I've been hiding out for a little bit. I'm having trouble adjusting to the idea that I have neuropathy. It brings up all sorts of nasty feelings.
Did I do enough to control my diabetes the past eight years?
Did I do this to myself? Is all this pain my fault?
My HbA1cs have been fairly good, but I'm sure I have swings into highs that create the possibility of damage to my nerves and blood vessels, while the blood is overloaded with glucose.
Is this foot pain a physical manifestation of my thoughts? My negative emotions? Is it a punishment?
You know what I mean, I think. And yet these thoughts are lies. Because I haven't abused myself. I didn't wish this on myself. My faith is not weak. God's grace abounds, even to me.
I had my follow up visit with the NP at the Pain Clinic today. The MRI did not show any actionable flaws. It did show a little bit of degenerative joint disease in my great toe, but only on the left foot.
They recommended that I visit the psychologist for 8 sessions. He'll apparently teach me some coping techniques and tools that often prove helpful for folks with chronic pain. (And no, seeing the psychologist does not mean that they think the pain is all in my head. It means that I want to use my mind effectively in this battle.)
I haven't gotten past the (competent, highly effective, polite but immoveable) scheduler in the Neurology department, so I have to follow up with that. The NP assures me that the neurologist should be able to figure out whether the pain originates from a nerve injury (such as Joplin's neuroma) or from neuropathy. I'm hoping that the neurologist may have some sort of prediction of the course of the condition.
We tweaked the meds a little. I do feel like the pain is diminished, but I don't feel like it's conquered. I like the direction of the trend. I feel I can walk more. I don't feel like I have to ration my steps or my standing time. I'm still in my clunky unfashionable shoes.
Life is good. I think I can live with this pain. I think that it is not a punishment. And I don't think that it's OK for me to throw stones at myself, figuratively, thinking that I didn't do a good enough job at managing my diabetes.
Maybe I could have done better, eaten fewer bites of this, chosen that more often, but it's in the past. I have to deal with what is. No second-guessing, unless I can gain wisdom for the next set of choices.
Life is good.
Labels: blame, coping, foot pain, MRI, neurology, pain clinic