake.
    Of course I took the car to a mechanic and complined about my brakes!
    Mechanic told me the brakes were perfect.

    Sadly he was right.

    Then my feet "fell asleep".. then my legs.. and the pain arrived.
    Long story short.. after DX (sensoral Axonal PN) and prescribed pain maskers I once again could drive just fine mostly useing the side of my foot where the big toe is cuz it was not affected on that side.
    I still refuse to drive on wet roads and I won't drive long distances or on super highways.

    YES My PN is better now. A long way from gone, but it has become slowly better. They never figured out why I got it in the first place.

    For many years the 3 outside toes were not movable by me. 3 toes became Dead meat. No feeling, no movement in those 3 toes. (The big toes and one next to it remained fine and never got effected by the PN)
    Today there is no completely dead meat.. it's tingly, marshmellow encased meat even with pain maskers.
    The tingly sensation as like my tingly feet were encased in mashmellows replaced dead meat in the bottom of my foot about 5 years ago. That was memorable day..
    I walked around all day long barefoot wiggling my toes just to feel the sensation of the floor underneith them! Alright it was tingly marshmellowy feeling, but hey it was feeling for a change! So great to feel the floor again under that side of my foot and those 3 toes!
    WHY was the feeling returning? I don't know but I had been taking Carbamazepherine for years and had just switched to a very low dose of Neurontin.
    Like I said the petals feel weird.. the sensation is like driving with the tingly foot a normal person would have if thier foot fell asleep and was inside a marshmellow on that one side of the foot. I'm still very dependant on the two unaffected toes but I now also use the sensations for awareness the rest of the foot too.

    I still take a low dose of neurontin.

    I CAN wiggly all my toes up and down and in the last month I have finally been able to even make the outside little toe move away from the second toe. Odd the little things that make me happy. Being able to move that little toe is a joyous thing! I can even pick up pennies with those toes!

    I did start B-12 shots 3 months ago (once a month) even though my blood tests says my B-12 was fine. Maybe the B-12 has helped me in my little toe moving efforts. Who knows?

    I hope your Mother's DRs can find the cause of her neuropathy, fix the cause and can thereby get rid of the neuropathy!
    Don't give up. There is always hope.

    Last edited by snowmelts; 08-05-2006 at 08:10 PM.

     
    Old 08-07-2006, 05:44 PM   #7
    Nancy1961
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Dear Snowmelt:

    What a wonderful letter from you. I cant wait to give it to my mom. Your story is so encouraging! She will love to hear that there is hope. She is in the process of seeing a new Neurologist, she was very unsatisifyed with the one she had been seeing. She has been taking Cymbalta now for two weeks, that's the dilema she is having now. She cant get in to the new Dr. until Sept. 15th, and the Dr. she is not going to continue with gave her the RX to fill for Cymbalta. Not knowing what the new Neurologist will have her do, she has to deceide whether to stay on it or not. Confusing huh?! My mom's such a trooper, here she had a total hysterectomy in Novemeber after finding ovarian cancer, (early stage thank GOD), recooped from major sugery, then had her 5 months of chemo that ended in April! She says if it wasn't for the numbness in her feet she would be good to go!! She just bought a brand new Camry last year, so she's ready to get on with things! I do think there is hope, we are anxious to see this new neurologist. Take care, Nancy

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 11:39 AM   #8
    numbnewman
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    I,ve been driving a bus for 20 years, and developed neuropathy about a year ago. I took a week off of work recently because the numbness and tingling in my feet is so bad when I am behind the wheel of the bus. My symptoms got a little better during the week I was off. I went back to work the following week, and immediately began feeling the numbness and tingling again. If your mother is like me, the driving could be aggravating her neuropathy.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 12:42 PM   #9
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Nancy, did they tell you that chemo can cause a person to develop peripheral neuropathy?

     
    Old 08-28-2006, 07:46 AM   #10
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Nancy: as for an interim dose of meds, call one of her other docs and ask for, say, a 1-month script to 'tide her over'. Most docs really know, which docs are good or not [tho they never, ever say] but, I think they would'nt leave one in the lurch and, it's not like it's not on her record [that she's taking it] nor a long term commitment. If she's got the script, try filling it in littler bits so you actually get less on your tab. IF the scrip is changed, there will probably be a 'change-over' or titration period -weaning off that and onto another. So some of the 'old' is needed, just not as much.

    Yes, certain cancer meds can and do cause or aggravate neuropathy, so If it were me, that's whose shoulder I'd tap first. Worth a try.

    n-n-man: I do know that feeling! Even going out to eat, when I get up from a dinner somewhere else, I've got to sort of unobtrusively stomp my feet -to kind of wake up my feet to the idea of contact with Earth! Is there any way you can, say, every 15-30 mins take a couple of minutes to just get out and walk around the bus a couple of times? Hope this helps

     
    Old 09-02-2006, 04:55 PM   #11
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    Re: Has anyone had to stop driving due to NP?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nancy1961
    Hi:

    I was just wondering if anyone else had to stop driving because of lack of sensation in feet? My mom is very upset because she has just about deceided to not drive due to the numbness in her feet. It's such a shame, because she is healthy and active in every other way, and the thought of not having her independence to get in the car and go is really bothering her. Does anyone else continue to drive, or has found a way to continue to drive when you can't feel the pedals? I would love to hear any thing. Thanks again, Nancy
    Hi Nancy,

    I haven't had to give up driving but, there are definitely days that I wonder if it is such a good idea that I am driving. This is based on the way my legs and feet feel that day. Or should I say, don't feel. The peripheral neuropathy for me changes every day. I can have a good day, do a bit too much and, the next day feel exhausted. Even a nap doesn't seem to bring me back to my old self. Looks like my days of playing 3 hours of singles tennis are over.

    I have investigated hand controls. However, since my arms are also bothered by neuropathy, and have lost their normal strength, I doubt that is a good solution for me.

    I'm just going as long as I can as far as I can the way I am.
    My physical therapist has said to walk or do exercises forever, or until I turn 120, whichever comes first.

    Good luck.
    mbs60

     
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