My personal journey to overcome peripheral neuropathy

I have been living with severe peripheral neuropathy since September of 1998. My name is Dean S. Lewis. You might ask, “how did it happen?” I will tell the story…

It all began one Sunday morning on July 26,1998 when I started to feel nauseous. I was 25 years old at the time and in very good shape, so I thought nothing of it. By the evening, however, I was feeling worse and had severe abdominal pain. On Monday morning I went to my doctor, who prescribed antibiotics. Little did anyone know, I was severely allergic to this particular antibiotic. My symptoms worsened over the next week and I was eventually hospitalized.

Due to the severity of the allergic reaction, I had suffered a multi-organ shutdown involving my heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys just to name a few. I experienced unimaginable pain and was placed in a medically induced coma to stabilize my condition. After my heart took a break and was restarted by some talented medical staff, I lost some of my short term memory. It is truly a miracle that I am alive today. However, it became apparent when I awoke from my coma, that things were very wrong. I was attached to many machines and I could not move. I remember that when I was assisted into a seating position, my feet literally felt like they were on fire. I realized that I did not escape without having residual effects from my illness. One of them is peripheral neuropathy, specifically chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

Today I experience pain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles, weakness, and imbalance. I constantly have to be careful when I walk because my legs would sometimes give out on me altogether. It is embarrassing at times, but I have learned to embrace my life and to adapt to my neuropathy. Some days are more difficult than others. There are times when I experience sharp pains that resemble a lightening strike out of nowhere. Even as I write this, I am feeling tingling, and pins and needles in my hands and itching all over my body. However, I have accepted it as being part of my life and I try not to let it discourage me.

I have created this website to share that life continues with peripheral neuropathy. I hope to share what has been working to lessen the intensity of my symptoms. I also want to provide information and interact with others who may also be suffering from peripheral neuropathy. It is my sincere hope that you will find this site both helpful and a source of useful information.