CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Type 1), is a change in the nervous system that's usually triggered by a very painful episode. The bad kinds affect the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, metabolism, circulation, and fight-or-flight response. Lucky me; that's what I've got. ... But life is still inherently good (or I don't know when to quit; either way) and, good or not, life still goes on.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mind: more useful than you think

The power we have over our own minds is so often underestimated -- or misinterpreted. The "you're sick because you obviously don't think the right thoughts" frame of mind makes me livid -- it's inexcusable.
But mental & emotional discipline is absolutely key to my function and survival. I know every moment I take to notice enjoyment, my brain gets a shot of pain-reducing endorphins and decision-improving dopamine. Every time I grab my brain when it wants to go to pain-lashed catastrophizing, and stop and do a reality check and look for good things, I know I'm cutting the pro-inflammatory cycle and reducing a pain-spiking dose of cortisol.
It's bloody hard to remember to do at times, but practice makes perfect and I do get better the more I work at it.
... Speaking of neurotransmitters ...
I've been meaning to write a primer on brain chemistry and neurotransmitters. It's so convoluted I don't know where to start. I'm thinking of setting up the table (or 3-d matrix!) of chemicals, body parts & functions, then writing about one segment of that at a time. As my Mom says, cut large tasks into bite-sized pieces, then go after them one by one.

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