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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Neuropathy or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)? - Part 1

Wrongly diagnosed?  I do not blame Doc!

BS 98 - Fasting sugar level this morning
BP 110/80 (home machine) - HR 62
BS at 11:00 PM - 107 after working out
BP 115/70 (at YMCA) HR - 81 after workout.


It was during my March 2013 6-month visit when I finally complained to the doctor about the tingling in my feet at night, it would wake me up, and I was starting to have troubles walking around the house without shoes as it felt like to soles of my feet were sore and hurting.  I also complained my feet were always hot and I had to take my shoes off or get very light net shoes to wear.

He gave me the feather and pin test and was puzzled as I felt everything and it appeared my feet were normal.  Being a good doctor, he did not want to take any chances so he prescribed a neuropathy medicine - 300 mg of Gabapentin twice daily.

Within 3 months my feet felt like leather, I could not even walk with shoes on as it hurt the bottom of my feet and I felt like I was walking on rock slate.

I could not take it any more as each day it got worse.  So going against my belief system, I went to the internet to research tingly feet.  I found a lot of material but I will stay with what I found at Mayo Clinic - they are pretty reputable.


From Mayo Clinic, "Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet, but it may also occur in other areas of your body.
People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove."

Restless Leg Syndrome

From Mayo Clinic, "Commonly described sensations - People typically describe restless legs syndrome symptoms as abnormal, unpleasant sensations in their calves, thighs or feet. Sometimes the sensations may be in the arms, often expressed as:
  • Crawling, Creeping, Pulling, Throbbing, Itching, Pain, Tugging, Gnawing, Burning
Sometimes the sensations seem to defy description. Affected people usually don't describe the condition as a muscle cramp or numbness. They do, however, consistently describe the desire to move or handle their legs."

Mechanics and Doctors - checking vitals

WOW - no wonder they call it practicing medicine - how would a Doctor know from my description which is the root cause of my feeling.  Doctors are like mechanics and our bodies are like automobiles.  I can go into my mechanic and he can hook up to the computer and it will tell him if my car is sick or he can check the fluid levels to see if I am low on any fluids.

Our bodies are like that.  We can go to the doctor and he can take our A1C and get a three month average of our sugar levels - our computer can tell him if something is wrong.

The doctor can take blood, urine samples, and all kinds of other samples to see if our fluids can tell the doctor if something is wrong.  This is like checking our fluids.

Mechanics and Doctors - listening to me

Lets say with my mechanic I can no longer can rely on my car to tell the mechanic what is wrong - I have to do that.  Just recently I had to do that.  My car was making noises in the front end.  So I went in and tried to point to the location, I tried to describe the noise, and I tried to make the exact sound.  Can you imagine an old man standing in front of his mechanic pointing to the dash and squealing like a stuck pig!  My mechanic is a great guy from Jamaica - he must go home some nights and wish he never made the journey to Nashville.  Or he goes home and says - WOW I just got that comedy show for free and better yet - I get to charge him for his stupidity.

So is it any different went I went to the doctor and tried to explain my feet situation.  Holy cow, I am a diabetic - what else would he think.  Just look at the similarities between the two.  Naturally he had to go that route.  He also has to be careful I do not come back and sue him for malpractice.  That can be a post all by itself.

So what have I learned?  Do a little research to discover what is going on with your body.  My wife, the non geek in the relationship - jumps on the internet and starts searching when she does not understand.  I am not one of those men who will not stop and ask for directions - ladies you know what I am saying - but I do not jump on the internet other than for work research.

I have never said I am the smart one in this relationship!  

My point is simple.  Go  ahead and get on the internet and do some research.  learn, study, get to know your body.  Then when you go to the doctor (mechanic) you can help him/her help you.  This makes a lot of sense.  What does not make sense - "Any of us playing Doctor!' This is not like playing house or hospital when we were kids - no one got hurt.  You being your own doctor - do not do it!  If you do not like what the doctor is saying - get a second opinion.

In part 2 and 3 of this series I will discuss what I found with each of these problems and what I did to course correct.

May God grant you and your doctor the ability to listen and learn what is going on with your body and mind.  May he grant us the knowledge to help our doctors help us.



  1. Good morning Bob! Knowledge is Power my friend. If you need another good source for diabetes information visit the Joslin Center for Diabetes. Use their search bar to find all kinds of information.

    Have a great day!


  2. Good morning Marty,

    Thanks I will review. Sounds like a post.

    Have a great day!


Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support