I’m going to tell you a story so you can understand a bit about how Fibro works.
I want you to imagine your central nervous system like a 7 lane super highway that brings all the information from your nerves to your brain. Now imagine this highway has a bouncer (we will name him George). George makes sure that only important information gets through so generally there is only about 2 lanes of traffic reaching your brain bringing you messages such as hot/cold/pain, etc.
When you enter something called “fight or flight” George let’s everything through (all 7 lanes of traffic) to make sure important information isn’t missed. This is an important step during the fight or flight process and how its supposed to be.
In my case I was in fight or flight too long and now George can’t figure out what is important and what is extra information so he just labels everything important and sends it on through to the brain. This is generally associated with trauma of some sort.
This is basically Fibro or something called Central Sensitization Syndrome (of which Fibro is part of). It means that people with Fibro are being constantly bombarded with extra information and something simple such as wearing socks, can cause issues as your nerves are sending a signal about tight/hot. This signal would normally be ignored but loveable George sends it through and now socks are unbearable.
Something all Fibro sufferers have in common is pain memory. This is when your nerves remember the pain from a previous injury and keep sending thr wrong signals to your brain.
This past summer my dog got spooked while on a walk and took off. I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should and got launched/dragged through some gravel. I hurt my foot (deep bruise) and even though clinically there is nothing wrong with my foot, if you touch it in that spot I get a strong signal of pain as if my foot was freshly injured.
And that brings us to my hysterectomy in 3 whole sleeps. I am TERRIFIED of a pain memory being created prolonging my suffering and recovery time.
But how do I combat pain memory if its already there?
This is a hard process but it can be done. Using a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral exercises and pure stubbornness you can retrain your brain that there is no need to send those signals. Using my foot as an example one of the big things is checking in with myself often and evaluating if I have a reason for the pain I’m feeling. After being checked with x-rays and a physical exam it was determined that all the healing was complete. This means any pain I still experience from that injury is a direct result of a pain memory; so I ignore it. I refuse to baby my foot and let it stop me from my daily activities.
As I said this is a hard process and takes time and a lot of self reflection.
On that note I must leave you all for now, our house is for sale and we have a showing soon. If you have any questions or comments about my brief intro to Fibro or pain memory please let me know.