As I was walking down the street yesterday I noticed I walk like a duck-billed platypus. Heels in with my toes splayed out. I tried to correct my gait and point my feet straight but felt like I was walking bowlegged. So I came home and watched TV last night standing behind the sofa with one leg folded over the top of it and the foot I was standing on pointed straight. Back and forth I switched legs, trying to pull my tight muscles into alignment until my husband told me to sit down because I was making him nervous, hovering over his shoulder and all that. But just that simple correction made my hips and low back felt like I was racked up on a medieval torture device designed to pop the bones from the joints. Okay maybe not that bad but the level of stress and tension and pain in the area ran very deep.
There are many theories about what Fibromyalgia actually is. Many. At one time modern medicine believed it to be rheumatic in origin, which includes a large number of inflammatory conditions characterized by pain, range of motion limitation and degeneration of the musculoskeletal system. So they sent us to rheumatologists to unpuzzle our pain. But upon years of further research they found no inflammation or degeneration actually going on. Which earned patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a pretty shady reputation because, quite frankly, since they didn't understand our pain they didn't believe it either. Now they have settled on neurology. Central nervous system damage, elevated neurotransmitters, misfiring neurons, changes in the way the brain communicates with the spinal cord thus affecting many major systems in the body. This is the definition I have clung to for dear life, screaming to anyone who will listen to me this illness is as real as Christmas on December 25th. It has to be. For heaven sakes it disabled me and made me want to die!
But now I am beginning to think there is more going on. I am knee deep in the middle of a gigantous flare. Haven't had one this bad or this long in quite some time. It's a good refresher of the weird and strange symptoms this illness inflicts. I am swollen, stiff and sore. Feel like every cell in my body is expanded and pushing to burst out of my skin. I can barely move my body or twist around. And as mentioned before my musculoskeletal system is jacked up. Could all this be from a damaged central nervous system sending excessive pain signals to my brain? I read a study recently that hit Fibro from a deeper angle. It sought to understand a different cause of why the nerves are sending a message of pain to the brain in the first place. The doctor is testing the effects of an antihistamine in quieting immune cells called mast cells which communicate with peripheral nerve endings in an effort to quiet these amplified pain signals.* He may be on to something, time will tell. We patients are given nibbles of hope every so often. Someone discovers a virus or abnormal brain imaging results or even a way to test the blood they think can further diagnostics and treatment. We sit and wait, holding our breath and praying for an answer, a way to make this whole nightmare go away. But until that happens we have to learn how to live with it. So in an effort to quit walking like an egg-laying mammal I think I am going to get off the computer and go do some yoga. Something I know can help me today.
Thanks for joining,