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Good morning,

I wanted to give everyone a quick background about myself and ask a few questions since this is my first post.

I was a 29 year old mountain athlete that participated in big mountain skiing, rock climbing, backcountry motocross and anything that got me into the mountains of Montana.

On May 15th of 2011 I finished a typical ten mile hike with a good friend. The next day I felt some achilles pain in my left leg. Within two weeks it was both achilles and over the next few weeks the pain moved up to below each knee. This of course was terrifying! I was first diagnosed with bi-lateral achilles tendonitis. The doctors started me off by doing the traditional treatments for tendonitis (ice baths, stretching and strengthening) for six brutal months. This made that pain unbearable and brought me to the point of not being able to walk more than a few feet at a time. I had to pee in a jar for months because the bathroom seemed to be in a different time zone.

This is when the hunt for what was afflicting me really began. I will spare you all of the details but so far I've be diagnosed with Complex regional pain syndrome, enthetis disease, inflamitory demylanating neuropathy, hereditary induced peripheral neuropathy, toxic induced peripheral neuropathy and post viral neuropathy. There were many more diagnosis' by have since been ruled out by testing.

The diagnosis of hereditary neuropathy came for the University of Kansas' director of neurology. I flew there to hopefully get some answers. I would be the first person in my family to ever have a neurological condition so it seemed unlikely after so many years of a healthy and physically active life.

The diagnosis of Toxic induced peripheral neuropathy came from the University of Utah's neurosciences center. I was working on a commercial swimming pool daily for 19 months and two weeks into the job I was involved in a major chlorine gas accident that put me in the hospital with eye and skin burns. I had on a half-gas mask but the room was 100 degrees F and the doctors say the gas was easily absorbable into my sweaty skin. The discharge of gas was so strong that the large university recreation center was evacuated for half the day as the HAZMAT team worked. I was fine for the next four months minus heavy foot sweating, but then the pain started. During this time I was working on the pool for an hour each day over the next 19 months. I was recently fired from my job because of my disability and since then the pain is SLOWLY resolving. Have any of you heard of severe neuropathy caused from chlorine gas, calcium hypochlorite or hydrochloric acid exposure? In my heart this diagnosis seems to be the most obvious.

Currently I'm taking 3600mg of gabapentin, 800mg of Tegratol and 300mg of wellbutrinXL daily.

I'm taking fish oil, A-Lipoic acid, milk thistle, vitamin E and a B-complex 50 vitamin. Has anyone found relief from these meds or supplements?

My wife and I also went on a cave man diet. Only vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats were consumed for a year. I was trying to control inflammation and weight gain. Ive put on 35 pounds since we stopped doing the diet. Aerobic exercise is not an option for now but we went back to the cave for most of our meals again.

All of my blood labs have been negative and the last EMG/NVS were negative. Three months ago the two tests showed mild neuropathy. I also have had 3 MRI's (lumbar spine, brain and both feet/ankles). The pain is still strong so the Doc's say it's the small fibers that are causing pain still.

As with most everyone reading this post the neuropathy has altered my life extensively. I no longer an able to participate in the sports that made my life enjoyable anymore. I have lost my job that I loved and pretty much lock myself in my house all day. The depression is the hardest part about all of this. Most of the friends are long gone and my family lives 2000 miles away so support is hard to come by. Even with good government insurance the money has been long gone.
The pain was so bad I could not have shoes on or put bedding over my feet at night. Each step was only 3-4 inches long because I felt like I would rip tendons if my strides were longer. I had redness, spasms, ice cold legs and cried everyday for the first year. Do most you find that the general public or loved ones have no idea how bad the pain really can be?

Thankfully the pain is becoming manageable and I'm now "city functional". Meaning I can go to a movie in town but Im still far away from being back in my beloved mountains. Thanks for reading my rambling message but over the past 20 months Ive felt like Im on a different planet than the rest of the world.

If anyone feels like I have during all of this please reach out to me. There is much I have left out of this post like alternative treatments, mild exercise routines and more.

Thanks so much!

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