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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Researchers....Let me do a "study" on you!

**Before I start my rant, I just want to clarify that I am in no way advocating that a person with chronic pain/fatigue should NOT exercise.**

According to Wikipedia, Fear Avoidance is basically that you develop chronic pain because you AVOID exercise because you FEAR the consequences. Well, no kidding! People with chronic pain and fatigue avoid exercise because they DO fear the consequences! I had recently read and article regarding this topic and it got me thinking...I want to preform a "study" on the researchers.
Here is my plan:
  1. All researchers must run 5 miles without stopping before the placement of weights. (Please note, that a person with chronic fatigue or chronic pain feel like they just ran 5 miles and all they did was open their eyes in the morning)
  2. All researchers will be given 10 lb weights that are to be placed on both arms, legs and feet. 
  3. All researchers will be given a 10 lb weight that is to be placed around the neck. 
  4. All researchers will be given 5 lb weights on each hand and 1 lb weight on EACH finger.
  5. **Bonus 10 lb weights** These are to be place around the hips and MUST press against your sciatic nerve.
  6. Once all weights are placed accordingly, each researcher will have tasks to perform, such as: vacuuming, laundry, washing dishes, making dinner and grocery shopping. You may not take the weights off at anytime. **Hint...Beware of bending over to pick up kids clothes off the floor. Sciatica will flare up**
  7. Once all of the aforementioned above is completed, now you must "exercise". 
    1. It is recommended that a 10 minute walk is good to start off on. Slowly work yourself up to 30 minutes. 
    2. Lifting...lift 1 to 3 lb weights (on top of your already 10 lbs on each arm and 5 lbs on each hand) Yea, that sounds good!
  8. After the exercises are completed, additional weights will be placed accordingly: 5 lbs to arms, hips, legs, feet, and neck for a total of 15 lbs to each area.  5 lbs will be added to hand for a total of 10 lbs and 1/2 lb to each finger for a total of 1.5 lbs. (This is an important step because thought the day with someone with chronic pain/fatigue, the heaviness increases.)
  9. Are you exhausted yet? How's the pain? Because your day is not over yet...
  10. Now you must complete a series of math, reading and comprehension questions. This is timed. Must do all calculations in your head. No calculators or "Googling" of any sort.
  11. While still wearing the weights, there is a gathering tonight with 25 of your relatives and friends. This will take place is a small room with children running around screaming and loud chatter. After 20 minutes have past, you must maintain a conversation without forgetting your words, not losing your train of thought, saying the wrong word and without stammering. 
  12. You arrive "home". You now must get kids bathed, make their lunches for the next day, put the kids to bed, pick up clutter around the house and fold that last basket of laundry.
  13. Time for shower. A shower chair will be allowed but you must not remove the weights. Don't forget to wash your hair. 
  14. Time to get dried off and dressed. Good luck!
  15. Time to finally get in bed. Weights still intact and your bed tonight will consist of rocks in various places in the mattress. Every turn that you make in bed with the weights and rocks poking you, I doubt if you are not going to sleep well. You will wake up several times at night because of pain. Guess what, now you have to do it all over again tomorrow.
Is my study ridiculous? Perhaps. Far fetched? Not really. This is how I truly feel almost every day. I feel like I just ran 5 miles when I open my eyes in the morning. I feel like my extremities are weighted. I feel like more weights are placed as I vacuum the living room floor. I feel that sciatica pain. I have a terrible time with math or understanding a question, making a decision or wondering what I had just read. In a room with chatter and kids screaming makes my skin hurt. I, do often wonder, if there are rocks in my bed.
I totally get that if you do absolutely nothing, don't move, don't try, yeah, your pain is going to worse. As will the depression. But when you have chronic pain and severe fatigue, it sucks! So, Fear avoidance, yeah I do believe I have that. Why wouldn't I?  I don't want my pain to become severe. I don't want the heavy wave of fatigue hit me as if I am going to collapse. I don't want to pay for it for 3 days after the fact.  Does this mean, since I have "Fear Avoidance" that I have given up? No, not at all. I still try and try again. I think we all do! I think people, like me, with chronic pain and fatigue, we fight. We have to!!


Oh and to my make-believe researchers: After completing the study and you still don't get the pain, fatigue, heaviness, the fight that chronic pain and fatigue people like me go through every single day...Well then, I have one more task for you to complete...poke yourself in the eye. Don't "avoid" it!
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