Tuesday, March 31, 2015


If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
then pain perception is in the eyes of its victim.

Sometimes I wonder if the people who research chronic pain and Fibromyalgia have ever been in chronic pain. I love reading articles by PhD.'s that feel if chronic pain sufferers would stop thinking about their pain, then they might not experience as much of it.

It's called pain catastrophizing.
It means just what it sounds like.
What it implies is also just what it sounds like.
And I don't buy any of it.

I've been through painful situations in my life. When I was four I fell face first into a glass bowl full of potato chips. No, I wasn't the most graceful kid. When they threatened to take me to the hospital I dug in my heels and said "no."  Evidently, the doctor thought he would be cagey and tell me that he'd stitch me up right on the table. To hear my family tell it, I got right up on that table and didn't move a muscle. When he told me if I moved I'd have to go to the hospital I made good on that threat. The doctor stitched me up right there on the table. My brother told me that the only one in control that night was me.

I've always had a lot of control over my body. I learned when my brothers would tickle me until I cried that I could slow down my breathing and talk myself out of feeling what they were doing; I did it. To say that it infuriated them to no end is an understatement but it will give you an idea of what I would do when something felt unpleasant.

To tell me that the pain that I'm experiencing is amplified by the way I feel about it is absurd. If I could think my way out of this pain I would have done so years ago. I know how to distract myself enough so that pain doesn't have to take over. I've done it.

It works for acute pain.
It doesn't work at all for chronic pain.

Maybe it's because so much stimuli causes pain. We have the weather, auditory, hot and cold and noise being some of the issues that can trigger flares. Maybe it's because they still deep down don't believe that a lot of this is in our heads. After all, how much else can go wrong?

I'm back to central sensitization. People with Fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to it's pain signals. It's not what happens, it seems to be how it happens. Why they're stuck on cognitive behavioral therapy and trying to blame pain amplification on "catastrophizing" is beyond me. It's almost as if they can't find the on/off switch in our brains so they don't bother.  I really want one of these guys to experience chronic pain and then tell me that if we think good thoughts it will get better.

I've always said that attitude helps us get through very tough and painful times. It helps for a lot of things but it doesn't take away the pain. It is purely a coping strategy. That's all it is. There are affective dysfunctions, central nervous system abnormalities and cognitive dysfunctions. 

Even after all the research the treatments for Fibromyalgia include: Reduce stress, get sleep, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Boy, I can't tell you how much that advice helps me. Isn't that what we should be doing in the first place? 

It seems to me that the blood flow to the part of the brain that deals with pain and the cognitive function is off. There has to be a reason that they can't find out why the pain is amplified so much.

I'm in ponder mode.

I might as well be.

It's hot and summer is coming.

That's not a good sign.

I better think and write while I can.

Catastrophizing my a**.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


How do you deal with it?
Do you deal with it?
Or do you make it worse.

I got a comment on a previous post from someone who does not believe that Fibromyalgia is real. I went to the site and I was appalled. I wasn't appalled by the fact that this person doesn't believe in Fibromyalgia. I wasn't appalled by some of the things that were used for this persons evidence.

I was appalled by the vile and venom that was spewed by those with Fibromyalgia.
To me, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

Lets face it. There is a lot of speculation about the cause. No one has been able to pin it down. Yet. There is a great deal of research going on and that is a good thing. Hopefully, in the near future there will be management tools beyond Lyrica and antidepressants. I know there are people out there that take them but I can't. It makes me squirrely and I think they can be very dangerous if you quit them cold turkey. I've written on this before. I'm not a doctor and if you use this please don't take my word for this. It's strictly a personal observation. 

What I have a real problem with is people sitting behind a keyboard spewing garbage. It's ok if there are those out there who do not believe in this. That opens discussion and they have a right to their opinion. We may not like it but that's what makes this country great. We have free speech.  What we have is difficult enough to deal with. Why compound it?

I was asked an interesting question.  "What does Fibro add for me if I have other issues?"

I've been open about the fact that I have thyroid issues and the symptoms are closely related to Fibromyalgia. I've also been open about the fact that all this came about after a nasty car accident in 2008. 

While I believe that this is a central nervous system dysfunction there isn't concrete evidence of trauma being a cause. There are doctors out there that believe it's related to thyroid problems, AV shunts in the hands, inflammatory cytokines and all sorts of theories. The fact is that we just don't know the cause. 

What does it add for me?

I wouldn't say it adds anything. What it does is let me know that I have a constant level of pain that I have to manage daily that I didn't have to manage before. There are days when I want to curl up in a fetal position and throw a huge pity party for myself. There are days that I whine like crazy until I drive myself crazy. Then there are days (most days) that life goes on.  Mostly, my symptoms include pain. I don't have a lot of fatigue but I know when my body says stop. I don't have depression but living in constant pain can get depressing. I do remember the time when I didn't have to constantly manage pain.

I know that some of the pain is directly from lower lumbar and cervical injuries. The rest of it that fluctuates is from the Fibromyalgia. There are many spots....not just tender points...that are painful to the touch. 

I don't exaggerate pain because I don't like it.
It limits me and that really pisses me off.

What I do like is finding out the "why."

And, I think that is open to discussion.

Open, thoughtful and rational discussion.

It's important for all of us to remember that we should treat others,

how we want to be treated.

Be kind to each other.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I've always found this suspect.
Now, I know why.

I do try to always be respectful of someones belief system. I may not agree with the doctrine but again, unless I'm asked my opinion, I'll stay out of the argument. Everyone has the right to their theology. Unless.....

Sometimes it just isn't right.

I've always disliked when people talk about God as the genie in the bottle. Just because we want something doesn't mean we are necessarily going to get it. Sometimes the answer is yes; sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is, "no answer right now." I personally don't think that God has a magic wand that waves when we want something. Present your claim check and all will be better once again.

Especially when that claim check has to do with health care.

I heard that the mind can control the body. Don't I just wish that were the case! I've stated in previous posts about my stitches on the table event. I do think we can exercise some sort of control over an acute pain condition. Acute pain is usually short-lived and I think breathing and mind control can help ease the pain in some cases. Like I said, I've done it. 


When the pain is chronic it's a moment by moment issue. Also, I have one little issue with that whole theology. It doesn't work for all diseases. How on earth could you possibly sit in a room with people and say the mind can control the body and throw God into the mix. If that holds true then I should be able to use my mind to get rid of the Fibromyalgia. Or, God Forbid, someone has cancer then they should be able to get rid of the pain with that if they use their mind to control their body,

So what happens when it doesn't work? I guess that can be a real faith buster. You see, I read the Bible and sometimes God does his best work with a body that is infirmed. In fact, most of the great men and women of the Bible had some sort of physical problem. 

I just think it's dangerous to use the name it and claim it phrase.

When it doesn't work a persons faith can be damaged and that isn't good. When it doesn't work it can also make the other people around think that God doesn't work like he should. So what happens now? I just find it incredible that someone can spout that they can control their pain and get rid of the medication by faith and their mindset. By simple logic it also makes it sound like if you don't go along with it you're either faithless or mentally slow.

You can also turn someone away from God when the prayer isn't answered.

I shouldn't let this get to me......

but it does.

I guess I don't have enough faith......

To believe that one.

Highway to the danger zone.......

Thursday, March 5, 2015


What to do?
Should we hide under a rock?
The problem is we don't know what to believe.

I've been reading about the information from the World Health Organization about our cell phones and the radiation that's emitted from them can cause cancer. Didn't I just read that the WHO said cell phones were not carcinogenic? 

It doesn't help that everywhere we look there is a different opinion, backpedaling or out and out lies just to buy a certain product. I mean, lets take the information that's out there about food. If we exclude eggs, peas, dairy, whey, bean sprouts, all beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, lentils, cabbage, kale, asparagus, onions, leeks, rutabagas, shallots, garlic, papaya, any dried fruit, coffee, bananas, avocados, honeydew melons, meat, poultry and fish we can cure Fibromyalgia. Now, lets go to the nightshades. Potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. 

And let's not even talk about sugar.

I have listed foods from different sites that talk about Fibromyalgia and diet. It's amazing how many foods are on the "forbidden list."  Is there anything left to eat?  Great,  I can't eat and now I can't use my cell phone.

What's left?

I'm making light of all of this but there is a grain of truth to it all. We've become an over-processed, over-medicated, fast food, plastic and techno society. I find it disturbing that antibiotics and hormones are added to the grain that is used to feed our poultry and cattle. I find it VERY disturbing that genetically modified food is part of our food chain. How long have we had plastic bottles in our babies mouths only to find out that the BPA (bisphenol A) is dangerous? I would much rather eat organic or natural products that the over-processed and chemical filled foods that are out there. That sounds funny coming from someone who is a diet coke addict but it's true. I just think that there are choices out there and we should be aware of what we are putting in or on our bodies. I think labels should be truthful and I think knowledge is power.

I don't know what effect all of this has upon our lives. Progress has to take place. I wouldn't want to go back to a bygone era. I like my computers and iPhone too much. Unfortunately, I also believe all of this progress isn't good. However.............................

Am I willing to give up my cell phone? 

Probably not. 

There's one thing true about life.

None of us get out of it alive.