Support for neuropathy
The Neuropathy Alliance of Texas (NATX) Georgetown’s Support Group helped 228 people suffering from neuropathy in 2016. It’s one of three NATX support groups in Texas. Marketing and programs director Haden Sirmon explains why neuropathy victims feel alone and how the support group helps.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a little-understood chronic neurological disorder that affects 1 in 15 people. Causes are either unknown, or related to genetics, trauma, or disease. Symptoms vary for each person but can include numbness, tingling, and burning pain in the hands and feet. Some people have trouble balancing, so it can be very debilitating.
What happens in support group?
Each meeting is two-thirds education and one-third sharing or group discussion. Members provide ideas for treatment, suggestions about doctors to visit, and emotional support. Neuropathy is invisible—patients look ‘normal’ but may be experiencing severe pain, so it can be hard sometimes for family members and friends to understand what their loved one is going through.
How does sharing benefit members?
One of our members had just undergone chemotherapy—she had finally been cleared of cancer. Six weeks later she developed numbness in her hands and feet. She came to one of our support group meetings, where she met another lady who still had cancer and neuropathy together. The new member said it was an incredible relief to realize that there are other people out there who feel the same way she does, and she hasn’t missed a meeting since. She is why we do what we do!
Is there a cure?
Currently, no. Expert speakers share about treatment options to alleviate symptoms. For example, physical, relaxation, and massage therapies reduce pain often associated with neuropathy. Our goal is to help patients . . . explore treatments that can help them live their best lives.
Learn more about Neuropathy Alliance of Texas (NATX) Georgetown’s Support Group and events for Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 7-13) at neuropathyalliancetx.org.