Exhausting Diabetic Neuropathy and Sciatic Nerve Pain

I have leg pain. It’s caused from the sheathing of my spine being compressed. It hurts every second of every day. Nothing soothes it other than my pain meds.

I have tried distraction and it works to some degree, but I have to sleep sometime. I work as a vet tech and pull long hard 12hr days on my feet. While I'm working (distracted) it’s bearable but the minute I stop they hurt so bad.

I have diabetes so I have neuropathy in my legs and feet as well. It seems everyone says they understand, but they don't. It interferes with every aspect of my life.

I use to go out on the field during soccer practices, now I hate the days we have practice. My relationship with my husband is not what it was, it’s sad. I just don't know what to do.

I have no insurance or I could get one of those fancy pain pumps. I have had several MRI's but working is making them worse. I need work credits for disability, but my body is a shoe in for approval. I am working until I have enough credits to file.

I am tired of being tired. I am tired of hurting and whining about it. I try not to, but some days just doing laundry is miserable. I however cannot lie in bed all day, it makes it worse. I just can't seem to get a break.

After fighting with doctors who told me that w/o insurance there was no reason to run tests because we couldn't fix it even if we found out what it was.

I found one doctor who is at least treating me for pain. I am never fully out of pain, but I am thankful I have tolerable pain. Break through pain still brings me to a dark place, but it’s not as often as it was.

I hope everyone who is experiencing chronic pain fights for help.
Thanks for Listening,

Hi Elizabeth,
I am sure sorry for everything that you are going through. You must be a very strong woman to keep getting up and going to work with that much pain.

I know it seems like no one understands, and while it is true that no one really knows exactly what you are going through. Those of us, who are living with our own chronic pain, do understand how difficult it can be to keep getting up every day and we admire your strength.

It sounds like you have been fighting the good fight for a long time. I know you have probably tried every treatment possible, but I have a few ideas, I hope you don't mind if I mention them.

First is insurance. Evaluating and treating this kind of pain is very expensive, as I’m sure you know, and without insurance it is impossible for most people.

You don't mention where you live, but what would it take to get you covered by insurance? Changing jobs? Moving to a different area? Quitting your job so that you qualify for government assistance?

I don't know exactly what your options are, and I know you have probably thought of all of these. I don't mean to be bringing up the obvious, but in order to get treatment you need to do whatever is necessary to get insurance. You mention disability, and I am sure that would help but it is not treatment, which is what you need.

Something else that comes to mind is medications. You did mention that you have medications for pain, but you did not say what they are. Neuropathic pain such as sciatica or neuropathy is a different kind of pain that does not respond well to narcotics.

If you have not trialed pain neuropathic pain medication such as gabapentin or Lyrica, you should talk to your doctor about different kinds of medication that may be helpful.

I'm glad that you found a doctor that will prescribe pain medicines for you. Hopefully he will be open to allowing you to trial some different medications to see what will help your particular situation.

Besides, gabapentin and Lyrica, other types of medications that may be helpful would be anti depressants, muscle relaxers, and NSRIs(norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

Another idea is physical therapy. I'm sure you'll probably tried physical therapy with exercises, but what I am thinking of is lumbar traction. I would not expect it to help your diabetic neuropathy but it may help with your sciatica.

I know physical therapy is expensive and it may not be an option for you but there are some things that you can do at home to try and take some of the pressure off of the nerves in your spine.

One way to stretch your spine is with an inversion table. This uses your own weight to gently separate the vertebra and hopefully relieve some pressure that is causing your pain.

You don't have to hang upside down, and you don't have to purchase any fancy equipment, at least in the beginning. All you need to do is figure out a way to lay at a 20 or 30 degree angle with your head pointed downhill for 10 or 15 minutes.

You will be able to tell after just a few minutes if this is going to help. If it does make a difference you can research the options and maybe invest in a lumbar traction belt or inversion table. You can read more about inversion therapy at
How Do Inversion Tables Work?

Well Elizabeth, these are the only things I can think of right now. I know you have probably already tried everything, but hopefully there is something here that can help.

You are already doing the most important thing by getting up every day and getting on with your life as best you can. I know it may not be the life you wanted , or the life you expected, but it is the life you got and I think you are doing a great job.

Stay strong, and please drop us a note to let us know how you're doing. We do care about you.


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