Be sure to stop for a moment and look around you!

27 Apr

Welcome aboard!

I am not your Cruise Director Julie McCoy, but the following indeed comes from a vessel of love, my heart.

I’m a 44 year old Diabetic of 11 years, fighting a battle with Peripheral Neuropathy. I of course couldn’t be experiencing the numb pins and needles variety. I’m dealing with the burning, sharp, stabbing pain variety. While addressing some posts on my FB pages today, I decided that one of my responses should be shared outside of my circle. What you are reading today is what I consider to be my first blog post.

My wife Lynn and I own and operate a small gift shop in the heart of historic Salem Massachusetts. Working retail keeps you on you feet most of the day, and at 6′ 1″, 250 lbs (formerly 300 lbs) you find them sore at the end of the day. Adding to the soreness is that they are large, (size 15-16 depending) and my second toe is about a half inch longer than my big toe resulting in uncomfortable ill fitting socks and sensitive toes.

In early January 2011 the sensitivity I grew up with began to elevate. I at first chaulked it up to the cold New England winter. As the warmer weather rolled in and sensitivity grew into pain it was clearly evident that something else was going on. A battery of tests with various doctors and Diabetic Neuropathy was what we all agreed upon.

In May I began a medicinal regime that within a few weeks brought me some relief, but eventually their effectiveness would plane and we would have to increase their dosage. As the dosage increased and the pain subsided an unfathomable side effect showed up. I at times found myself unable to perform some very rudimentary tasks, like adding 2+3, I could read words & understanding them, but was unable to speak them. October is our busiest time of the year so we decided to not increase but maintain so we could get through the month. I prefer being in pain and smart, over stupid and pain free. Lynn came aboard at this point to take over running our operations.

I have been MIA from our store since October, working with a Neurologist and our GP to come up with a treatment regime that will allow me to stand and walk normally again for more than a few minutes at a time. Lynn, with the help of good friends and family has been doing a fantastic job with the store. Numerous people have come forward and offered up all sorts of help. Our online friends have been sending their prayers, energies, and support. We are trully blessed to have the extended family that we do.

I know these last six months have not been easy for Lynn. She has done her best to keep up appearances while in my presence, and I have done my best to ease her fears. It’s a tough balancing act as I can’t hide something out of the now ordinary because anything could be a defining piece to the puzzle. A few days back we had the proverbial straw and camel incident, and the log jam holding back the last 6 months of stress was breached as she took me to the E.R.. I believe it was the first time in our relationship and marriage that I felt powerless to help or console her. Thankfully I was only confined to an ER bed for a few hours. I will once again become a human pin cushion for a battery of tests as life marches on.

Laying there in the hospital bed afforded me the time to look back upon the last few chapters of my life, and ultimitely the message that all of this leads up to.

At the beginning of this journey 11 years ago, I met Dr. Frederick Rimmele. He was the only doctor up till then, that I could appreciate, relate with, and listen to. Perhaps the greatest prescription he ever treated me with wasn’t a drug at all, it was advice. One simple statement, “If not for yourself, do it for those who love you”.

While dealing with our own illnesses and pain, we oftentimes forget how it affects the lives of those around us. What you will never forget, is those who selflessly take time from their own lives and troubles, to come to your aid.

I thank you all very much, for taking that time for me!

Enjoy

Bill

PS:Dr. Rimmele was tragically taken from us all at the age of 32 while a passenger aboard United 175 in the World Trade Center attack.

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10 Responses to “Be sure to stop for a moment and look around you!”

  1. emmageraln April 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, when we are sick we depend on the love of others even more than normal.

    • bewitched in salem May 1, 2012 at 12:47 am #

      Thank you Emmageraln for taking the time to read my post. I am blessed to have so much love around me.

  2. ransae April 28, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Reblogged this on Ransae's Blog.

  3. geoffrey tegjeu April 28, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    My best wishes and thanks for sharing Bill. Please be patient with yourself, what is happening to you as well as with others around you. You Can Overcome This !!

    • bewitched in salem May 1, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      Thank you very much for your wishes Geoffrey. Thankfully I am not one to give up.

  4. Scott K. Johnson April 30, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Hi there. What a moving and heartfelt post. You are so right, when it gets tough to keep going, we need to find a way to do it for the ones that love us.

    It bothers me that the first approaches to dealing with neuropathy is to try and cover up the pain (rather than work to heal the nerves). I mean, there is a place for it, but it shouldn’t be the only approach. There are some great options out there, such as those with L-Methylfolate, that actually work to open up the blood flow and get some healing nutrients to those nerves.

    I will surely send along some prayers for you as well. Diabetes is a real beast to deal with, and you don’t have to do it alone.

    • bewitched in salem May 1, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      Thank you very much for your gracious comments Scott. I will look into L-Methylfolate. We are very fortunate to have the GP that we do. (he was actually 2nd in class behind Dr. Rimmele) He spent some time overseas studying Eastern medicine. If I tell him I heard smoking grated cheese would be beneficial he wouldn’t rule it out. He’d ask me to hold off a couple days so he could do some research.

      A great place for some information is http://www.pubmed.gov

      Enjoy
      Bill

  5. Lisa Mason May 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to future posts. Much love to you and Lynn as you continue this journey together. Know you have friends here. 🙂

  6. denniscoble May 6, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    I’m not sure of all the implications, but I recently began having a lot of pain in my feet. My right one was injured in the oil field, leaving only the big toe and the next one. Working behind a parts counter for 30+ years now, it was brought to my attention that caffeine leeches calcium from the body.

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