I have had idiopathic peripheral neuropathy for almost twenty years. It started out as “clumsiness” and deteriorated into constant pain and extreme sensitivity. I went from simply being clumsy to falling frequently, dropping things regularly and having my feet feel as though they were on fire with lightning trapped in them. I was tried on a number of drugs including neurontin, topamax, amatriptoline, lyrica and several others but could not tolerate any of them because of allergic reactions or negative side effects. So, I had settled into accommodation of the neuropathy.
Charles Loprinzi and I collaborate on a number of cancer control projects and he was aware that I struggled with peripheral neuropathy and how significantly it limited me. So, when he started working with the Scrambler, he called to see if I might be interested in trying it out as a pre-trial subject. I jumped at the chance.
We set up a series of appointments in November, 2010. I was mildly hopeful but prepared for one more thing that wouldn’t work based on my history with medications. At the first appointment, Breeanne, the nurse who administers the treatment, explained the machine and the theory behind it to me. She attached the electrodes and my journey began with mild but certainly bearable electrical stimuli experientially similar to my TENS unit but, as she explained, interventionally very different, began. The results were immediate. When the first session ended, the burning pain was lessened and, more importantly to me, my balance was immediately restored! I could stand unassisted! You cannot imagine what a gift balance is until you have lost it. And to have it restored is like a miracle.
It is now almost two years later and I am still remarkably better than I was before the Scrambler. At about six months, I noticed pain returning so we did a booster session that quietened the pain back down. I’ve been doing very well since then and love that I can sit down to dinner with friends and not worry about throwing my glass of wine in someone’s plate.