Sunday, 3 July 2011

other things that have helped over the years.

I'm looking for homeostasis most of all. General wellbeing. I stuff up. I eat the wrong foods, i say the wrong thing, i do the wrong thing. But i'm trying to get to better health. These are some things which helped my health.

Meditating before bed. This one my therapist showed me and it helped kill my insomnia. For 15 minutes (start with 5), sit and look at something interesting. And allow thoughts that comment on it, like oooh its blue and its edged there. And anything else your mind comes up with just say ok and refocus on the object.
It takes a long time to be able to do this well, but with every practice you're retraining the mind to let go and get into the now. Allow yourself to notice pain in the same way as thoughts. Then let them go and move on.

L-Glutamine + Probiotics. While i'm not convinced CFS is a -virus-, quite often it started with one. These are good supplements, l-glutamine to help rebuild the gut wall and probiotics to help repopulate after antibiotics/too many happy meals at mcdonalds. There is research out there, but i read the research then go on what works for me. And forget the research.

Exercising without using adrenaline or strength. I was able to teach mixed martial arts for a while and this helped so much. Instead of forcing things with boxing/wrestling, i would get the right technique and lean into it or punch with as relaxed an arm as i could. And steered away from overly cardiovascular exercise. This helped me use my body while not crashing directly afterwards. Eating protein/no sugar/protein powder that day helped too.

Sleep. Forget what people say, how many hours a night you need sleep-wise. My body loves sleep, if i wake up early, i feel crap. I luckily have a shift job i can casually work so if i have an early day, i can have the next day off. If you need 12 hours, get it. Relax before sleep with a book and noticing things in your body, and let go of all the crap you are trying to process through the day.

Echinacea - Good for the immune system. This helped me breathe clearly. And is great for colds, or just general health. Good to cycle it. Zinc is a good one too, not too much for women though.

Helping others - I felt like i had to help others. My mother had bipolar and she always seemed sad and stressed. Because i wanted support from others, i started giving it, trying to fix her. I couldn't. Usually childhood creates in-built beliefs that just aren't helpful. If I feel like i'm going to die with 10 minutes of talking, it is not helpful for me to try and help that person at that time. The more focused on myself, the more i can help others. I have spent a long time being pissed off with my family and myself, its good to go through.

Feelings - Its important to look at this one, especially with CFS. Am I allowed to be angry, scared, afraid, vulnerable around other people? The answer for me was no unless they were good friends. Again childhood hurts. Its easy to take these things and create CFS as a psychological illness. Yet all illnesses are and aren't. It is the big picture; nutrition, lifestyle, psychology, support network, mental/emotional etc.

Friday, 1 July 2011

CFS and how i found my way out.

Hi team,

I decided to start a blog about how i -fixed- my cfs.

Having Chronic Fatigue has been very frustrating. It is easy to have one's defined by it. The most i missed was being able to do exercise. At one of my lesser moments of CFS, I remember kicking a soccerball for about 2 minutes, having to apologise to my friend because i became so tired and went home to crash for 16 hours in bed.

People will still put regular responsibility on you, why arent you working enough, why dont you move out of home. etc. When i had fatigue, everything was a huge chore. Simple things people take for granted, having a shower was a struggle for me, sometimes it would be enough for me to go back to bed. Where i have probably spent the last four years spending 2/3rds of my time.

I'd define chronic fatigue as constantly feeling overwhelmed/tired by life, feeling -unwell- and as your nervous system is smashed, feel attacked from everywhere at once.

The Doctors I saw got sick of sending me for blood tests, one had a chat with me about how she couldn't send me to get more due to her monthly budget and insisted that i be put on anti-depressants. Doctors love prescribing anti-depressants and antibiotics for problems because it seems to go away, in the short term anyway. And they get paid.

Low blood pressure.
Constant sugar cravings.
A feeling of being unwell. That something was wrong in me or with me.
Tiredness that never disappeared. Sleeping would not restore what it should.
A fear that everything i did would contribute to the CFS. This developed after having CFS for a while and most things would seem to.
Sensitivities to every second food.
Exercise with any use of strength or adrenaline would drop me to the point of exhaustion.

There were 2 things that helped pull me out. The first was listening to myself, part psychology/meditation.

If CFS is not depression, why deal with it on a psychological level?

I spent four years in every kind of therapy i could manage energy wise. Looking for answers, trolling the internet for symptoms, cures, treatments etc. What is easy to call hypochondria, but i felt an agonising need to find out what was wrong. I spent some good times in therapy, which did not cure my problems but helped me get to a space i could manage my stress and symptoms.
I definately recommend people find a good therapist, at least to help manage the stress of CFS.

Meditation and why its important.
Meditation is the hardest activity anyone can do. Its also the easiest way to feeling better in one's self. Due to the amazing amount of options we have in our technological age, its easy to get overwhelmed and never spend any time with ourselves. I know when i was feeling my worst, thats when i wanted something to take me away from feeling bad. To lose myself in drama/excitement to pick me up.

Immediately after meditating, i would fill my mind up quickly because i was afraid of pain. I think the most important question for people struggling with any long-term illness or issue is: What is my relationship to pain?
I personally ran away from it. Some people drink, take drugs, overwork. I hunted my problem down, while running away from it at the same time.

Then one day spent being angry at myself for wasting time doing useless activities, I felt i'd had enough. I sat down with a book about meditation for a few minutes to prime myself then started meditating. After two minutes when i was ready to quit I said, "No i'm sick of that drama" and kept with the meditating, it felt as if something fell away.

Dont get me wrong, every time one meditates, the need to do something else seems lurking underneath, waiting for a weak opportunity to come out and say, "you'd rather go do something else." (a good way to end up doing housework is to start meditating)

So I sat. And i felt god awful amounts of pain in my body. But i let myself stay with the pain and let my thoughts be heard with acknowledgement then let them go. And after all those horrible struggles, after meditating i felt freer in the body and the mind. And life stopped dragging so much.

If I found a nutrient that cured my CFS, why talk about meditation?

I don't believe that the nutrients i needed alone would have kept me out of having CFS. And that is very painful to acknowledge.

Pain represents a blocked emotion, belief or trauma in life. And the more time we spend with pain, the more free our bodies and mind become, the more time we spend in the moment instead of focusing on what the hell happened that time someone said something nasty to you.

My cure

Was a cellular dose of potassium/magnesium. Though usually i don't buy this brand, this is their pharmaceutical range. Blackmores PPMP. Potassium Phosphate/Magnesium Phosphate.
They are celluloids, apparently absorbed straight away.

Within 10 seconds i felt well again. That something that i was lacking was finally in me. And my muscles started to relax. That week, when before i hadn't been able to use either strength or adrenaline without getting majorly fatigued, i had a training session with my friend, where i punched hard using strength and speed, i had him in a choke where i was able to squeeze my muscles, instead of technique for a good 10 seconds to turn the choke on.

So since being on it my problems list has disappeared and i feel brilliant. This was not a complete fix, of course if i don't maintain a good balance i will no doubt end up back there. But at the moment its less chronic fatigue and just occasional fatigue.

Now why would it have that effect?
I had taken magnesium before and only felt marginally better.
Apparently potassium deficiency rarely occurs in healthy individuals (according to wikipedia). I sure as hell didn't feel healthy though.

Potassium is a very important nutrient. It is important for maintaining blood sugar levels. Magnesium is required to relax muscles.
Calcium is needed to pump the heart, magnesium to release the pump.
Sodium and potassium are required as electrolytes for healthy blood flow.

Due to the problems with sugar cravings, intense body tightening, lack of energy and problems with basic foods. I believe Potassium and Magnesium together could have an impact on those with CFS lacking these nutrients. It probably won't be a cure all, as every case seems different and you have to find out what works for you.

The End

My hope is that this gives people suffering a bit of insight into how i dragged my way out of it. And are able to do the same themselves. If people think you're mad, let them and do what you need to do for yourself. Sometimes people can be a good barometer for us - but the best barometers are the ones that listen as well as talk.