Monday, 27 October 2008

No-win situation

Sometimes I find CFS patients are in a no-win situation when it comes to chatting to people.

On the one hand, if we start talking about the horrible things CFS patients have to endure, we're accused of complaining or wallowing in self-pity. On the other hand, if we don't mention any bad stuff at all, everyone just assumes there's nothing wrong with us.

Sometimes I find it really difficult to strike a balance. Thankfully, my important friends seem to understand the situation.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Moderated comments

I'm really glad I decided to moderate comments. Those of you who are real people reading my blog out of interest needn't worry: I'll approve your posts; the ones I'm rejecting are the comments that are just advertisements.

The comment I just received for moderation is an example of comment advertisements. I didn't approve it, so don't bother looking for it. Also, it had some spiel at the beginning about how anxiety is responsible for making people tired. That might be true, but I get so irritated with suggestions that CFS is simply being tired. Those of us who have it know there are plenty of other symptoms to deal with.

Rant over.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Breathing exercises for anxiety

I've been umming and ahhing about whether I should reveal this: I visited a psych the other day.

When I visited the psych, I wasn't looking for answers to the cause of my CFS. I have issues with my divorced parents that haven't been resolved, and now that I'm not well, I've had too much time to dwell on it. So I figured, this is a better time than any to seek advice from someone who can be objective: a psych.

Anyway, he came to the conclusion that I'm not depressed, but my anxiety and stress levels are quite high. He said that the way people have responded to my CFS (negatively) has triggered feelings I felt when my dad left home. As a result, I'm getting stressed by these triggers.

The psych explained stress in biological terms: apparently, the ANS (autonomic nervous system) is constituted of the SNS (sympathetic nervous system) and the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system). When a person gets stressed by something, what kicks into gear is the SNS, which promotes a fight-or-flight response.

Basically, I'm constantly in flight-or-fight mode, which is really sapping my energy.

To get my SNS under control, the psych taught me some breathing exercises, because breathing is something that concerns both the SNS and PNS.

I have to breathe slowly and deeply, using my diaphragm more than usual. Once the breathing is regular, I have to think of a happy thought. I've tried the exercise a few times this week, and it's really helped, which is why I decided to post about it here.

On a side note: the exercise reminds me of the spell in Harry Potter called expecto patronum, where they have to think a happy thought!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Blood spinning

It sounds gross, I know. In reality, it's not so bad. The new kind of MORA treatment I'm getting is called blood spinning: the nurse pricks my finger to get a drop of blood, puts it in a special container that sits on top of the MORA machine, and presses the start button.

The theory behind blood spinning is that healthy blood spins in a certain direction and diseased blood spins in the opposite direction. Blood spinning encourages the blood in my body to spin in the healthy direction.

Okay, I'll admit that I don't understand it fully, but that's the gist of it.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Milestone weekend

Today, I went on my first solo excursion and tram ride in over a year. Once I reached the city, I walked for about a block, and hopped on the tram back home. The entire trip took two hours in total, and I think that was a good length; any longer and I would have suffered more for it.

I think the trip was really good for my confidence. All this time, I've been afraid of getting stuck outside, like I did the last time I tried to go out by myself. I ended up having to wait for A to finish work and pick me up, because I couldn't walk any further. Thankfully, it didn't happen this time.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

My fifth appointment with Dr S

This must be a pretty boring blog. Really, all I do is update you about what goes on in my doctor's appointments. But that's really all there is to tell. After a few months, even whinging about CFS symptoms and the issues that come with them gets tiresome!

Anyway, here's my update: I got good news from Dr S this week. He said I've improved the most out of any patient he's seen in a while! (Yes, I win! Better start writing my acceptance speech for patient of the year...)

Dr S said the blood test results that were elevated when he first tested me are within the normal range now. My vitamin D levels are well within the normal range now too - big achievement considering I had the lowest level of vitamin D he'd ever seen. And the level of toxins in my body has decreased. So, good news all around.

However, I'm still tiring easily and quite dependent on my supplements. I've noticed that if I miss a dose of anything, I'll feel the effects of it the next day. Dr S and I agree I still some way to go.

So, I have to keep taking anti-candida medication (along with my other supplements), and I'll be having a new kind of MORA treatment aimed at treating CFS symptoms (in the past my MORA treatments have been aimed at treating my liver, I think - kind of ironic, since I'm not a heavy drinker).

After five of the new MORA treatments, Dr S will review me again. He said that the next time he sees me, he might have to use the MORA machine to desensitise me to certain types of foods, since I appear to be allergic to some foods still.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Back to the doctor

My appointments with my doctor have resumed. (He's been away for the past month.)

Last week I had another BIA (Bio Impedence Analysis) - a test that measures how healthy I am on a cellular level. The results were mixed, but positive generally: my fat levels have dropped, my muscle mass has gone up (although there's room for improvement, my water balance is good, but the general health of my cells has dropped. The nurse said this could be because I've had a few colds and an infection recently.

Since my last post, I caught three colds and had a bladder infection. It's set me back a little, but now that my doctor's back, I hope things start looking up again.