Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Now, I know it's easy to confuse myself.
I just didn't realize that it would be a good thing.
A very good thing.

For some reason the pain that I feel, when the Fibromyalgia really starts to flare, is in my hands. I can tell when it's going to get real bad because I start rubbing the joints at the base of my fingers. 

It starts as a dull ache and then it starts to throb.

I don't know why but it seems like I've been in almost a constant flare for the last few months. I've continued to go on but it it hasn't been easy. The humidity has been up slightly but when I've been this bad before the humidity has usually been higher. I'm not unduly stressed, so what is it?

It couldn't be the exercise could it?

Always before I would have used that as an excuse and opened up the fridge and buried myself in a cheesecake. Then, I'd quit.  Years ago I had a trainer that came to the house and I worked out with him for an hour three times a week. Even after that workout, we'd walk to Wendy's or we went to get cheesecake. It didn't matter because I weighed about 115. I have quit more gym memberships than I can count.

But that was before.

Now, I've made it a part of my life. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy it. Due to a failing thyroid and an autoimmune thyroid issue as well, my cholesterol was hard to control. When all this started going haywire all of a sudden, my weight was hard to manage as well. Throw in some icky medication that causes weight gain and I was a disaster in the making. After a couple of months of going to the gym I got my first set of blood tests. For the first time in a very long time, everything was in the normal range. To say I was beyond elated was an understatement. 

I suddenly got what I refused to believe all along.
Exercise really helps.
So, now I refuse to quit.

Well, back to the hands story. I was reading an article in the Daily Mail.  It seems that crossing your arms confuses your brain and its response to pain. It doesn't take much to confuse my brain anymore but when you cross your arms over your chest, the brain can't figure out where the pain is coming from in your body. 

Amazing, isn't it?

They did testing and found that peoples perception of pain was weaker when their arms were crossed. Part of the testing looked at how the body reacts to the signals of the brain on the right and left side of the body. If you put a glass of water to the right side of the body, most people will reach for it with their right hand. The same is true for the left side. It makes perfect sense to me. I know that the brain maps of the right and left side of your body and external space are linked together. If they are linked together, they are activated together and they react to painful stimuli together.  If you cross your arms over your chest these areas are now longer linked, at least, that's what the researchers found. By crossing your arms the response to sensory stimuli, including pain, is lessened. I think it's a fascinating study and could lead researchers to different therapies that could help chronic pain sufferers.

Now I have a legitimate reason for my brain to be confused.

As if I really needed an excuse................