Shooting pains affect all aspects of my life

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Tracey Smythe cannot even bake a cake without her husband helping her because of crippling impact of diabetic nerve damage.

The 45-year-old, of Parson Cross, Sheffield, who suffers from shooting pains in her arms, legs and feet, said: “It affects all aspects of my life.

“I get shooting pains that take me off my feet.

“One time the pain lasted four and a half hours. I couldn’t get up the stairs without using my arms to pull me up. I was in on my own, and I felt frightened and vulnerable.

“Even walking my two dogs is impossible as the pain increases when I’m walking. All the time I’m taking risk assessments on what I can and can’t do.

“If I’m making a cup of tea I need to ask myself if I’m going to be all right. My hands get swollen and numb and I’m constantly getting pins and needles.

“Even the weather affects me, and if it gets too hot or cold I feel worse.

“The pain gets worse at night, too, and I’ve not had a full night’s sleep for the past five years. I have a bed cradle to keep bedding of my feet and legs, because it’s too painful to have contact with bedding.

“I suffer with a pain that its always there. It’s like a deep-rooted pain within your legs and arms; then I have the added pain of pins and needles, burning and shooting pains. I just wish there was more doctors could do to help people like me, which is why better understanding of the disease through research is vital.”