It's All In Your Head

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

  1. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter how time's have changed...used to be the **** of choice were good old fashioned China White and Bolivian its testosterone and whatever you young 'uns do these days.
  2. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 30

    Had a pretty good day but it started early with only 6 hours of sleep. Did a LOT of packing and disassembling and moving heavy things around and also tracked my steps which was near 10K, so I qualified as being "highly active" in the health community :p.

    -I no longer seem to be dealing with neck issues in a way that's too severe as long as I take time to stretch/massage it. It's nice, because I think I would have had to quit a lot sooner in the day if I were dealing with them.

    -Was having same problems with heart rate (not nearly as sever since stopping the death pills) when I got a migraine around 3pm. I had to deal with anxiety/light headedness and I believe these were purely PCS related symptoms.

    - Had to take a migraine pill around 8am which helped me continue throughout the day. Severe migraine attack around 3pm, took another migraine pill at about 7pm. Didn't recover to normal sociable levels until about 11pm and had to lay down for a few hours and avoid contact with my wife and brother who arrived to help us move from Texas. Was able to sit and talk though around 11pm although I was still suffering from a migraine.

    - Definitely still dealing with PCS symptoms although it seems they don't come on as quick and severe with my neck not causing a ton of issues. Anxiety levels still skyrocket when I do get a really bad migraine. It's also not amplifying the migraine symptoms to where I can't recover from it enough to do anything for a day or two (so it seems).

    Moving day today and I woke up with the left side of my head feeling "concussed" and "fuzzy." Started with taking a migraine pill and am leaving the hour or two of moving smaller stuff to my brother and wife. Hopefully I'll be fine by the time it comes to moving the couch! Glad my brother showed up giving me the ability to do not much to nothing today. I was still the one who packed and cleaned the house though, so I'm not a total bum in the moving process! :p
  3. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    So moving and most of the reorganizing in the new apartment was finished tomorrow. They gave us the weekend to move and we took advantage of it, didn't even clean the old apartment until last night :p.

    Overall it was a really tough thing for me to help out with from the day leading up to the move and the day of the move. I was responsible for packing everything and the majority of taking things apart and consolidating it into one room was my job as my wife is so busy with law school. The night prior to moving my brother flew in from Texas to help and I was so messed up by that night he had to greet me laying down in bed. I ended up with a really bad migraine and anxiety attacks that started with an intensity I couldn't deal with a good hour before he arrived. I ended up forcing myself to get up to sit in the living room for a few hours and talk though, getting a mix of dealing with the migraine and mild anxiety attacks but it went well enough.

    The day of the move I ended up not helping much at all. Still had a bad migraine and my brother was there to help. Since I did all the packing I didn't feel too bad about it. As the day progressed I was able to help out a little bit, and I did all the furniture assembly but I had to lay down and rest quite a bit throughout the day. By the night time I was feeling fine though and my brother's girlfriend arrived from FL to spend some time with him. I'm glad I was able to sit and talk and spend time with them both and not have an extremely hard time with it. My brother is just getting out into the world at 19 and we haven't been extremely close, so for me it was building a better foundation for a future relationship/closeness which I think was a big motivation in me trying as much as I could to spend time talking regardless of how I felt.

    The day following the move my brother and his girlfriend went into DC and my wife was at school so it gave me a nice quiet environment to do all the organizing and unpacking and moving the last of the things from our prior apartment. I did pretty well with it all and didn't have many problems at all. Even staying up late in the night being tired didn't affect me much. Since then I've had a little migraine or anxiety flare up here and there but it hasn't done much.

    I'm not dealing with my neck issues much which I think has been a huge factor in me being able to deal with the anxiety issues as the migraines don't seem to be continuing to progress in severity. They reach the level of "suck" and then stick there now, vs. getting so bad I start feeling disoriented. I can also move my head around which is nice. I haven't been doing the exercises and back nobber stuff for the last few days due to concentrating on the move and I can feel my neck starting to get some tension points so I'll definitely be starting back up immediately as well as doing the meditation exercises.

    Overall I feel like it was a good experience even though I had a migraine and plenty of headaches throughout. It's not something I think I would have been capable of doing a couple weeks ago. I even looked up some different gyms in the area and started getting excited about this one that I think will be my choice pick:
  4. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Looks like a great place for powerlifting!
  5. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I know, I'm pretty excited about it. The woman that is a co-founder in the coaches profile has a very easy to Google name on both the web and images section of Google. She's a champion powerlifter.

    It looks like the kind of place I may be able to go workout and not have to navigate through a bunch of numpties to get a good lift in. Will have to discuss the busy hours with them to form my future schedules around when I get to that point. They also advertise that they're very active in powerlifting competitions. I don't like their philosophy of no mirrors though. I don't use mirrors for form, I use mirrors to look at my beautiful body (when it's in shape, anyways). :p
  6. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Whelp, time to update this thing a bit. I've decided I'll just pop in with updates rather than keep a strict log. My days are scattered about and between not keeping consistent in a routine with migraines or anxiety popping up it feels like I'm just rambling on trying to make it fit into the confines of a log.

    Anywho, been doing pretty good the last couple weeks. Neck therapy stuff is working great and even got some additional information from a fellow MAP member knowledgable in the area. A lot of the exercises target my upper back at the center and the traps, most of it is with therabands. The therapist gave me the most rink a dink, light tension theraband ever but I could hardly even use it the first week! Now I'm starting to get into doing the exercises with my own band which is like three of the initial one.

    I'm progressing pretty fast in my endurance/strength with the movements. It would take me an hour to complete the circuit (along with the stretches), now it takes me about 30 min. and I can superset all the movements. I'm happy with that. Part of the problem was the bad posture I developed putting strain on my neck and I'm starting to see my self sit or stand with better posture now. All of this within a couple weeks too.

    Neck will still get a little tight throughout the day, back too. Compared to before it's WAY better though and I can work the tenseness out with the back nobber. If I'm studying too much and ignore the exercises things get tighter quicker too. Tension headaches are at an all time low, but I still get some mild migraines here and there. Migraines aren't too severe but I can tell one is coming on when I'm getting some extra anxiety.

    At this point I really feel like my anxiety is my biggest enemy and I've been working on it steadily with the mental therapist. Have been walking more along with the exercises to build up some endurance cause' good lord I'm out of shape. I've also been making sure to go outside a couple of times a day. The anxiety isn't compounded by the neck issues/tension headaches as much which makes it more tolerable to deal with. Migraines are still tough though. Most significant thing about the anxiety is the extreme discomfort I'll get along with worrying, so I've been trying to put myself in more situations that provoke it (just a little) to start training my mind to deal/accept it better. It's been working pretty good, just slow as crap. Glad I have school work now to structure my day around.
  7. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Silver linings?

    So some time two weeks ago I had an appointment via webcam with the neurologist and I was starting to do really good. Getting ready to start trying to get back into the real world and all. I asked if it was ok to have a beer at this point (not get stumbling drunk or anything) and was given the go ahead, just that it wouldn't be wise to get highly intoxicated. And so I did, and I was pretty much ok. A little anxiety from the different feelings the alcohol induced, but nothing too bad.

    So one Sunday I mixed some Baileys Creamer (the alcoholic kind) with some coffee, a small amount, and new woes began! While I haven't felt the "numb brain" feeling in some times, this concoction of death I made brought that back into play. Two days were spent laying around in bed so I didn't feel too ill to do school work, the rest of last week getting back to the "normal" I was at before (which isn't very normal). Will not be having alcohol or caffeine (tried two sips, literally, the other day which mad my brain set on fire) any time soon.

    Now for the funny part. I was getting better quick enough and left all my Chemistry homework until the last two days of the week where I had to take two exams. A good 6 hours a day of straight Chemistry work. The first day I went to bed with the front/left side of my head feeling very tired/numb. The second day I felt fine but the front/left side still felt numb/tired. During the hour long (timed) online exam (a very important exam) I was doing fine until about halfway through. Suddenly I felt a "hot tension" of some sort in my front/left brain, very unnerving. If you can imagine what it feels like when you pop a muscle, where it gets hot and you feel a "tear" of some sort, this is what it felt like in my brain. Concentration went out the window which isn't good for a Chemistry exam, and the result was a 60/100. (I had gotten 90/100 on all quizzes leading up to this point) Needless to say I wasn't happy.

    So I did what anybody who fails this hard does, I went to take a nice hot shower. And wow, I started feeling like I did when my problems started back in June of last year. Felt very strange, started getting very fatigued, got shaky, emotional, etc.. So I scurried into bed where I spent a good 8 hours just trying to relax why the front/left part of my head buzzed like crazy. Today (the day after this event) my front/left head still feels tired and is buzzing, but I certainly feel like I can keep myself together a lot more. Hopefully I can maintain this as I still have a lot of homework to do (thankfully not chemistry). Long bouts of study seems to be something I'm not entirely capable of yet, so breaking it up better throughout the week is going to be a must.

    One thing I have noticed (the silver lining?) is that at the worst points in my condition it's not the same as when I initially hurt myself. My hands, tongue, and feet don't get numb, my world doesn't start spinning just by moving my head, and it isn't hard to just "think." So that's progress I suppose! I'm also a lot more aware of when it's time to not do anything at all, which I'm sure is benefiting me. Another thing that hasn't happened is me getting extremely emotional (read severely depressed/frustrated). While I do get more emotional, it's more of a "I really love my wife and the people who have been in my life" type of emotional, which is nice :p. So I guess the brain is healing up! My neck/back also isn't regressing back into immobility either, and since I haven't been able to do the exercises prescribed by the physical therapist that's a good thing.

    I've been pretty disappointed because I got a new pedometer device called a Fitbit and wanted to start trying to get into doing some decent physical activity again. Been a no go a few days after I got it due to the relapse I'm experiencing. I also had to look into the GI Bill that pays for my school. I might not pass chemistry because I might not be able to go take the final exam at the schools assessment center (only class requiring this). It counts for 30% of the grade, and I'm certainly not going to be able to get the full 70% from the online material with how I've been doing (60/100 on an exam kind of cements that). It would take perfect grades and a good final exam grade to get a B. I'm probably going to end up with a low D or F in the dang class. Fortunately the GI Bill says, "We'll count it as you using up your GI Bill, and you can use the GI Bill to take it again." The downside is you only have so many classes you can take with the GI Bill (enough for a 4 year degree), but if you have to take a class again, you're paying for a class in the long run for that 4-year degree. But, I don't have to take a year and a half worth of classes with my GI Bill due to transferred credits, so I'm safe. I'll just have to cross my fingers explaining such a bad grade in an essential degree when I try to get into the program for dietitians at a university I transfer to when I explain, "I got an F because I was dealing with a brain injury. If you look at my coursework from that period since I've gotten better, I'm clearly capable." :p

    So life still sucks, but I guess I'm getting better. Thought I would write about it.
  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio


    That's like a speedball jnr.!

    Pick one poison at a time young man ;)
  9. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I'm telling ya'! When I started experimenting with caffeine months ago, a few sips would make me go crazy. I would have to get up and walk around because I would feel like if I didn't I would die. Then it wasn't much of an issue.

    What was interesting with the Baileys is I got the same thing, but because I had such a low tolerance to alcohol I got the "meh, I don't really care" feeling as well. I was losing my mind and not caring too much about it at the same time, very hard to explain :p. From that point things just kind of went downhill though, slow climb back up, then Chemistry knocked me back down, and now I'm on another slow climb back up. Fun fun. Not really though. :p
  10. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    "From life's school of war: what does not kill me makes me stranger"
  11. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I was already pretty weird. From heat stroke, severe heat exhaustion 2-3 times, multiple broken bones, and now a brain injury . . . . . I'm going to be the weirdest due ever. :p

    Why can't I just break bones more instead of these other injuries? Way easier to deal with!
  12. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    March 12, 2014 - 2 days after last post.

    The two days after my last posting I started paying attention to my heart rate a bit. My head wasn't buzzing but I was still having a hard time doing things. I noticed a change in heart rate every time I stood up (would speed up) and try to be active around the house. My neck also got really tense again (although I still had mobility of the head which was a change). I did some interwebz searching and heart rate increase like I was experiencing upon standing/moving (or even sitting upright) seemed to be related to something called POTS. I mentioned earlier in the thread about my heart rate increasing upon standing due to medication as well, but on the meds my heart rate would go from the 70s to 150s, now it was just the 70s to 120s (at the worst) or 100s bpm. The recommendation for POTS happened to be exercise, so I've started taking a different approach to trying to move into being active again.

    I don't think I have POTS honestly, and I haven't gotten a medical opinion about it, but I formed an approach to increasing my activity based on recommendation for POTS which is kind of the same for moving back into activity from a brain injury. Basically, do what you can tolerate and don't push yourself. I think a combination between my head being screwed up, my neck being screwed up, anxiety, and having lived a pretty sedentary lifestyle unwillingly has caused the heart rate issues. Reading about POTS just helped me with my mindset I guess, I don't want anyone to think I'm self-diagnosing myself over here. :p

    Anyways, from the 12th to the 18th (Wed. - Wed.) I accomplished doing 10,000 steps a day. Mostly indoors, but I've also been able to get outdoors as well. About three days ago I started working on my neck again and those issues are already clearing up. Two tension points at the base of my neck were progressively getting worse throughout the day and were playing with my vision and increasing my anxiety levels. On the closing Wed. of the week I was able to tolerate a longer walk outdoors at the end of the day (when symptoms are usually the worst) so that was nice.

    For the next week I'm going to focus on doing 10,000 steps a day, rehabilitating my neck, and doing some exercising as well. My wife will be gone Thurs.-Sun. at a Moot Court competition so I probably won't risk going about outside too much to play it safe, especially since I'm going to be adding in some minor exercise routines.

    I'm still figuring what I'm going to do for exercises since it has to be pretty light stuff. For today I'm going to implement 10x10 pushups on knees accompanied by band-work rows. The band is only maybe 20lbs of resistance, and the pushups on knees won't be a problem but I'm hoping they'll get my heart rate up a bit. I'll probably do 10x10-:30 sec. planks as well. If things go well and I can progress doing this, I'll update the log with the week and the exercises by day of the week.

    I remain hopeful, but pessimistic. :p
  13. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    All the best to you in your continued recovery. Good to know that you're also able to get some physical activity in.
  14. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    You/your physios are monitoring your blood pressure and they are aware of the rapid heart-rate increase?

    How long have you been off the anti-convulsant (Depakote/valproic acid) that was sussed to have caused the first heart-rate rise?
  15. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    I've been monitoring my HR and when I'm having issues it's hard to find a pulse, which is usually when the HR speeds up. I don't know if a difficult to find pulse means low blood pressure, but I'm assuming it does. If I'm not having any issues the pulse is a lot stronger, and it usually doesn't speed up much at all.

    I've been off the death med. for a couple months now, plenty of time for it to have cleared my system. After about 3 days stopping it I started feeling normal again. I honestly just think it's something to do with my head and having been sedentary for so long. If it is POTS it's a mild case. In either case, physical activity/exercise in both areas at a slow/tolerable progression is the recommendation so that's what I'm trying to do.

    In this past week where I got 10K steps per day (sometimes more) I had a real hard time with the HR on day 1-2 and it gradually subsided day by day. Day 7 it wasn't even much of a problem that I noticed. Today I added in some exercise and it was difficult as far as the HR went. I'll get dizzy/light headed and feel a bit woozy. I have to split things up throughout the day and make sure I'm sitting upright/moving around a lot. Hopefully I start adapting to the light exercising a bit and I'm hoping it'll be like getting 10k steps every day last week and it just gets better day by day.

    Really trying to just get back into things right now. My wife graduates Law School in May and I want to go (and I will never live that down if I don't!). I also have an exam I have to take on campus in May as well. I don't care about the latter as much as the former though, but with the speed of healing I'm not too confident in it all working out. Still need to try though. :p
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Do you notice being out of breath easily, like when you're climbing a flight of stairs or doing exercise? Having trouble with weight gain?

  17. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    That's one of the funny things about all of it, I don't get out of breath at all. Heart rate just increases. I'm sure it's a mix between something going on with my brain and anxiety and not being used to exercise or physical activity due to being mostly sedentary. Too much "comfort" and not enough going out of my comfort zones. When I do try to jump out of my comfort zones I think I'm doing the "young man thing" and trying to go too hard too quick (in my defense, just getting up and walking hasn't ever been a "going too hard" experience). Hopefully the shift in approach will be beneficial.
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Now that's interesting...yep, its not your general fitness or cardio/vascular health that's to blame...definitely something else.

    Years ago me and the wife began having racing heartbeats/skipping beats independently...turned out we were both exposed to toxic mould. But even with that, we'd both have to take big gulps of air when our beats became irregular.

    Doesn't sound like its your "heart" per se, even though you've a rapid pulse.
  19. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Yeah, I'm sure it's something to do with my head and anxiety. I do get a twitch that goes on in my chest area sometimes, but it goes up to the throat and I've had it with anxiety before. No pain or numbness or anything associated with real heart issues so I guess I'll count my blessings there :p.

    Toxic Mould sounds lovely.
  20. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    March 19th-26th

    Whelp, adding in exercise didn't work out well. On the 19th I completed 10x10 pushups (on knees) and 10x10 rows with bands, as well as 10k steps. The 20th I decided to load up a bag with a little bit of weight (probably something like 60 lbs, not much) and do deadlifts. I got through 5x10 with it and my head went crazy. After about an hour I had to lay down, and then I was pretty much confined to my bed due to severe migraines and disorientation for 4 days, getting progressively better each day. It really sucked because my wife was in New Jersey for those four days. Something like getting water, using the bathroom, or getting something to eat was absolute hell. From the 24th-26th I've been ok enough to move around the apartment freely, but I haven't paid attention to my step count or tried to do any physical activity at all.

    I also seem to have aggravated something in my lower neck/upper back. I still have the mobility I gained in my neck which is good, but the deadlifts strained something and my upper back clicks and pops and creaks whenever I move my shoulder blades. Will have to start doing the PT exercises lightly again.

    Pretty disheartened about all of this. I keep thinking I'm doing things slowly enough as far as progression goes, but clearly I am not. This past month has been rough. Have spent about 10 days confined to the bed, another 6 of recovering to some sort of normalcy. I don't think my anxiety issues are bothering me much anymore which is good, I just think I'm still a bit messed up and am not doing myself any favors by trying to get into being active again.

    Starting tomorrow I'm going to start getting my step count up again. Walking for physical activity doesn't seem send me into a debilitated state, so I'll stick with that. I feel like any ambition I've had to try and get better is just gone. The freedom to move about in my own home and maybe get a walk in outside is far better than being confined to bed and feeling absolutely horrible. I think I'm at a state of accepting what my life is right now, I'll get better if I get better. I don't even really care anymore.

    This all really sucks though. Wife graduates Law School in May, I have a final exam on campus that is in May, and I honestly don't think I'll be able to make either at the rate I've been recovering and getting set back. It makes me feel like a failure as a husband/friend to my wife, and having to fail a course isn't making me feel great either but I really can't do anything about it.

    Well, a bit whiney for a post but I want to update things week by week. I'm finding it difficult to really care anymore. Joy.

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