A couple nights ago, I felt some pain sensations coming from the general area of my hand. At the time I was watching TV, and just ignored the pain thinking that it was the SFN (Small Fiber Neuropathy) that I experience regularly.
A while later, I looked down, and realized I had a pretty sizeable, yet superficial cut on my thumb. I am not sure where it came from, perhaps I had cut myself when I was washing dishes, and didn’t realize it. After I found the cut, I put alcohol and a band aid over it.
I suppose the feeling of being cut must seem so normal to me, that I didn’t even realize when a real cut had occurred. For some reason, I found this to be rather funny, and started laughing – perhaps due to the completely messed up nature of the situation.
I had read previously that people with SFN have to be careful about cuts, as they might not feel them occur due to loss of sensation. However, I never once heard of having to be careful about cuts, due to confusing them with the regular pain sensations of SFN. Yet, it makes total logical sense. And so, I’ll do my part to adding to the discourse of SNF safety through this post.
Even if you have not lost sensation, if you have SFN it may be wise to check yourself regularly for cuts.
Last week I attended a lecture series at a local university. They showed a film, and then afterwards there was a panel of professors, to which the attendees could ask questions.
During the film I could feel sharp sensations pulsing through my left hand. At times it felt intensely painful. I felt like screaming. The pain caused my anxiety to shoot up as well. Instinctively I wanted to leave. Yet I told myself “Don’t worry, you have been through this before. You will get over it.” I took out an ice pack from my bag, which helped a bit. Despite the pain and anxiety, I continued to watch the movie, and actually learned a lot from it.
At the end, I ended up asking the panel of professors a question. It took them a while to respond, and in the middle of the response, I felt this sensation in my head as though my brain had been suddenly lit on fire. It was highly disconcerting to say the least. I wanted to scream. But if I did scream, I knew there was not another soul in the room who would understand my situation. I had the urge to run out of the room. But again, I knew the drill, and knew I would pass through it. And I did.
Amazingly, through this process, I was still able to pay pretty good attention to the response of the professors. I felt that I had learned a lot that evening, despite my condition. However, for the rest of the night, after I got home, I continued to experience both a lot of pain, burning sensations, and anxiety.When in public, I feel that I have mastered the art of concealing my condition to others. However, inside I feel it is taking a toll on me each time this sort of thing happens. It also causes me to feel a great sense of isolation at times, as I feel the need to put on an act and conceal how I am truly feeling inside.
Luckily, not every moment is like this for me, and I have times when I can truly appreciate the moment without feeling a large amount of pain. It is my hope and prayer that my condition can be reversed, so that I may be free of these sensations and enjoy each little great moment of life.