Saturday, December 24, 2011

What my brain and body did automatically

This has worked for me dealing with swelling hands and feet. It may not work for everyone else but here goes anyway. The human body is meant to be in motion it's how the body detox's it self, having limited mobility, spasticity and pain makes it harder to do. Understanding I've got to work at keeping it doing what it used to do, before m.s. got in the way of my body's ability to do this without my needing to think about it all! Heck I didn't even know it did this automatically, until after I talked to my old track coach. Never heard about it from any Doctor, Neurologist and or Physically therapist. Dealing with gout learning why it seems to happen in the toes. Because the body moves harmful things as far away from the heart as it can, how dumb I'm I that's why fluid builds up in hands and feet as far away from the heart as it can get. Understanding that Mobility is so much more then moving from point A to point B. It's amazing how little I know about this shell I've lived within for over 49 years. It's capable of and does try to protect it's self from my many mistakes.  

Moving on (pun intended) to communication brain to and from the body, spasticity and pain. Learning these three work together to break down muscles that adds to pain and is one of the causes of muscle weakness. For many people putting a thought into action is automatic. Most if asked couldn't tell you how they did it or what muscles were used, to do any given task, unless the muscle is or was painful or sore! For them communication is seamless, I for one don't have the ability to think and do, my brain and body doesn't work as a team any more. Messages go from the brain but because of the many scares along path caused by m.s. messages get misdirected or totally lost and or delayed. The central nervous system and spinal cord is only the delivery system when a message doesn't get out of the brain or into the right spot. What this does is hit or miss causing so many different problems, the main one for me is pain here is an example of  one my hope is it help people to understand what they take for granted. Thinking of standing up from sitting sound easy okay lets follow the path of a ms scared brain sends the message oops it got misdirected, nothing is moving find another way to get up without using my knee's, lift myself up using my arms works okay get feet under me done. Now I go to take that step oops here comes that misdirected message to stand up darn it now the muscles in my knee's are trying  ouch in my head I'm screaming I'M ALREADY STANDING SO STOP TRYING  TO OH MY THAT HURTS!! Finally they stop it's a good thing I have knee caps. The last piece as to how this causes muscle weakness, it's when my brain sends the message to the muscle to do work, but when the muscle sends the message back to my brain what's it's done but that message gets lost so there is a disconnect between the brain and the muscle, the brain doesn't know that the muscle it's been working and is in need of an increased blood flow to remove acid that is a by product of working a muscle, then acid isn't removed fast enough it starts working to break down the muscle making it weaker. This also true with spams At first I'm so glad it stopped pulling, I want to rest but now I've got to do what my brain should have done by increasing the blood flow. How can I do that I'm not in control of my blood flow that's my Brain's job. But I do Understand that moving will cause my blood flow to increase that with movement the brain will know that to do, I have to find a way to help build a new connection. 

Please remember I'm no Doctor,  This is my way of trying to make sense of that m.s. is doing, to the little things the brain did before m.s. of course I didn't know anything about what the brain does automatically until after I got m.s. Just wondered how or if the little stuff was the cause of losing the big stuff? As always I still have no answers just a whole lot of questions. 

As to swelling hands and feet what work for me is by increasing blood flow using movement even small ones help me. 


Steve Finnell said...

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Karen said...

Mary - I found the best thing to keep my legs working when I was too weak to exercise was my stationary bike. Once I got it going at a good clip, my legs didn't have to work as hard but they were will moving. I'd put my music on and go (unless I as feeling sick, rather than just weakness). Exercise has helped me keep going for over 25 years with MS. Happy New Year!

Mary K. Mennenga said...

Karen, That's Great, and I agree the longer people can keep moving, as much as they are able to the better.