Kennedy’s Disease has a number of symptoms. One symptom that is hardly ever listed is neuropathy. Until a few years ago, it was never even mentioned.
Wikipedia explains peripheral neuropathy as follows:
Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side-effects of systemic illness.
The most common form is (symmetrical) peripheral polyneuropathy, which mainly affects the feet and legs. Neuropathy may be associated with varying combinations of weakness, autonomic changes, and sensory changes. Loss of muscle bulk or fasciculations, a particular fine twitching of muscle, may be seen. Sensory symptoms encompass loss of sensation and "positive" phenomena including pain. Symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected (motor, sensory, or autonomic) and where the nerves are located in the body. One or more types of nerves may be affected. Common symptoms associated with damage to the motor nerve are muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms. Loss of balance and coordination may also occur. Damage to the sensory nerve can produce tingling, numbness, and pain. Pain associated with this nerve is described in various ways such as the following: sensation of wearing an invisible "glove" or "sock", burning, freezing, or electric-like, extreme sensitivity to touch.
Medical News Today describes sensory neuropathy as:
Sensory nerve damage can cause various symptoms, such as an impaired sense of position, tingling, numbness, pinching and pain. Pain from this neuropathy is often described as burning, freezing, or electric-like, and many report a sensation of wearing an invisible "glove" or "stocking". These sensations tend to be worse at night, and can become painful and sever. On the contrary, sensory nerve damage may lead to a lessening or absence of sensation, where nothing at all is felt.
Today, neuropathy is more widely accepted as a symptom for many of us living with Kennedy’s Disease. Knowing about something is one thing, but living with it is something else.
Let me digress for a moment. I hate cold feet!
One change that has bugged me in recent years is my cold feet. I was the one in the family that didn’t use a blanket except a light one in the winter. I was the one that my wife stuck her freezing cold feet on when she first crawled into bed. About eight years ago I noticed that I needed a blanket all year round. Even worse, my feet never seem to get warm. In bed I can have three blankets on my feet and they still feel cold. I now have to wear socks to bed in the fall, winter and spring. I also need an electric blanket during the winter ... something I never used before.
Guess what? If I touch my feet, they are warm. Even more frustrating is when I know my feet are warm to the touch, I still cannot go to sleep because they ‘feel’ cold.
Something else that has happened in recent years is I occasionally wake up with a burning sensation in the heals of my feet. Unless I rub (massage) my heals for a few minutes, the sensation will not go away.
Neuropathy also explains why we have so much trouble maintaining our balance while standing for any length of time. The sensations are not being transmitted to the brain quickly enough for the body to respond.
I know ... ‘man-up’ ... accept it and get on with life! But that doesn’t mean I still can’t complain about it occasionally, right?