Take A Nap!- Guest Blog

 

I am starting a series of guest blog posts from people who are close to me.  I asked my husband to blog about his perspective on my fibro and he focused on what happens when fibro fatigue sets in.  I’m sure this issue is even more of a concern since our little one has come along.  I always find it interesting to see my fibro through someone else’s eyes…

So here it is….guest blog number 1 from my one and only!…

 

Living with Fibro- well sort of

TAKE A NAP!!!

 

I know it bugs her to no end that she is tired and I will MAKE her take a nap.  I say this, because, as the past has shown if she doesn’t, being tired brings out She-Hulk.  A moody, sad sack of what should be my happy wife, is now replaced with this “monster” that nothing can calm this beast down.  And it isn’t just for a short period of time.  This will last an entire day, if it is not recognized and dealt with right away.  This “beast” cannot be controlled either.  You think everything seems to be calming down, the “beast” seems to start smiling and turning less “Green”, then…BAM; the cat hacks up a hairball, and the house starts shaking from the sounds the beast starts making again.

Believe it or not, this beast can be stopped before it completely turns.  Not by a lab full of scientists in some secret underground lab.  But an hour nap. She doesn’t have to sleep for an entire day, but an hour nap, and then some moving around to “restart” her system (not necessarily exercise; just moving around) and the monster can be avoided.

I am completely serious about this too!  Looking back, anytime we have ever had any sort of argument about anything that really was insignificant (and there have been some).  They all were after she mentioned she just didn’t sleep very well, or she was tired, and did not take a nap.

I know a lot of the time she feels guilty for taking a nap, because the baby kept me up all night.  I don’t have Fibro, I can recover.  I have had bouts with insomnia for as long as I really can remember.  Me, not getting a lot of sleep is definitely not anything new.  But her not getting enough sleep… Let’s just prevent this

 

 

She Hulk

“We’re going to use heat to induce pain on you”-My adventures in being a research study subject!

Since I am constantly complaining about the lack of (known) research for fibromyalgia, you know I was super excited when I had the opportunity to actually be a subject in a research study!

The study is being conducted at Indiana State University. With the permission of Carolina Valencia, PT, PhD and Robert Vallandingham, LAT, ATC, who are conducting the study, I get to share the details of the study and my personal experience with each aspect of it…yay!

This research study focuses on “Effects of Light Brushing on Clinical Pain Intensity and Experimental Pain Sensitivity in Fibromyalgia Patients.” What a mouthful, right?

According to my consent paperwork, “The Purpose of the research study is to determine the effect of light brushing Graston technique on your pain caused by Fibromyalgia. The study will address whether this treatment option is able to decrease pain.” For those who are unfamiliar to Graston technique, you can find more about HERE, but here is a summary (Taken from GrastonTechnique.com:

 

                                              graston tools

 “The Graston Technique, originally developed by athletes, is changing the way clinicians — including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers — and patients view treatment of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries. Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.”

*On a side note, I have personally had the Graston Technique done in physical therapy and my opinion of it is as follows: Every time I get it done I wonder why the hell I asked for it. I’m not going to lie, it hurts but when it’s done I want more. In fact, I’m pretty sure the first time I got it done I wondered if the person who performed the procedure was mad at me. It’s definitely a “hurts so good” treatment. Because I’ve had Graston done, this study perked my interest even more, but I worried the potential pain of the procedure would make other subjects run for the door, but when the study states “light brushing”, that’s exactly what they meant. I’ll get to more of that later. The procedures for the study were the following:

1. I completed a series of questionnaires that included questions on how my pain affected my ability to do daily activities such as walk up stairs and work as well as questions involving how fibromyalgia affects me psychologically.

2. They tested my pain perception by on my forearms and the palm of my hand by inducing pain with a heat device that was placed on my arm (don’t worry; it’s set to automatically turn off before it would get to a “burning Point”). They started the heat until I very first felt pain, asking me to rate the pain each time, then they did pulses of heat/pain and asked me to rate the pain of each wave of heat, then they tested how high the heat could go before I asked them to stop and I would rate that pain.

3. I then had small, hair-like, filaments applied to three different spots on my back (all trigger points for fibro) and I was asked to tell them when I could or could not feel the filaments.

4. 45 second of VERY light Graston was done on those same spots (to be honest, I was disappointed it was so light…I wanted the “dig” of my previous Graston experiences.)

5. They then repeated the Filaments in the same spots, asking me when I could feel them.

6. And finally, all the heat pain perceptions tests were repeated as well as repeating some psychological questions. While the heat was uncomfortable, this study definitely didn’t leave me sore or unable to move my arms or hands. I had slight tingling through the afternoon, but nothing beyond that. Since this study is still active, I won’t know any results now, but I look forward to anything that is potentially published! I like to feel like I contributed something to the fibromyalgia community today in my own little way. It’s not as easy to be “involved” in fibro awareness as it is for other conditions. We don’t have “walks,” we rarely have fundraisers and our “month” is hardly recognized…this, in turn, makes it hard for us to have a “voice.” I feel like I raised my voice just a little bit today. If you’d like to get involved with a research study, check with your local universities, you never know what you may find!

If you are around the Indiana State University campus/area, you can also look into a future project that is currently planned to be rolled out in the fall. You may contact ISU in regards to fibromyalgia studies by contacting: Carolina Valencia, PT, PhD at rvallanding@sycamores.indstate.edu You can mention you were referred by my blog!