Shortly after we were married in 1991, my late husband started to get tingling in his fingers and feet. This very quickly turned into sharp, stabbing pains shooting up from his feet into his legs. There were actual times he would wake up screaming from the intensity of the pain in his legs.
The pain that he was feeling was his nerve endings dying off. Being a diabetic and having your sugars run too high, the cells do not get the proper amount of “food” for energy (insulin & sugar) and ketoacidosis will set in. The peripheral nerves that are specific to sensations and touch begin to dye off. This is the pain.
As the nerves begin to dye off the diabetic slowly looses sensation in the tips of their fingers and toes. Bad enough, the nerves will also die off going up the leg. Also, keep in mind that there are other small capillaries and nerves serving other parts of the body too. They are not exempt from this rein of terror. I’ll going to make a note here and hopefully help someone who, like us were in the unknown territory and placing our trust in “A” doctor. The vessels and capillaries at the back of the eyes are exactly the same as the vessels and capillaries in your kidneys. Sooooo…. if you are at the eye doctor and they make any note of your eyes beginning to show signs of retinopathy (calcifying or bleeding in the back of your eyes), go to your endocrinologists and have your kidneys checked!
Your eyes are the windows into your body!
Ok… so these tingling sensations and pain he was having was causing more trouble than just being extremely uncomfortable. He was loosing feeling on his legs and feet. As a result of limited feeling, he had a small pebble in his shoe and didn’t feel it. That small pebble over the course of the day managed to create a huge blister! By the time he came home, the blister had popped and was bleeding. We ended up going to the hospital and he was admitted for a few days while they got the infection figured out and what antibiotics to put him on. He was then sent home with home care coming twice a day.
With less sensation in his feet and legs, he was starting to have trouble walking. He couldn’t feel his foot touching the ground. He would complain his feet felt like heavy blocks of cement. His hands were loosing strength and playing the guitar was become difficult. This continued for a roughly a year until he finally lost all feeling in his feet and legs up to his thighs. His hands took on the appearance of an elderly person, having lost all muscles.
Over the many years we were married, he had so many visits to the hospital for ulcers and infections. Closer to the end he actually could not play his guitar anymore.