Tuesday, April 24, 2012
My body is like the computer.
The hard drive isn't functioning.
I've had an interesting time lately. Ever since those fricking epidural shots my body has had a mind of its own. Every coping mechanism that I have used to control the pain hasn't worked. I had become a master of control. I even congratulated myself on that fact. Even though the pain was ever-present, I had coping mechanisms that I would use to exert some sort of control over my body. Anything and everything would be tried and tested so that the days spent curled up in a fetal position would be minimized. I know that I would always have a level of pain but I thought I could control the levels. Control has always, always been my issue.
And I don't like being out of control.
I haven't been sleeping real well. I mean, I do sleep but I am in that awful shadow of sleep. The one where you know you're asleep but it feels like you're awake? I know we have sleep issues but lately they're more pronounced. Why is it that all the articles on sleep fail to miss one important issue? If we lay in the dark and have nothing to distract us from the pain we will not drift off into blissful slumber. Instead, we will lay there in torture until we get up and do something else or have something else to help us pass the time.
Lack of sleep equals more pain and I understand that. Why do we have the alpha waves intruding into whatever possible sleep we might be able to get? Is the issue in sleep; not the actual sleep per say, but the ability for the heart rate to slow and the ability to breathe deeply enough to achieve that REM sleep that we need to replenish and restore our body?
There is an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system controls our unconscious bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing etc. There are two subsets: the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system controls the flight or fight. Our bodies don't respond real well to stress and our cortisol levels are usually in overdrive as well. The parasympathetic system controls the quieter bodily systems such as digestion. So if this holds true, the sympathetic system gets us ready for flight and the parasympathetic gets us ready for rest. One or the other predominate inappropriately at inappropriate times.
We are screwed because neither one works.
We can't stop the flight and we can't rest.
Is it any wonder that we have pain?
So I guess when they find the "off" switch for the flight or fight and the "on" switch for the rest part of our brain we'll be fixed.
If they can flip the right switch.