Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Parasympathetic Nervous system and ME CFS and CFIDS

This morning I've been reading an interesting article about Vagus nerve Stimulation courtesy of Cort Johnsons excellent blog/website article here
There has been some success in Fibromyalga pain reduction using Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS).  The article goes on to talk about how VNS can help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps the "rest and digest" processes in our body.  Electronic stimulators are very expensive, but there are several things that you can do to help the process manually which many of us are probably already trying as part of our recovery/treatment, these include yoga and meditation/deep breathing.  One of the things mentioned in an article Cort links to is Om chanting and how it can help:

‘OM’ Chanting An interesting study was performed by the International Journal of Yoga in 2011, where ‘OM’ chanting was compared with pronunciation of ‘SSS’ as well as a rest state to determine if chanting is more stimulatory to the vagus nerve. The study found that the chanting actually was more effective than either the ‘sss’ pronunciation or the rest state. Effective ‘OM’ chanting is associated with the experience of a vibration sensation around the ears and throughout the body. It is expected that such a sensation is also transmitted through the auricular branch of the vagus nerve and will produce limbic (HPA axis) deactivation.[iii] How to chant? Hold the vowel (o) part of the ‘OM’ for 5 seconds then continue into the consonant (m) part for the next 10 seconds. Continue chanting for 10 minutes. Conclude with some deep breathing and end with gratitude.

I'm going to give it a go.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

ME CFIDS CFS sleep and recumbent cycling

On the second of January I tried to start the building up of my calf muscles as mentioned in my previous post.  The recumbent exercise bike that has been sat unused in the spare room for the past seven months was the method of choice for achieving this.  I did 5 minutes on the bike with no resistance set.  The first two minutes were really hard, but then it eased a little.  I watched my heart rate monitor and the highest it got was 109 bpm and only for a short time, but when I got off the bike my legs were trembling and my body felt delicate and shaky.  This meant of course that I was good for nothing for the rest of the day.  Infact it took me five days to recover from my five minutes on the bike.  Today I am going to do 15 seconds on the bike and build it up in 15 second blocks.  Let's see how that goes.
The other thing the incident on the bike did was upset my sleep pattern.  Normal for me is waking for two toilet trips at about 1.30am and 4.30 am, after the cycling I found myself lying awake in bed for a couple of hours between two and four am.  I am pleased to say that this seems to have corrected itself, and last night I slept for seven hours straight (9.30am to 4.30am) WooHoo!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Tedium of 2015 and working on the Now

I can't believe the previous post was back on the 22nd August.  This has been the longest break in all my blogging and I'm not really sure why.  I think that subconsciously I really want this blog to be a positive story of my recovery and actually since my trip to the Royal Neurological hospital back in May (details here), I've found it quite hard to be feeling positive. The last seven months have been a very very gradual working my way back to my pre hospital strength.  I am not there yet.  I now find it hard to do the easy yoga class at the MS therapy centre whereas, I was doing that plus about three quarters of a normal sports centre class in a week for example.  I can do a baseline amount of activity which will get me through the day but any extra seems to have a detrimental effect right now.  Driving what I would call middle distances, so maybe 40 miles plus has become very demanding of energy which is quite restrictive and I have been relying a lot on friends, and Ant of course, for this.  The back end of last year has also seen me dealing with the removal of skin cancer from my right arm, all now removed and clear, and the emergence of some new painful gastro symptoms which fortunately now seem to have subsided.
With everything else, my regular 3 times daily Perrin massages had fallen to the wayside.  I was just massaging every now and then when I felt like it and gradually I began to notice the result of that when with my fatigue I began to get the horrible sickness and heavy feeling that i remember from the early stage of my ME.  I have picked the massages up again and that feeling has gone.  It confirms to me the very important part that Perrin has played for me and acted as a reminder that i must, certainly in my current condition, keep up with the regular massages.
The most annoying of ongoing issues are palpitations which before my hospital visit I had pretty much got rid of.  These now persist, not often as I am consciously not pushing my body physically in any way.  Strangely it has happened 4 times when I have just been sat watching something like a classical concert or speech.  I go very hot, then cold and clammy, my heart rate rises and I just feel unwell.  Neither my body or mind feel stressed at any point immediately prior to this happening.  I would like this to stop please!!!
In November I did go back to the Royal Neurological hospital for my follow up appointment and after a very spiky start to my appointment, it did finish with a really useful session with a specialist POTs nurse who was VERY helpful.

Anyway, all these things are in the past.  I feel the need to have documented them for my own record, but  now I must move on.  I feel positive about the coming year.  I have been reading Practising the Power of Now and find it very useful to remind me of all the things I can do right now.  There are no problems, just situations which either have to be dealt with or accepted.  I intend to do more of both - do what i can to deal with the ongoing situation and be more accepting of what is.

Early goals for this year are to put on a little weight.  I weigh 57 kilos and would like to be 60.  I'd like that extra weight to be muscle : )  On the advice of the POTs nurse I am going to try and increase the size of my calf muscles (currently 34cms on left and 35.5cms on the right)  Hopefully my thighs will benefit too (currently 47.5cms left and 48cms right).  So that is what I am going to be focusing on, along with continuing my Perrin massage and cranial osteopathy, trying to get myself to a point where I'm managing the therapy centre yoga class well and continuing to focus on my diet and eating well.  That should all keep me pretty busy.  Most importantly I'm aiming to have lots of fun with family and friends.