What’s New? Neuropathy

I was getting ready for dinner on a Saturday night many years ago. I had planned on wearing this cute outfit with some new heels that I’d purchased. Hair? check. Make up? check. Perfume? check. As I slipped my heels on, my balance shifted.

Something was wrong. My right foot felt weaker than my left. Since I had no issues with the shoes when I first tried them on at the store, I was confused as to what was happening. I didn’t have time to figure it out so needless to say, I ended up wearing flats. As time went on, I began to notice tingling in that foot and leg. I called my Rheumatologist and made an appointment.

After examining my foot, he said, “You have toe drop.”

Toe what?

He explained that toe drop or foot drop is the inability to lift the front of the foot. My big toe was being affected. This affects the ability to walk properly and is caused by nerve issues. He referred me to a Neurologist for further testing and I was later diagnosed with Mononeuropathy. I had nerve damage.

Were my heel wearing days over? I became frustrated. What else would Lupus take away from me? I changed my mindset and decided that I needed to research this new diagnosis so I could understand how to manage it. No quitting over here!

Mononeuropathy occurs when a nerve is damaged or compressed due to disease and inflammation such as with Lupus or other illnesses. It can cause burning, weakness, loss of feeling or a “pins and needles” feeling. Damage can occur in various areas of the body which eventually happened to me as my nerve pain spread to my legs, arms, hands and head.

Treatment for Mononeuropathy depends on where the damage occurs and the severity, but may include corticosteroids, surgery, splints, or treatment of the underlying disease.

If you are having symptoms, I highly suggest that you seek medical advice. Untreated Neuropathy can lead to permanent disability or weakness, unresolved pain, loss of sensation or other impairments.