It's All In Your Head

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Ero-Sennin, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    There is definitely a negative feedback cycle at work and its being able to successfully interrupt the circuit that is the key.

    The psychologist introduced similar BMT techniques for use with my son's OCD/anxiety. Some of his 'coping' mechanisms had grown to elaborate/time consuming monsters - such as having to take him for a car ride every evening before bedtime...reading hour after hour...not so much ritual but comforts that soothed by taking his mind of his anxiety.

    You're making a lot of headway with your log. This ability you have to separate your objective-self from yourself, as it were, is probably the single most important indicator that you will have a speedy and full recovery from this. Hence the imperatives from Simon and others here that you should seriously consider publishing at some point.

    One thing though; keep your original hand-written logs (without edit) - something important that scientists and researches require for validation and you never know if what you're chronicling will end up being an important tool in their hands or not.

    I'll check in on you from time to time as I can. - Family situations and what not are beginning to require lots of my attention and my getting on here is going to get spotty for a bit.

    Keep a SUL there!
  2. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Had ambitions for the day? Ha!

    Jan. 2nd 2014​

    Wakeup 7am - Neck was cracking a whole lot, different than the usual cracking though, sounded "dry." Don't know what that means.
    - Felt decent enough. Head felt progressively a little more foggy every morning the last few days.
    1 cup coffee. Buzzed a little more than would have liked and it made me tense a bit.

    7:50am - 4 advil migraine

    - 40 min pacing - 3678 ped steps

    - Getting tense at moments, especially at start but nothing too bad.
    - Started feeling better from head buzzing due to coffee, head feels a little weird still and it feels like I've been thinking too hard for a while or something.
    ***Mostly in front of head

    8:50am Icing front of head

    - Noises starting to irritate me
    - Feeling like crap in a general sense

    9:17am - total shutdown of all activity and plans for the day
    - Migraine prescription pill taken
    - Left/front side of head buzzing

    - Notice ringing in the ears
    - Clenching jaw often

    - 2nd migraine pill taken
    -Symptoms are less severe but left/front head still buzzing
    - Not feeling as crappy
    ***Two hours leading up to this point were complete crappiness in mood and mental state. Came in waves of "I have a handle on it" to "nope, no handle on it."

    - Head not buzzing as much
    - Not AS tense, tense up when moving around though
    - Still feel crappy in general
    - More icing

    - Feel significantly better
    - Buzzing in head is still present but has subsided

    - Feeling better still
    - Still feel "off" and slightly crappy though
    - Still have ringing in ears every once in a while.

    *** Different approach to oncoming migraine this time. Once I felt the "aura symptoms" which were suggested to be the buzzing of my head by the neurologist. Feeling crappy and irritated by noise seems to have come first, but the head buzzing followed not even an hours time later.***

    This log entry was done for the sole purpose of understanding oncoming symptoms and trying a new method of dealing with it. I pretty much laid on my couch all day playing a video game. I got a good amount of data and as I'm writing this entry the morning after, I feel like I can work my way back into doing stuff today without a significant worry about a migraine. Counting from the start of December my migraines have went from taking me out for a week, to 3 days (that one is logged in this thread), to potentially one day. Will figure out if it's only one day by the end of today as I try to move into doing activity again.
  3. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    You'll forgive me if I don't read this whole thing, but:

    Are you practicing any breathing exercises?
  4. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I'm surprised anyone reads it at all to be honest. Not exactly interesting stuff. :eek::p

    And yes, quite often but after this week of the log I was able to gather enough info. to learn how I should deal with the PCS symptoms confidently so I'll be doing more structured exercises with meditation/breathing.
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Good stuff!

    Even simple diaphragmatic breathing can have an impact on anxiety and panic attacks.
  6. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    In a slightly macabre way, it kinda is :eek:

    Even if it wasn't dude, we read it because we do give a damn about you. Like it or lump it, you're a part of the MAP community, a big, hairy, American chunk of it :p So your health and happiness is going to be important. Hell I know I'd probably consider you more of a friend than anyone I train with right now.

    And at the end of the day, if your frank honesty can give anyone else who may sustain similar injuries some insight/guidance or anything similar, I'd say it was worth it.
  7. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That should be a wake-up call! :p
  8. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    Yep! I'm clearly too cool for school :p
  9. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 3rd 2014​

    Didn't really pay attention to logging anything today. Only thing to note is I had a migraine yesterday, did nothing, and woke up this morning feeling a little strange but not any more so than last time I recovered from a migraine and started getting back into things. Was able to do laundry and clean most of the apartment though. While that sounds like an awfully mundane thing to log it's significant for the purpose of PCS symptom recovery. Will be back to structuring things a bit more tomorrow.

    I got some good data during the week about when and how my PCS stuff pops up. I've found if I push myself too hard physically (some calisthenics/intense stretching and going well over 10,000 ped steps) will prompt a migraine pretty quick. I can use that to bump down the time I'm active (ex. being pacing for 30 min. at a time vs. 90 min. at a time) and set better goals as far as overall activity goes. We'll see if the application of what I think will work better will actually work.

    I haven't worked much on anxiety issues this last week. The only real data I got was solidifying my suspicion that anxiety symptoms are worse during PCS symptoms (migraines) and also that I have a little more difficulty with anxiety on the initial recovery phase of the migraine. I plan on working in some of the guided meditation, breathing, and a lot more focus on working on anxiety now that I think I have a handle on the parameter of physical activity that will help manage the PCS symptoms.

    Had a therapy session today and pretty much went over everything I just wrote and the therapist agrees with my conclusions. Therapist added that I should deal with things that cause anxiety on a level of 3-4 on a scale of 10 and work on the breathing and 'acceptance' stuff until those things move down to a 1-2 on the same scale, and then pushing to do something more. I bolded a comment in an earlier log entry about 'ignoring' vs. 'acceptance' because I felt like when I had a success with the 'acceptance' bit it felt like I didn't have to pay attention to the symptoms anymore, which is what is supposed to happen and from that point I no longer need to focus on it. Everything just fell into another notch of "the right perspective" today.

    All in all I've felt pretty decent but I think I'm suspicious that I felt good because the migraine meds. boost your seratonin levels. Been feeling pretty depressed at my overall state and life situation, but who wouldn't? :p
  10. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    D'jer ever consider that maybe a dad get on here and happens across your post, recongises some of the symptoms you've so carefully logged as being identical to his own little boy's - the little fellow he has spent countless sleepless nights with trying to quell his fear and anxiety, hiding his own tears and panic when the lad looks up at him and asks "whats wrong with me, da?"

    One day he comes across something you've written that you think insignificant and mundane - the light bulbs begin coming on ... there is hope.

    But then, maybe not. Maybe no one ever sees it.

  11. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Wow, that's pretty real stuff. I remember back when you first posted that you had fallen out at target, I was pretty worried that something was wrong. I hope and pray you continue to recover.
  12. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Initially after reading this post I felt like I was getting reprimanded and was wishing there was a smiley in there somewhere! The feels were harsh. :cry:

    I need to keep stuff like this in the 'instant memory toolbox for motivation to keep on.' If any of this helps anyone it'll have been worth it. I can't operate and keep myself motivated on my own goals sometimes, especially when I'm getting pretty depressed about the situation. Other people are always a good source to remember to put one foot in front of the other to keep going.

    I thought about this more during the day and it really has to be especially difficult for a child to go through this type of stuff. Giving my natural mindset that developed over years and the reserve of experience I have with my own emotions and experiences, I have things to draw from. My situation evolved from a state of desperation and fear in the starting phase to the point it is at now (annoyance). I know what's going on, I know why it's going on, and there is a part of me that's resilient enough to know that I will get better. Even if I don't I still have the knowledge that it's not "me" entirely, that sometimes this type of thing happens.

    It's not the same for a child. While I can reflect on why it happened and how to go about changing it, a little guy doesn't know anything else. Everything said to him/her must seem like speculation, a great unknown for them even if they lived a good part without having these problems. When I get better and can manage and deal with my problems effectively it'll be an acknowledgeable feet to overcome. When I child overcomes and learns to deal with it so they can live a productive life it's a form of greatness, a triumph of the mind and will that belongs solely to that person because what they had to overcome is so much more. It's different when you walk a path knowing what lay in front and to the rear, entirely different when you have no idea where you are but keep pushing forward.

    I'll be keeping bellringer in mind when I start feeling pity for myself.
  13. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Told you mate, they don't allow for extended fingers here :p

    No haven't cornered that market by any means ;)
  14. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 4th 2014​

    Wakeup 9am
    - Felt like left side of head needed to wake up more
    - Not feeling PCS symptoms on level of worrying about them, but they are there

    10:45am-11:12am First time in 7 months calling and talking to the guy who runs the boxing gym I was going to.

    - Noticing that whether it's a therapy or neurology session online, or talking to somebody on the phone I tense up a lot and get some anxiety.
    - Had to hang up and get called back in this period of time. Both times after the conversation was done my right ear felt muffled. Since it came/went away I feel it has something to do with anxiety linked to PCS symptoms, but isn't triggered by PCS symptoms.
    - Was able to compose myself and relax tenseness/anxiety during conversation.

    11:20 - 11:50am
    - 30 min. pacing - 2708 ped steps

    - Was emotionally wound up due to phone conversation
    - Any feelings of anxiety I got that were due to being emotionally wound up were day to resolve
    - PCS symptoms were slight and I started developing a minor headache.

    12:06pm Headache continued to develop, took 4 advil migraine
    1:06pm Headache had went away by this time.
    ***Advil Migraine or normal advil does not seem to help when I have PCS symptoms (a migraine, which I don't suffer the feelings of a normal headache with). If I do have a normal headache, it seems to work.***


    - 20 min. pacing - 1626 ped steps

    - Felt fine
    - Any tenseness I got was easily resolved

    6:30pm (mostly inactive up to this point in the day)

    Made a short trip to the store.

    - Anxiety on the way to the store, tensing up a lot.
    - Able to calm down, but it was much more of a battle to do so
    - Not much anxiety on the trip back from the store
    ***Anxiety seemed to cause PCS symptom (pressure in the head in this case) but that symptom went away during the trip back. Important to note this. An actual migraine does not seem to be signaled by a headache or pressure feeling in the head, but rather a distinct buzzing on the front left portion of my brain.***

    Note: You're writing this post at 1:01 am. You do not feel mentally tired which is usually the norm. You did have caffeine around 7pm, but a very small amount and you ate immediately after so it didn't hit your system hard. Important to note because PCS symptoms have resolved from prior days and you feel like you have more mental endurance than normal. You're usually mentally fatigued around 7pm, so much so that you get to bed. Progress?
  15. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 5th 2014​

    **Log entries getting a little thin, need to focus a bit more, sheesh**

    1pm wake up - Head was a little fuzzy, nothing bad though

    2:50pm - 3:15pm
    25min. pac - 2356 ped steps

    Started feeling pretty crappy so I stopped.
    No anxiety but minor tenseness

    4:42pm - 4:58pm - Ventured outside for a short walk.
    1,309 ped steps
    - Anxiety probably at a lvl 3-4 on a scale to 10, and constant.
    - Tenseness is starting in back/shoulders before neck/head.
    - Pressure feeling in head

    **10 min. continued pacing in house, 638 ped steps
    - Definitely easier to stay relaxed in apartment
    - No symptoms like outside
    - Minor headache developing

    *** I believe I'm having so many headaches due to popping ibuprofen so much for that last three weeks. Neurologist informed me that this will happen with ibuprofen. Will try to stay off it for the week.***

    *** Didn't do much else throughout the day aside from some chores here and there. Need to start paying attention more. I'm getting good data, but I can still get a lot more.***
  16. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Asprin (Bayer in particular) works better than ibuprofen for me. As it was explained to me, ibuprofen is more for inflammation (like joint pain and such). Ice packs are helpful too. :) Hope this helps.
  17. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Deadlifts Provide Perspective

    I know I didn't update yesterday but I have my hard log. I may update the symptom management and daily activity stuff every couple of days to provide "reflection time" on a few days at a time when I put it all on MAP.

    That said I've decided I'm going to try and wake up (I forced myself out of bed this morning, hard to get motivated when nothing is expected of you :p) by literally jumping out of bed. I decided I'm going to try and start implementing the "mindful meditation" CD that came with the anxiety workbook I have to help myself put my day and goals into perspective. Today was day one of that.

    I found the mindful meditation CD to be pretty corny. Whenever I do stuff like this I feel like I'm being exposed to the "mystical" side of martial arts, the chi and wave blast type of stuff. I find myself having to translate what's being said on the CD to things I can relate to. "Open your heart" on the CD turns into "don't let your feelings of annoyance and frustration dictate your mindset during the meditation." It's hard to deal with for me but I stayed open minded and formed it to what I know I need and got over the cheesiness of it all. I followed the meditation exercise lasting about 10 min. with keeping the same state of mind while walking around, and the goal was to be mindful of different bodily sensations and emotions and accepting them for what they were. Trying to ignore, force them out, or let my mind wander too far was a no no. I found the most common emotion I felt was annoyance and frustration, partly because it felt corny but more because it was difficult to do. I followed all this up with a trip to the store and had some moments I would place as a 4-5 on a scale of 10 for anxiety (8-10 being catastrophic shut down and retreat). I made it through so well that there were points I wasn't even thinking about anxiety at all, which is a good sign.

    Deadlifts Provide Perspective

    On the trip to the store I thought about how the "mindful acceptance" stuff applied and how it felt. The best thing I could relate it to was my first experiences with deadlifting in the weight room. Deadlifting is my best exercise, something I've gotten up to considerable strength in (around 600lb max) and I learned a lot from it. At the start my legs and back got so strong I was doing reps with 350lbs easily, but it got to the point where I couldn't hold the weight anymore. I had the back and leg strength, but my grip couldn't handle it.

    So I researched hand strength, bought some CoC grippers and worked on them for a month and I went from struggling to hold 350lbs for a set of 5 to skyrocketing up to 450lbs or so the same 5 reps. From there I only got stronger, and within about 6 months I was doing sets of 3-5 with up to 570 lbs.

    So how does this apply to my current situation? Taking PCS symptoms out of the equation, my anxiety rules my life because I know at some point I'm not going to be able to deal with it. I'm not scared to go outside, I'm not scared of anything out in the world, but I know I won't be able to deal with the catastrophic symptoms my body has in reaction to the fight or flight mechanism with nothing to flee from. When it happens I get angry and frustrated, I'm not cowering in a corner afraid, but I'm suffering because of the way the symptoms manifest themselves and it eventually spirals down into PCS symptoms. In other words, my will and mind (back and legs) are strong enough, but my ability to recognize and cope (grip strength) what I'm dealing with are weak as crap.

    The mindful meditation stuff for me is about refining my awareness of what's going on with my body. While it applies to the PD and PTSD symptoms I deal with, it also applies to being aware of PCS symptoms. I've grown so comfortable with ignoring anything I feel and experience and putting one foot in front of the other that I have a weak link that is now crippling due to the head injury. My body is saying "go screw yourself" while my mind is wanting to get up and go.

    An experience I know proves my past ability to ignore anything I feel and push forward without having any emotional burden goes back to Afghanistan. We had to prep for a pretty big mission (I ended up dropping a high value target with a javelin missile) a couple weeks out from going home and while I was a little irked at the amount of danger involved so close to going home, it didn't phase me. Some guys even came up to me telling me how they can't sleep and how much anxiety they were having about it, and there I was sleeping like a baby at night and smoking and joking throughout the day. I've always been able to completely shut out my emotions, the way I feel about things and it's always served me well (especially in combat situation), but this has become something that has manifested itself so strongly that I can no longer ignore it.

    All this said, the mindful meditation is cheesy but it's a starting point for being able to get in touch with my emotions and their effect on my body. Emotions aren't just something you feel in your head, they manifest themselves in your bodily reactions and I'm at a point where I need to recognize and mold the part of myself that is capable of dealing with it. The grip of my mind-body connection needs to get stronger to deal with all this so my minds back and legs can get back to work. :cool:
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter


    Keep looking until you find meditation CD's that don't insult your intelligence. They are out there...its just a matter of finding them ( kinda like finding a TKD school that isn't a McDojo - good analogy? :hat: )

    Its important that whatever it is, you can dive into it 100% and having lingering qualms is going to be counter-productive in the long run.
  19. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Been a terrible week for me between multiple days of migraines, anxiety attacks that make me feel like I'm going to die and result in me curled up in bed for a bit, and my neck getting extremely tight and sore compounding the problem. That said, I haven't bee doing much of anything aside from watching a movie or browsing through MAP here and there. It's been terrible. I couldn't even deal with doing a full therapy session today and had to hold my head up with my hands during the 30 minutes I could deal with. I got some good info. regardless regarding the mindfulness mediation stuff that I think I can apply and is beneficial to write down in the log. I apologize for the week gap in posting, but I've felt so bad I didn't even log anything.

    On the mindfulness meditation, I may have done too much. On Tuesday I did about 30 min. of it pretty intensely. about 15 minutes sitting and listening to the guided mediations with breathing exercises, then about 15 more minutes maintaining the same mindset without listening to the CD and walking around the apartment. I found paying attention to every emotion, thought, and stimulus to be mentally taxing. The best way I can put it is it's like when you're "in the zone" while fighting/sparring, that laser focus and awareness of what's going on around you and what you're body is doing. A heightened level of awareness. I found it to be mentally fatiguing. I maintained the best I could throughout the day that level of awareness and during the day I was able to make a trip to the store and walk around outside with a kind of ease and calmness I haven't experienced in a while.

    Then Tuesday night happened where I got a migraine and some intense anxiety. I hoped I was able to sleep it off. Wed. I woke up feeling crappy and the more the day went on the worse I felt. Thrus. I got out of bed and had a panic attack and remained in bed pretty much all day in various states of distress, and burned through 4 of the 9 migraine pills I'm allowed a month :rollseyes: with only temporary relief. Today I'm feeling better, but I know I'm still having trouble so I'm taking it easy. Was able to shave my head and face and take a shower without too many problems though which is a good sign. :p

    It is possible that doing the mindful meditation and trying to keep that state of mind put a lot of stress on me mentally that I wasn't prepared for, at least not for the duration I did it for. It really feels like "working out your brain" doing it, and being aware of every little thing going on internally between physical stimulus, emotions, and thoughts is really tough and it may have just been to much. Definitely something to keep track of and limit for now, but the therapist agreed that this may be what has happened.

    Nothing like feeling like you're going to die while there's nothing threatening your life during a panic attack. :cool:
  20. pseudo

    pseudo Padawan

    Sorry to hear your having such a rough week, I wish I could offer you additional support. I use to and still am prone to panic attacks, I've never delt well with stress. Do you have access to a sauna? If you do, it has helped me a lot to sit in the sauna, close my eye and focuse on my breathing, helped me decompress.

    Not sure how the heat will effect your migraines tho, I could suggest other methods iv tried but other then making me sound like a hippy alot of people find it off putting. Aroma therapy has work well for me at night time, im not sure if its the aromas or just that it gives me something else for my brain to focus on. Focusing my attention on ambient noise helps too. I don't know if your much of a tea drinker but chamomile is one I drink regularly and kava when I can get a hold of it, for some reason iv never been able to find it in canada.

Share This Page