Neurons & Osteoclasts

I tried to cut my toenails yesterday, and nipped the end of my big toe with the clippers.  I didn’t even notice until I started bleeding.  I have extremely twitchy toes, and very little control over my hands.  The combination makes giving myself a pedicure an epic challenge, and one that I usually defer to someone with more capable hands.  He was busy and I didn’t want to bother him, so the split in my toe is my fault.  I knew better, but did it anyhow.  Then he was all like, “derrrrKara!  WHYFOR?  Udiot.”

Sometimes I have to test myself.  You know, see if I’m getting any better.  I can write somewhat legibly if I keep the print large and allow myself plenty of time.  Think of a small child learning how to write.  I’m basically learning how to write all over again now that my hand spasms are periodic instead of constant.  I’m hesitant to say I’m getting better, because even if my hands are working alright I have other areas of concern (facial/mouth numbness and dysphagia) that weren’t an issue when I had to scribble a line with both hands to sign my name.  The pattern is bizarre for a true ‘idiopathic’ peripheral neuropathy.  As my primary doctor said, “we call it idiopathic because we’re idiots, and have no idea what’s actually happening.”

I found this very promising study result about the use of alpha-lipoic acid to treat pain and even partially reverse nerve damage in peripheral neuropathy.  That’s not something anti-depressants or gabapentin can claim.

One thing I appreciate about orthopedics is the lack of grey area.  Gastroenterology and Neurology?  Tons of grey.  5,000 shades of grey.  A bone is broken; either it needs surgery to heal properly, or will heal on its own.  “You’ve got Osteoporosis, probably because you’re not absorbing calcium and vitamin D properly.”  Add in being in a constant state of mild acidosis from varying degrees of kidney dysfuction, and it’s the same reason I’m a kidney stone factory.  So, I’ve got osteoporosis according to my DEXA scan results.  This really isn’t a surprise.  I had a DEXA scan about 5 years ago, and my bone mineral density was well below the curve.  Right on the line between osteopenia and osteoporosis.  There are drugs for that.  Drugs that’ll burn a hole in my esophagus if I happen to lay down after taking them.  No thanks?  I’d rather try adding K2 to my calcium & D3 first, even if it’s another out-of-pocket expense.

6 thoughts on “Neurons & Osteoclasts

  1. My neurologist just prescribed me beta blockers. She says they may show promise for those of us with “essential tremors”. All I know is cups with lips are my friends and some days I can’t even sign my name. Have they tried anything like that with you?

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    • I use a tumbler with a screw on lid and straw – I call it my ‘sippy cup’. I’m a disaster otherwise. I started a low dose of propranolol for POTS not too long ago, and maybe that’s why I’ve noticed an improvement in my penmanship? I had no idea. That’s pretty cool.

      My neurologist hasn’t done anything other than tests (my pcm is treating the pain), most likely to pawn me off on someone else so he doesn’t have to deal with me. I’ve been on the hunt for a good one for a while. Military doctors are a crap shoot.

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      • Yep. Sounds like me! That’s the same thing I got prescribed. 80 (?) mg/ day. I haven’t started it yet. Any advice on side effects?
        I have a pain doc. I see them more than just about anyone else. Calvert Physical Medicine & Pain Management. Covered by tricare. They’re pretty good to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m taking 20mg, and haven’t had any side effects from it. I’ve been a little more nauseated lately, and although I doubt the drug is to blame, I suppose anything is possible. I know my Mom used to take it for hypertension and had to quit because it gave her night terrors. She punched my Dad in the side of the head because she woke up thinking there was a giant spider in the bed. Funny.

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    • Last year the collective decided it had to be some sort of obscure or unique genetic defect, joked about sending me to the NIH (I thought they were serious and thought it sounded like a good idea), and that was that. I’ve had at least 5 people tell me it has to be Lupus, then my ortho guy told me it sounds like chronic Lyme’s disease (Dr. Johnna said it sounds Lyme’y too ;)). Both are clandestine and difficult to diagnose diseases.

      My father is a vietnam vet, and thinks both my illness, as well as my brothers, is a result of his constant exposure to agent orange, so the weird genetic disease is a fair hypothesis. Try mentioning that to the average doctor in casual conversation and see where that gets you. 🙂

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