for February, 2011

words unfolding

NYTimes: N.F.L. Players Shaken by Duerson’s Suicide Message

From The New York Times:

N.F.L. Players Shaken by Duerson’s Suicide Message

A former player’s intent to leave his brain intact for a medical study has injected a new degree of fear in the minds of many football players and their families.

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Posted on February 21, 2011 by Keli · 0 comments Read More
words unfolding

Psychotherapy And Exercise Look Best To Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:

Psychotherapy And Exercise Look Best To Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Richard Knox

– February 18, 2011

Chronic fatigue syndrome has been controversial ever since 1984, when a cluster of cases in an upscale Nevada resort town attracted national attention.

Now a British study in The Lancet is likely to open another chapter in the medical saga.

Comparing four different treatments for CFS, researchers find that psychotherapy and gradual increases in exercise were clearly better than specialist care or an approach favored by many CFS advocates called “adaptive pacing,” which helps patients live within their limits.

The results were quite clear,” Dr. Michael Sharpe of the University of Edinburgh told Shots. “When a therapist worked with the patient to help them do better over time, it produced better function and less fatigue.” Sharpe is the paper’s senior author.

The two therapies that proved superior in the study are:

Twice-a-week cognitive behavior therapy to change the way CFS patients think about their devastating fatigue, or to reduce their fear of exertion; or

Similarly frequent sessions that gradually increase a patient’s activity level, within the patient’s ability.

The 641 patients in the study — the largest ever in the treatment of chronic fatigue — were randomly assigned to different treatments, got six months of therapy, and then were evaluated for fatigue and level of function six months after that.

In a surprise to the researchers, adaptive pacing — teaching CFS patients to live within their energy limits — didn’t reduce fatigue or improve patients’ ability to walk longer distances, climb stairs, or engage in daily activities of life, such as grocery shopping.

“It achieved nothing more than just seeing a doctor,” Sharpe says. And just seeing a doctor — a specialist in CFS — wasn’t very effective. For what it’s worth, all the patients in the study got specialist care, but only one-quarter of them had no other therapy.

All patients rated their own symptoms and how well they were functioning, which were translated into scientifically validated scores. The researchers say they were careful to screen out candidates who didn’t meet accepted definitions of CFS, sometimes called myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Study authors point out that psychotherapy and graded exercise came out on top even though patients were less confident in them at the outset.

“I hope the results of this trial will go some way to reassuring some of those people that if this treatment is done by skilled people in an appropriate way, it actually is safe and can stand a very good chance of benefiting them,” Sharpe says. But he acknowledges the findings are sure to be controversial.

“There will be some who will be straightforwardly pleased,” Sharpe says. “But I think there will be those who are more concerned and suspicious about it.”

It might seem strange that people suffering from a lingering, devastating disease like CFS, whose cause remains unknown, would be upset by results that show some treatments actually work better. But people with CFS have learned from bitter experience that any suggestion their symptoms have a psychological component leads many to leap to the conclusion that it’s all in their head.

“If you have a condition that people decry and criticize you for, saying it’s not really real, it’s just psychological, then someone tells you, ‘You need a psychological treatment,’ it seems like rubbing it in, that people don’t believe they’re ill,” says Sharpe, a professor of psychological medicine.

And indeed, CFS advocates on this side of the Atlantic immediately raised that concern. “The issue with cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy…have to do with the impression that if these things are effective then it must mean that the condition is all in my head,” Kim McCleary, president of the Chronic Fatigue and Immunodeficiency Syndrome Association of America, told Shots. “If you can make it better by changing my illness beliefs, what you’re saying to me that I don’t have a real illness or a physical illness.”

People with CFS and their advocates are also very wary of “graded exercise therapy” – partly, it seems, because it may suggest that people with the disorder could get out of bed and push themselves. But a bigger concern is that CFS patients are afraid the approach can backfire, sending them to bed exhausted by post-exertional malaise.

“Far and away the bigger danger is overdoing,” says Bruce Campbell, a CFS sufferer who counsels others with the disease. “The number of patients that I’ve known who were afraid of activity and did too little, I could count them on the fingers of my hands, and I’ve known several thousand patients.”

The British researchers say the rate of serious adverse reactions, such as worsening of fatigue, was no higher among patients in the study who got graded exercise than in those who were counseled to stay within their limits. And no more people in the exercise group dropped out of the study than those in the adaptive pacing group.

The study was funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council, a government agency. The U.K.’s National Health Service favors the use of cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise for CFS. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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Posted on February 20, 2011 by Keli · 0 comments Read More
words unfolding

Carry Over

So what things have I carried over from my earlier life in the last century?

The major area revolves around connection. I still struggle with feeling a part of something. I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in even if I’m in the group. I often feel alone, but definitely not as extreme, that has softened a bit thank goodness. I have not felt strongly connected in real intimate ways with any partnership I’ve had. Not where I feel completely safe and at home. It has been an undercurrent to learn how to connect more for sometime now in this life. So my lessons have already begun in that area. I’m learning how to ask myself questions to dig deeper to understand why I do what I do, feel what I feel, to keep digging. That helps me to ask others questions, to find out what’s behind and underneath what they share, to get to know them. I’m learning how to listen and try not to interject how I would deal or look at the situation but see if from their eyes, their life, their story. I am learning to take risks by reaching out and starting conversations. 

Another area pertains to freedom. Living that life for 18 years on the grounds of one place and then being bedridden a year after marriage until I died meant I was inprisoned physically in a very real way. I was also emotionally in a place of having to do what authorities told me even having to listen to the doctors. This life, I long for roots somewhere yet always feel like I have one foot out the door. I want to be free in so many ways. I don’t mind understanding the rules but I want the choice whether to obey them or not. I buck authority. I want to be free of culture norms, the shoulds, the expectations. I want to be free.

The idea of being alone. Ahh, this touches on connection but it’s more about spirit and love. That even when I’m not around any other humans, I am not alone. I am loved by so many from beyond and here. I am still learning this area, seeking, exploring, understanding. I hope to come to a place where I no longer need proof and I just know it in my bones that all is love. 

Motherhood. There are many reasons why I don’t have children and over the years I’ve gone back and forth on whether I want to be mother. The biggest reason against it has always been that I never felt like I was going to be able to give my kid(s) all the attention and love they would need to grow into healthy adults. I also thought my needs to be too much and that I couldn’t give enough to them. I would tell people, I’m so good with kids because I can give them back. I can give them lots of love and then return them and go on my way. I still feel this way strongly. I can’t help but think this notion has carried over from not being able to raise my son. How I would watch him play outside and not be able to join him. I was trapped in a bed without the ability to play, interact, talk, teach, and truly listen to and with my son. This broke my heart in that life and added to the loneliness.

Those are the major themes of carry over and little things pop up all the time. My experience with Mayra in this regression has been the most powerful. I had connected with her spirit since she’s passed in dreams but never in an awake state of conscienceness. There was always a little part of me that would say well it was a dream, who knows. Now I know, with every inch of my being that I connected with her in this regression, twice, and in those dreams. She is my caretaker in loves me fully. I don’t know if she is a guide but I have a feeling I’ll be seeing her a lot more. Even if I don’t in this life I know I will when I pass. I know that I am spirit livng in form and will see her in spirit again and perhaps back even in form. And that is the case with all close loved ones. I feel blessed and grateful that I am able to connect in that way.

I have been ready and open to whatever the universe has in store for me. Anything is possible. I’m even beginning to love SciFi. Sitting quietly and asking myself questions and then just waiting for an answer is a way I tap into information from a true source. I am learning what ways my intution gives me information. Sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes its a thought or a word, an image. It can be many things. I’m using this to help navigate my world. I always apporach it with the intent that I want only loving information. Information that will lead to the betterment of the whole. 

It’s 2011 and my son that was born in 1942 or 1943 could still be alive. That thought is not something I can really even comprehend. I have no desire to try and figure out who he is. I did not recognize him as someone I know in this life, but perhaps I haven’t met him yet. 




Posted on February 10, 2011 by Keli · 1 comment Read More
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