by Bonnie Porte, Becketwood Member
Since moving to Becketwood in December, I have had numerous conversations with members who have told me that they have peripheral neuropathy. I would like to tell all of you about the Minnesota Peripheral Neuropathy Association, which is a support group for people suffering from PN.
Neuropathy is not really a disease, but a symptom of some underlying condition. The condition can be acquired or inherited. Many, many neuropathies have no documented causes. The last I heard, there were 168 known causes. Common causes are diabetes, cancer treatment drugs, alcoholism, and Hepatitis C virus infection.
My late husband Al Porte and I started the Minnesota PN Association in 1996. Al had just been diagnosed with diabetes. He had had symptoms of PN, but now he had a reason for them. He saw an ad in the New Yorker for The Peripheral Neuropathy Association. He called them and after several very helpful discussions asked if he could start an affiliated group in Minnesota. Needless to say, they didn’t say no! Our first group meeting was at the Noran Clinic, which kindly sent out letters to their patients with that diagnosis. At that time four people came, plus the speaker and us! We have grown a lot since then and now have over 400 people on the mailing list. Although we retired in 2006, the group continues, with 10 meetings a year and a monthly newsletter available here.
The current president is Lois Martin. Her phone is (952) 941-5372; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call her to get on the mailing list, for membership information or just questions. Membership comes with a 70-80 page 3-ring binder full of resource material. The meetings often include physicians who specialize in this area or other people who are resources for help in living with PN. Although I do not have PN, you may call me as well with questions, at (612) 338-2556.