Reviewed by: Linda Petiot, Calgary Neuropathy Association
Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy, written by Scott I. Berman MD, a practicing psychiatrist who had to give up his regular practice after being diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). In this book Dr. Berman discusses how to deal with getting an accurate diagnosis, your changing roles, emotional crashes, weakness and loss of coordination, pain and loss of sensation, depression and anxiety, fatigue and insomnia, relationships and sexuality and the Why Me? question. The doctor offers coping strategies throughout the book, with the caveat that you must find what works for you.
This is a very good introductory book explaining the issues people with neuropathy regularly face, coupled with helpful suggestions for coping and additional resources. Berman illustrates points with personal experiences and experiences from his patients. Most of the many internet resources/links Berman lists throughout the book are now out of date (the book was published in 2007).
My favorite tip from this book
is actually provided by an associate of Berman’s. In the book he writes:
‘Debbie Dawson RN is both a nurse and a fellow peripheral neuropathy sufferer. She has written on how she divides her roles and activities into five “compartments.” (From Debbie Dawson RN, who suffers from CIDP, leader of Delaware County Neuropathy Support Group)
- Things I can no longer do (for example power walking).
- Things I couldn’t do before, but can now (have time to write and do crafts).
- Things I so the same as before (like sitting in the sunroom watching a sunset).
- Things I can still do, but differently (can go to a mall, but need a wheelchair).
- Things I can do differently, just not ready to yet (such as go to a Phillies game)
This is a very clever way to help examine your life and get going on things you wish to do.’
Linda is an information technology business analyst and the current President of the CNA.