Peripheral Neuropathy....

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to every other part of the body. Peripheral nerves also send sensory information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as a message that the feet are cold or a finger is burned. Damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with these vital connections. Like static on a telephone line, peripheral neuropathy distorts and sometimes interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part of the body, a wide array of symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged. Some people may experience temporary numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations (paresthesia), sensitivity to touch, or muscle weakness. Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

Some forms of neuropathy involve damage to only one nerve and are called mononeuropathies. More often though, multiple nerves affecting all limbs are affected-called polyneuropathy. Occasionally, two or more isolated nerves in separate areas of the body are affected-called mononeuritis multiplex.

In the most common forms of polyneuropathy, the nerve fibers (individual cells that make up the nerve) most distant from the brain and the spinal cord malfunction first. Pain and other symptoms often appear symmetrically, for example, in both feet followed by a gradual progression up both legs. Next, the fingers, hands, and arms may become affected, and symptoms can progress into the central part of the body.

So this is what we have been dealing with...(Michael is having a very difficult time walking and climbing up stairs)...along with starting tomorrow with oral surgery...Michael has so much bone loss in his mouth that he is at high risk for infections from his gums and they have decided that the best course of action is to remove the teeth that he has left....they have to see how he will handle this by first taking out a few....and then see how he heals ...after that things will progress quicker...the oncologist wants them out as quickly as he will be starting chemo again in September....

I have been somewhat in a shell....the change in my system from not smoking caused a lot of ME to close up...well, at least the ME that use to smoke...I also took sometime off and went to the Boston area for a little R and R....I am happy to report that I am starting to feel more like ME again and I am rediscovering my voice.....Thanks to all who have written here and off line to me sending well wishes and concern....

my heart is full....

a message sent my way...

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight.. 'I'm glad I have a good
book to read Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and
filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to
start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the
soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training,
and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that
sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several
hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would
help pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if
he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for
just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait
till we get to base '

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.
I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a
fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed
my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked
me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it
for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the
soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you
like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked.
She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute
later with a dinner plate from first class. This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane,
heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I
want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming
down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he
was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers
only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled,
held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's
hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a
military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness
I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all
of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my
legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached o ut
his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars
in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane..
Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.
Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their
trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five
dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be
about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of
their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I
whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were
giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank
check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of
'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country
who no longer understand it.'

ever feel like.....

One day just melts into another...into another...into another....and then before you know it weeks have gone by and you are still standing in the exact same spot???????
I was reminded yesterday, that I have been silent here....Causing me to wonder where have the 13 days of this month gone already....Always the series of Doctors' appointments weekly...always the regular mundane chores that have to be done...always a matter of balance....I think I have been mentally checking out...dropping one plate or two...trying to focus on different things....happier things...things that cause me to feel alive...
I will confess that I have been letting go of some of my own "bad habits"!! (Yes...I know it is hard to believe that I might have them!! LOL....but trust me I DO!!) and I will now share that I am on week 3 of NOT SMOKING! (again, a hard thing to even admit that I do! Or should I say DID!!) But today, I feel good...I feel human....I feel normal....I feel full of inspiration....and finally today, I know that it is MONDAY
it is the 13th of name is PATRICIA....I am determined....I am strong....and I am full of inspiration!!

How many things can I put on my plate????

So this morning I am testy....out of I setting myself up to fall flat on my face???
Just how many things can I put on a plate?....How many plates can I hold in my hands?....
I am reminded of the jugglers that you see....spinning plates on sticks while standing on chairs
balancing.....while the crowd oooh's and ahhhhh's!
That is how I feel this morning.....but the balancing act is not going so well......


We went to the VA dentist yesterday....all the stats came in from all the Doctors.....The bone loss in Michael's mouth is so significant that they all agree that he has to have the remainder of his teeth pulled because of the high risk of, with that being said....there is also a high risk of infection from having his teeth pulled.....HUMMMMMMM.....He has most of his top teeth...but only the back teeth on the bottom with a few on the front left side....He has started medication for the surgery which will be done in a month....They will take out a few of the back ones to see how he tolerates this surgery....The dentist (surgeon) will be doing this, but there will be a team of Doctors on call in case of any complications....The Coumadin will have to be stopped one week before surgery and he will go back to the shots (hopefully I will be able to give these to him in his arm and not his stomach this time!)
So the moral of this story: Take good care of your teeth....SO YOU CAN SMILE MORE! If you find that you are having a lot of problems with your teeth make sure you see a dentist...or a doctor and let them know as it may be a sign of something else going on in your body....