I will admit something to anyone who reads this blog right now: I don’t have all of the answers, and I don’t know everything. If you happen to know me personally, I suggest taking a moment to gather your newly found bricks. Kidding aside, I learn something new every day here. I don’t like to make things up, so I really do lean something new. Granted, some days that may be something as simple as Feta Cheese does not go on everything, or something really important, like finding out what neuropathy really means.
"Wait, you write a VA blog and you don’t know what Neuropathy is?" I imagine this would come up if I was ever on the non-hit CNN Debate show “Crossfire,” but I don’t really have to worry about that. Mainstream media has all but forgotten that there is such a thing as the VA, or a backlog. But no fictional debater, I was not completely oblivious to what neuropathy was, I just have a better understanding of it now.
How did this come about? Well, at our firm, Jan Dils believes in continuous improvement. We do this in many ways, but one of the most popular avenues is a series of classes taught by attorneys and outside experts. Recently, Ross P. Miltner, one of our social security attorneys, taught a class on the subject of Medications. Before I get too far along into the details, you should know that Ross is a very intelligent attorney, and looks like a Jimmy Fallon/Sheldon Cooper hybrid, and he is our reigning fantasy football champion…in other words, when he talks, you listen.
Ross was speaking about Beta Blockers and Diuretics when I started thinking about how I beat him in the second round of our fantasy football league. I’m strangely competitive with him. Then he said something that snapped me back to focus. “Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage.” Why did this not resonate with me before?
I mentioned earlier that I had some knowledge of this before. However, my knowledge of neuropathy is that it is a presumptive condition of Agent Orange Exposure, and that it is associated with diabetes. I never really took the time to dive into what it is really is. To look deeper into this subject, I turned to one of the most reliable sources I know, Wikipedia. Just kidding of course, I turned to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic states the following: Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet, but it may also occur in other areas of your body. People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove.
Nerves that may be affected by peripheral neuropathy include:
•Sensory nerves that receive sensations such as heat, pain or touch
•Motor nerves that control how your muscles move
•Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function
Further, if you served in Vietnam, or were exposed to Agent Orange in another location, you may apply for presumptive conditions. Diabetes and Neuropathy are both on the presumptive list. But, I as I can attest, it’s not always easy to know what neuropathy is. Here are few symptoms the Mayo Clinic has provided.
•Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet or hands, which may spread upward into your legs and arms
•Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
•Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
•Skin, hair or nail changes
•Lack of coordination
•Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected
•Heat intolerance if autonomic nerves are affected
•Bowel, bladder or digestive problems if autonomic nerves are affected
•Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness, if autonomic nerves are affected
As you will read in almost every blog I write, the best thing to do if you have these symptoms is go to a health care provider to get an official diagnosis. That’s the kind of thing they want to see in your records. If you do have a diagnosis, and are interested in filing a claim, give me a call today for a free consultation. 1-877-526-3457. I don’t mind giving you a call, so fill out this form and I’ll be happy to discuss your case.
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