A Musing Mom's Tales, Marriage & Raising Girls
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My road to recovery: Dealing with peripheral neuropathy

Notice how the flesh beneath my right thumb is slightly bigger than the other one?

I am that type of person who gets an adrenaline rush just from the prospect of having to do so many things at the same time and accomplishing them all by the end of the day. But not anymore. I have been on leave from work for about two months now. I have not also been writing and my laptop has been reduced to being a plaything to my daughters. I sometimes feel like a total invalid, and for a busy body like me, that thought could be very depressing! Worse, I could no longer feel the warmth of my children’s touch on my skin.

Truth is, I could no longer run, jump, skip, not even walk for more than 30 minutes. I could no longer travel alone with my little girls as I always encounter small accidents–slipping, tripping, even falling flat on my face. I have lost my appetite for food–and most things–yet I seem to gain weight (probably because of lack of exercise). I get tired easily. I can’t hold an object in my hand for more than five minutes, including my usual companion when my daughters are in school or busy with something–my iPhone. Standing or sitting for more than ten minutes makes me tired and uncomfortable too.

My muscles are simply weak. I have also become more irritable, and there were even times when I feel helpless and very emotional. My face sometimes feels numb and tightening sensations would envelop my scalp, especially before bedtime, making me wonder whether I would still wake up the following day and see my little girls. Every night, I would cry myself to sleep as I pray.

I remember waking up one morning a couple of days before Christmas and feeling that something’s wrong with my body, particularly with my hands and feet. The tingling sensations had started as well as the numbness, and they simply won’t go away. Right after Christmas, I went to see a cardiologist (the only available internal medicine specialist in the hospital at that time) who tagged my case as peripheral neuropathy. I later on found out that this is a rather vague term, as it could have different causes, at the same time could represent symptoms of different illnesses as well. In my case, everything’s still unclear. I had undergone a series of blood tests, which revealed that my case has nothing to do with diabetes, malfunctioning thyroid glands, etc. so I was simply given a 5000-mg Vitamin B complex to take every day for a start.

Just before the New Year, I had this not-so-brilliant idea that a body massage might do me some good. Well, it did nothing but worsen my condition. On top of my literally raging nerves, my whole body started to ache all over–every part of my body that the blind masseuse had touched, that is, including my face. While I don’t think I’d ever understand why she had to massage my face and scalp with her very warm hands, I think I learned a valuable lesson here – don’t get a massage if you’re not feeling well or unsure what’s ailing you.

Anyway, I finally saw a neurologist and has been under medication (Gabapentin + Neurobion 5000) since then. She required me to undergo a nerve and muscle test (NCV and EMG, respectively), which I refuse to be subjected to mainly because the first thing that came to my mind when the procedure was described to me was getting myself electrocuted. I just can’t imagine sitting through the whole ordeal even for just a few minutes, with needles being poked on my muscles and nerve endings, especially that I have very low tolerance to pain and have developed the fear of electrocution since I was young. Not to mention that I have to pay the hospital a substantial amount for it (e.g., it’s PhP4,000 at the University of Perpetual Help Hospital in Binan, Laguna and PhP7,000 at the Asian Hospital)!

My daughters, ages five and eight, have become my guide and helper in just about anything that I needed to do. I felt bad about it, being the parent who should be taking care of them instead, but at the same time, I was grateful to have discovered that they were more than willing to aid their granny mom in any way they could. I have looked up so many information online about this illness and even met a 78-year old lady who has the same case. However, there’s no clear-cut answer as to how I have acquired the said illness, which is rather common to athletes, the elderly, and those who have experienced a stroke, shock, or some serious accident.

I do feel quite good for the past three days now, however. The tingling sensations on my arms, legs, and head, which tend to intensify whenever I exhaust myself from doing house chores and running errands, have now been reduced to 20%. While my toes seldom get numb now, my hands feel nearly 100% normal again. I can now wash my hands comfortably, although I still use rubber gloves when washing the dishes and continue to take hot baths regardless of the weather or the time of day. Moreover, my back pains are gone while the muscle pains on my thighs have substantially subsided. Although my leg muscles still easily get tired, somehow, I am able to move around more and a little faster now. And, yes, I can now write again and use the computer, obviously.

Indeed, I have lost extra income from my home-based jobs, and my activities have been limited. I miss doing a lot of things too. However, there are positive things that my illness have also brought about. Sure, there were times when I have felt so broken, even hopeless. But I have learned to lean closer to God. Good friends have shown their concern for me and tried to encourage and help me in any way they could. One of my girl friends, an occupational therapist in London, even sent me a set of therapy gloves and an exercise guide. My children have never been more helpful and caring to each other and to me, too. Best of all, my husband has been showering me with gifts and affection like he’s never done before.

hand in glove

I have learned to relax now and appreciate the things and people around me more. I have come to acknowledge that I also need other people to get through certain situations in life and that I cannot do all things by myself. I am now taking care of my body better than before. Aside from the physical therapy sessions that I regularly go through at a nearby hospital, I exercise any time of the day or whenever I have sufficient energy to do so, even when in bed (yoga). I try my best to get enough sleep at night and take a nap during daytime as well. I try to keep negative emotions at bay by being more prayerful, by reading good literature, and by refusing to become easily angered as well as by avoiding to comment on situations that I have no responsibility. Lastly, I try to think of happy thoughts–mostly about the wonderful days I have spent with my husband as well as the blessings my family has been receiving from God. Instead of thinking that I might not grow old with with my hubby or live long enough to see my children grow up and each have a happy family of her own because of my poor health, I have started thinking how I could show my love to my family each day.

One thing I have noticed is that I feel so much better and able to do more stuff around the house whenever I am happy, when I take things easy, and keep my faith that I shall be totally healed soon by God’s grace (without having to go through more tests). After all, why worry so much when I know who holds my future? 🙂

* * *


I still haven’t gone through the NCV and EMG tests, especially after another doctor has told me in all honesty that although the results of the said tests could help, it wouldn’t really provide a very accurate diagnosis of my case. For one, since the tingling sensations were all over my body, it couldn’t be carpal tunnel syndrome, which the NCV and EMG are most useful (for). He advised me to avoid getting stressed instead and I think he’s right, especially that the tingling sensations would become severe whenever I’m deprived of sleep, exhausted, or anxious about something.

However, I never stopped researching about peripheral neuropathy (PN), and I was willing to try just about anything that could promise to help improve my health condition. Eventually, I came across this article stating that PN may be be connected to having a weak immune system, just like most diseases. And so my search for potent immune boosters began, and incidentally, I was blessed to have met people who introduced me to Nu Skin|Pharmanex, a direct selling company that has been around for about 30 years now in the US, specializing in anti-aging products, including food supplements. I began taking LifePak, their super immune booster food supplement in July 2012 and experimented by gradually lessening my intake of doctor-prescribed medication (Neurobion 5000 and Gabapentin), as well as some known brands of multivitamins that I’d been taking, until I felt bold enough to stop taking all of them.

You see, I normally wouldn’t last a day without taking the said doctor-prescribed medication, but since August 2012, I have been relying solely on LifePak. These days, I would only experience very light tingling sensations on my toes whenever I would stress out myself – usually from too much walking or doing a lot of house chores during the day, coupled with lack of sleep for two to three consecutive days. In addition, since taking LifePak, I started experiencing migraine less. I now only experience sinusitis once in a while and it wasn’t even half as bad as it used to be. Since I started taking LifePak, I no longer feel sluggish the following morning if I stay up late at night, and to date, I’ve never had fever.

Nu Skin|Pharmanex recently launched ageLOC R2, by the way, which is supposed to make the person’s body 10-20 years younger, and it was featured on Discovery Channel Asia in December 2012. It is listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference in the US, aside from being available in approximately 50 countries, including those with very strict regulations when it comes to food and drug, such as Singapore, Japan, and Canada. I am hoping that ageLOC R2 would help totally extinguish peripheral neuropathy from my system. I shall chronicle my experience once I start taking it.

If you have the same medical condition as mine, you might want to re-evaluate your lifestyle, and start taking high-quality food supplements, like LifePak, along with healthy diet and regular exercise, too. Of course, remember that a positive mindset, a happy disposition, coupled with faith in God always bring about miraculous effects! 🙂 – The Musing Mom, 4 July 2013


  1. Pingback: The Sunday Currently, Vol. 36: The one where it finally sunk in | SAHMot-sari

    • I suppose none for now, especially that I’m no longer suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Thanks 🙂


  2. Pingback: Unboxing: Nu Skin ageLOC Body Galvanic Spa | SAHMot-sari

  3. Philippa says

    I have PN and I have to believe its chemotherapy induced as I was fine before my chemo. My symptoms are exactly the same as yours. I am so stiff I can barely move for more than 10 minutes at a time. I have numbness and tingling all over my body including my face lips scalp. It’s everywhere. I am going to look in to the life PAC. I do juice every day, I get myofascial massage, Accupuncture and Physio. It doesn’t seem to be improving yet but I am hopeful. If you or anyone else has found sunny thing else that works please let me know.


    • Thank you for writing, Philippa. I know exactly how you feel – I did experience that tingling sensation and numbness in my lips as well, in my whole face! There was a time when I didn’t only feel old, but also looked much older than women my age and one of my eyes had even started to bulge!

      I suppose it would also be logical to assume that PN in your case is chemotherapy induced since chemo tends to weaken the immune system of the person. I hope Nu Skin | Pharmanex’s Life Pak would also work for you. I have met some doctors, including oncologists, who recommend this product to their patients.

      Aside from Life Pak though, I also tried Nu Skin’s ageLOC Galvanic Spa II. I did mention that I had been doing some informal research on the causes and (possible) treatments of PN, didn’t I? Apparently, electrotherapy is being used to treat certain neuromuscular conditions and that’s what convinced me to try the ageLOC Galvanic Spa II, which uses gentle galvanic currents. Note, however, that the product’s only promise is that you would look 10-20 years younger with regular use. It was just my idea to try it, based on the fact that it uses mild (galvanic) currents, hoping it would help remove the tingling sensations in my face, and later on, yes, help me look younger again. And I’m happy to say now that it worked both ways for me, except I don’t look 10-20 years younger yet. Maybe because I’m no longer using it regularly. 😀

      I pray that your health condition will improve very soon, Philippa. I hope that the things I’ve tried would also do wonders for you. Please keep me posted, and do try “positive prayer” aside from positive thinking. The former’s supposed to be more effective than the latter. God bless you!


      • Lisa Osmond says

        Hi again and thank you for replying

        I looked up the Life PAC and they are quite expensive so I will have to see. My expenses are crazy right now as I need home care, massage, Physio and acupuncture just to keep me going.

        I too have been researching like crazy and am trying everything possible. My face drives me crazy because I can’t eat properly and it feels like I’ve been frozen at the dentist all day.

        What finally got your face feeling better??

        Philippa Sent from my iPhone


        • I understand your concern. Pharmanex LifePak can be very expensive compared to other food supplements. However, in my case, when I computed the cost of my doctor-prescribed meds and all the other vitamins that I was taking then, LifePak actually cost less, not to mention, it ended up being more effective! More effective for me because even if I weren’t able to take it for a day or more, the tingling sensations and numbness would not recur immediately, whereas if I missed taking my doctor-prescribed medicines, I would feel the tingling sensations and numbness in just a matter of hours.

          To get LifePak at about 30% discount, what I did was enroll in the company’s ARO or autopay service; meaning, the product is charged directly to (my husband’s) credit card and it’s delivered on a certain day (you get to choose) every month. Let me know if you need help signing up or more information.

          Thank you for writing again. I hope you feel much better now. 🙂


    • Hi, my father-in-law has almost the same syndrome as you. He was coughing and having a running nose then started to feel numb on his legs. At later stage (within 2 days), he totally couldn’t move his limbs and couldn’t even open up his eyes. He has been in hospital for 16 days and still counting. I am very worry about his condition and found your writting while searching for more information through the internet.

      None of the specialist is telling me the real root cause but they suspect that my father-in-law is suffering from Gullian-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Hence, they are treating my father-in-law with a type of antibiotics known as Intragam P. Specialist stated it takes at least 2 weeks (some may take up to few months) to see the effect. Right now, we can’t do any thing other than wait.


  4. Anonymous says

    Peripheral Neuropathy can also be down to having an over-active immune system so blindly recommending/advertising a companies drug is misguided. PN can be caused by over a hundred different things, B12, cancer, inflammation caused by the over active immune system – which in turn can be triggered by infection or illness or, as in my case, CIPD. Having spent 3 weeks in hospital, mostly bed bound, i fought daily just to get myself out of bed. The nerve conductivity testing is very important to decipher if it is the nerve core, protective sheath, motor and/or sensory nerves that are damaged – you must have it for a true diagnosis along with MRI, CT scans and lumber puncture. PN can go into remission naturally (in the case of G.Barre syndrome as example) depending on its root cause, those could simply coincide with you taking these tablets – if left alone there is potential that if it does return then it may be worse and if it affects the core (which you don’t know as you never had the test) then recovery is far more difficult!
    Incidentally, you mention a fear of electric shock, it isn’t nice but you have to be strong and cope with the test for a gain! I have a total fear of needles and still allowed them to do the LP – and its from this that they diagnosed the cause and treatment!

    Good luck, the docs and physio can provide the tools to make you well but only YOU can make yourself better


    • Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me these things. It feels good to be able to connect with someone who knows exactly what I’ve gone through. Honestly, the more I read about PN and illnesses showing related symptoms, I get more convinced that my condition was very serious and I was very lucky – or stupid – not to have myself admitted in the hospital. I’m also surprised that none of the specialists I have consulted mentioned the Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). I’m afraid that I got all its symptoms, but when it comes to how it’s triggered, none seemed to apply to me, at least, according to the materials I’ve read so far.

      Yes, I still plan on having those tests done, if it recurs, to find out what’s really causing all those symptoms. I guess I just need a little more nudge. I’m curious though, what did the docs say was the cause of your illness? I hope you’re doing very well now and the symptoms have not recurred. Again, thank you for writing.


  5. Anonymous says

    BRAVO Jesus is the Divine physician ……..I have had miracles thru my Faith. Keep on praying . God bless you


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