You Can Cope with Peripheral Neuropathy
365 Tips for Living a Full Life
by Mims Cushing and Norman Latov, MD.
Copyright © 2009 by Demos Medical Publishing, LLC.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Demos Medical Publishing, LLC.
NOTE: Excerpts are provided on dLife.com for informational purposes only. The information contained within will not be updated by dLife and may be outdated. Please consult your doctor before acting on anything described here.
Chapter 4: Home and Hearth: Living More Easily and Enjoyably
Is this the scenario at your home when you have the flu, other ailment, or a bad spell of peripheral neuropathy?
- A mound of night clothes creates moguls around your bedroom and bathroom.
- A forest of pill bottles grows on your vanity.
- Newspapers sit in sloppy piles on your chairs.
- The drinking glasses on your night table are like a glass-instruments' orchestra.
- Dishes and bowls accumulate on kitchen counters.
You may ask, "What's this chapter got to do with neuropathy?" That's easy. If you spend more time at home due to less mobility and more pain, you'll feel better if you have "thatched your cottage" before the rain falls, an old Irish saying that tells you to take care of important things before they become overwhelming. Similarly, you want to do things when your body's weather is "fair and sunny." Having a bad neuropathic spell is like having a wicked rainstorm fall into your life. You wouldn't want to do work on your roof in the rain, and you aren't going to make your house shipshape when you're in pain. When you are sick, it's easier to get around and more pleasant to live in a place that is organized, neat, and clutter free.
I'm not going to go all Martha Stewart on you, but simple things can make your house safer and more comfortable. An unorganized house can add to your misery. On a day when you're starting to feel bad and you can sense pain is on the way, work around the house. Slowly spruce it up. For many, a falling barometer can be an indicator that pain is brewing. The pain from peripheral neuropathy can wax and wane, and you want to take advantage of it when it's waning. Then, when you really need to lie down and take it way, you'll have made your surrounding pleasant.
A picked-up house will pick you up. And beyond "picking up," take a few steps to tweak it now to help you stay out of the dumps later.
- A safe house is essential. PNers need to go the extra steps to ensure that their house is safe and free of things that might cause an accident.
- Less clutter will mean fewer things to trip over, fall on, and hike through to get at what you want.
- Lemon is a scent that seems to improve mood, according to researchers at the online site, www.psychoneuroendocrinology.com. Unfortunately, they did not find any value in lemon's odor regarding healing, pain, or stress. But an improvement in mood? Take it!
- The International Journal of Neuroscience reports that aromatherapy massage using lemon, rosemary, chamomile, and lavender helps lower anxiety and raise self-esteem in older women. Also, lavender and sandalwood oils, when sprayed into mice cages, help the nervous critters simmer down. Could work for us.
- Nice-smelling soaps are a wonderful guilty pleasure. This may strike you as froufrou, a superfluous tidbit of luxury, so ignore it. Not me. Soaps are cheaper and last longer than flowers. Soaping your hands several times a day is a must in today's germ-ridden world. Liquid pumps dispense soap in a garden of great smells: coconut, lavender, rose, honey and oatmeal, or peppermint. Every time you wash your hands with an aroma you like, it can be an emotional pick-you-up.
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...