I only heard of this test, “FM/a“, via a radio commercial, this week. I was immediately intrigued. As some of you may know, I know a fair amount about Fibromyalgia given that my ‘Central Pain’ book deals with it in much detail.
What worried me about this test is that we now know that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder. I didn’t think we had any tests that could detect such disorders.
This test claims to test immune system imbalances. I, at least for now, am skeptical.
This test is supposed to ‘rule out’ other diseases. I am not sure I buy that.
The folks promoting this test — for MONEY, of course — have EXTENDED what was the original SCOPE of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia was about distributed, widespread pain. These folks have extended this to include symptoms of DEPRESSION as well. Given the EXTENDED scope a lot of folks — mainly women (alas) — will fall into the ‘dragnet’. I am sure that MOST in this vulnerable group will LIKE to be told they have fibromyalgia. To them it would be a relief, a vindication. I know. I have LIVED with ‘fibromyalgia’ — though I do NOT have it.
There used to be the 11-point DEFINITIVE TEST for fibromyalgia. That has now been DEBUNKED. Even the original creator of it, a supposed doctor, has admitted that he was wrong. Tens of millions of American women were told they had fibromyalgia based on that 11-point test. Well the test was FAKE.
I am not convinced.
Check out my book. You can read it for free in many places. SMILE.
The SLAP felt around the World.
This, which happened on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, went viral.
The pope apologized the next day — since his theme for the early part of 2020 ‘preventing violence against women‘!
Yes, it was ironic — as only popes can manage.
Here is a YouTube video of the whole sorry incident.
Christmas Eve Mass December 24, 2019.
Watch around the 8- & 17-minute marks.
The unfortunate slapping incident, in my opinion, wasn’t just a case of him being a grumpy old, 83-year old man. I think there is more to it than that.
He is getting old.
He has had bad feet since he was a teenager and has worn especially made, corrective/therapeutic shoes all his adult life. He also had a part of one of his lungs removed when he was in his early 20s.
He has always walked with a slight limp but it is significantly more pronounced now. Watch him on the Mass video above. Also notice how one of his feet stick out at an angle. I am sure he has pain issues to do with his leg, back or both. A few weeks ago there was a viral flap that he was wearing a pain-pump. The Vatican denied that and said it was a remote mike!
4-years ago his doctors wanted him to go on a diet. That didn’t work. He is larger now than at any other time in his papacy. That probably doesn’t help his feet.
So, I contend that this pope is in pain and his health may not be that good. I could, as ever, be wrong.
Check Category ‘religion’.
Search ‘cardinals‘, ‘consistory‘ & ‘pope‘.
Click to ENLARGE.
The 2 most salient points made in the article.
I have covered this same ground in my book.
Click to ENLARGE.
Just two relevant pages from my book.
This article is worth it JUST for this one CRITICAL message — said twice:
“Pain — in such cases — becomes the disease.”
“Their pain is not a symptom; it is a disease — one caused by a malfunctioning nervous system”.
So, I am delighted that this article HIGHLIGHTS this very crucial aspect of chronic pain — where pain itself is the disease.
The other key message in this article is that pain is felt (i.e., perceived), tolerated and handled by each person in a different way.
Some folks deal with pain better than others. Some can modulate their pain.
This is another topic dear to I. I talk about this in my ‘Central Pain’ book as well as in my books about ‘Brain Meditation’. Yes, you can teach yourself to handle pain — and do so better than others.
As is inevitable with all ‘National Geographic‘ articles there is a lot of ‘fluff’, ‘futures’ & ‘gratuitous color’. But, the key messages make up for that.
The author, who appears Indian, pussyfoots, shamelessly, around the opioid issue. Touches upon it multiple times BUT avoids taking the issue to its conclusion. NatG does not want to offend anyone!
The article also is way too generous when it comes to doctors. Again it tries not to offend anyone. So many doctors have NO CLUE when it comes to pain. I really do mean that. They are completely clueless.
But, if you can SKIM through this article. If nothing else you should learn that ‘pain can be THE disease — not just a symptom’.
I happened to see this coverage yesterday — replete with the Ricky Gervais reaction. Yes, it made me very sad and sick.
But, I was also curious as to whether bulls actually cry tears of pain and sorrow. If they did, I would be even more distressed. I guess we can’t know for sure, for sure.
They do have eye secretion to lubricate their eyes and help them flush out dust and dirt. But, there is no conclusive evidence that bulls (or other mammals) actually cry because of pain or emotions.
All that said BLOODY bullfighting!
Yes, yes, yes, I understand the historic and cultural significance. But, the Romans had gladiatorial circuses too — and we don’t have them now.
When I think about it it amazes me that bullfighting has not been banned as yet.
The EU of all people. Cruelty to animals.
This is not right.
We have to put an end to bullfighting. Period. End of discussion.
Click to ENLARGE and STUDY.
There was no pain to talk about
— throughout, from surgery to now.
Pretty amazing. All of it. The surgery, the recovery and the bill. Overall I could NOT have been happier.
Wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the bill.
I am amazed. Gobsmacked. I shouldn’t complain — but, I will, because I am like that. Smile.
That they can just write-off $12,166.56 of the bill is MIND BLOWING. If I didn’t have insurance I would be on the hook for this.
This bill is worth studying.
Click to ENLARGE.
Before & After
Staples taken out Day #14.
Pain is still negligible!
Pain was negligible throughout — just with Aleve & Tylenol — and I was able to even stop taking those on Day #8. I, however, continued to use the DonJoy cold therapy ice unit — mainly because I have become addicted to it. Some get hooked on opioids after surgery, I got hooked on ice therapy. Surgeon, with a smile, said it was “OK” to be addicted to my ice unit. He said it could have been worse. [I am using it right now. What can I say. SMILE.]
I kind of had a gut feel that having my 16 staples out was NOT going to be a walk-in-the-park. As I am always quick to point out, I am not totally stupid, just partially. That the surgeon smiled and said that it wasn’t going to hurt was an added clue.
No beating around the bush. It hurt. I did NOT scream, BUT I went pale! But, to be fair, they didn’t all hurt. Just about 4 of the 16.
I could FEEL FLESH being ripped off! I said that.
Well, when I looked at the picture I took — above — I was bloody right.
You can see my brown flesh on a few staples. As I said, they didn’t all hurt. Just about 4 and those were the ones that, as you can see, have flesh attached.
Oh, I cheated. I will confess. Knowing that I would have pain, I took took Aleves beforehand.
Before taking the staples the nurse asked me my pain level. I felt guilty. I didn’t want to say ‘0’. That seemed wrong. So, I lied. I said ‘1’. She was thrilled. Her words were: “That is what we like to hear”.
After the staples were taken off, and she applied some oil (containing shellfish extract) pain was negligible again.
I did not use my ice therapy, at all, at all, all day yesterday. The ONLY day I haven’t used it since surgery.
So, that is the sad story so far.
Click to ENLARGE.
March 17 was Day #10.
Pain is still negligible!
Never expected this — in my wildest dreams, i.e., the minimal pain.
I thought I was going to be in agony. Not so. As I said in my very first post, it, i.e., pain control, was miraculous! Don’t know how they do it. But, they appear to have cracked what obviously has been an issue since the advent of life. How to perform major surgery without the patient being crippled by pain during the recovery.
Yes, for the first 50-hours I had a nerve block pain pump attached to my hip. Not sure what was in it, but reading the marketing blurb I gather it was not narcotic.
Other than the nerve block, all I used was Tylenol and Aleve. That was what was recommended. Tylenol first and if that doesn’t cut it, Aleve. I stuck to that initially but by Day #4 just fell into a 3 Aleve a day routine. For over 20-years Aleve has been my pain-medication of choice (next to straight Aspirin). I never take much pain medication, but when I have to I reach for the blue tablets. They don’t seem to bother me too much.
Yes, of course, I can carry on taking Aleve. But, I am a great believer in NOT taking pain medication if I can get away with it. I could be wrong, BUT my thinking is that if I use pain medication sparingly they will be more effective when I do take them. That is my theory.
By the evening of Day #8 pain really was negligible — though I have to admit I am more or less permanently attached to my ice unit. I would even say addicted. I know addiction is bad, so I checked. YEP, you guessed it. Too much cold therapy can be detrimental. So, I have cut back.
Also doing my knee exercises — heel slides. Did 90 on Day #10. I was told to shoot for 30. So, I am close.
No, I am not totally stupid — just partially stupid. So, I realize that the pain could come back, big time, without notice. Do NOT forget that I WROTE the book on “Central Pain Syndrome“.
Today, as such, is the 4th full-day, post surgery.
There is, touch wood, very little pain — as yet.
I hope it continues to be the case. It sure would be nice and a welcome relief.
The whole surgery experience, so far, has really been near miraculous. I am in total awe.
Yes, no question, the knee hurts, like billy-o if it bends (or moves). But, I am NOT supposed to bend it.
When I keep it straight and immobile, I have had little pain. I truly lucked out. Just hoping that pain does not suddenly engulf me and I am doing everything I can to make sure that I don’t end up with ‘Central Pain Syndrome‘ (CPS) six-months down the road. Right now I am hopeful. That I haven’t had major pain to drive my central nervous system (CNS) nuts will definitely stand me in good stead. IF I end up with CPS — I will rue the day.
I just cannot tell you how effective that ice therapy with the ‘ice pump’ is. I am convinced that it is what has helped me so much. I have it on about 16-hours a day. It is on now, set to 42°F, as I write.
All I have taken for medication so far is 325mg Tylenol and Aleve.
I have, so far, not needed any narcotics. I have two bottles, 60 pills, of opioids, one from ER and the other from the surgeon, unused. I hope this continues to be the case.
The nerve block was also amazing. It ran out Saturday night — right on schedule. They said 48-hours and it probably lasted about 54. Definitely felt some pain when it was gone. That is when I started taking Aleve.
Day 1 (Friday) — I took 7 Tylenols, much of it because I felt feverish.
Day 2 (Saturday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves, late at night, after the nerve block was removed.
Day 3 (Sunday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves at night.
Day 4 (Monday) — 1 Aleve so far and it is 5:30pm.
As far as I am concerned that is pretty amazing. Right now I feel no knee! It is pretty frozen — but don’t worry, I am not going to get frostbite.
Appears I am the lucky beneficiary of all of the concerted effort going into preventing the prescription of opioids.
Both the nerve block & ice machine blurbs tell doctors how they can be used instead of opioids. I am all in favor.
Seeing the surgeon tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed.
So, just wanted to share with you in case, alas, knee surgery is to figure in your future. Based on my experience it might not be as painful as you might dread.
Well, I am still keeping fingers crossed. Pain is a funny ol’ thing. Don’t trust it — as far as I can throw it.
To my mind something here does not add up, re. this new hypothesis that depression is a physical rather than mental illness.
So, most people who have depression are no strangers to anti-inflammatory drugs, in particular NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Yes, it is true that brain inflammation can be different to inflammation in other parts of the body. But it is believed that NSAIDs work on brain inflammations at least some of the time.
So, that is my concern. Given the huge population of people with BOTH depression and pain at least some percentage of these should have noticed an easing of their depression due to the NSAIDs they were taking. But, this has not been reported.
Hence my skepticism. Yes, it is possible that stronger, more specialized drugs are needed to fully combat depression-related brain inflammation. However, that NSAIDs have apparently not even scratched the surface bothers me.
What do YOU think?
Many of you, especially anyone whose life has been impacted or touched by Fibromyalgia, will find this article with its 20-picture essays interesting.
Nothing new or profound in terms of the condition, just a chronicling of the symptoms and their effects on people and their lives.
A lot is happening, rather quickly, at present, in terms of trying to redefine Fibromyalgia and finally get a good handle on it so that better treatment options could be made available. I have covered some of these in my new ‘Central Pain Syndrome: Chronic, Confounding Pain Such As That Of Fibromyalgia‘ book.